Amazon Woos Consumers With Free Samples

Amazon Sends Free Samples To Your Door As Advertising

Retail giant Amazon is continuing its push into advertising, as the company is now sending free samples of products to customers based on their order history and profile data.

“Amazon helps you discover products you might love by sending you FREE samples from new and established brands,” the company said on its website. “It’s like Amazon’s product recommendations, but real, so you can try, smell, feel and taste the latest products. There is no obligation to purchase or review the product and you can opt out at any time.”

CNBC reported that even though program seems like a great deal, it raises some troubling privacy concerns in the era of data mining and the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Amazon has been sneaking market share of advertising from Google and Facebook, and is using its position as a retailer to dig into the information it has about customers’ shopping preferences.

This free sample news comes on the heels of another huge Amazon announcement: On Monday (Jan. 7), Amazon became the biggest company in the world. The eCommerce giant was worth about $8 billion more than Microsoft on Monday, valued at $799 billion to Microsoft’s $791 billion. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, passed Apple and is in third place with about $747 billion. Apple, which has faced woes recently amid sluggish sales, is in fourth place with $699 billion.

The news gave Amazon stocks a booster shot; they rose about 3.5 percent on Monday, which equals about $1,632 a share. Microsoft shares were up, too – they rose 1 percent and were trading at $103 a share.

As for Microsoft, it recently announced it would take a run at Amazon’s popular cash-free grocery store, Amazon Go, in a partnership with Kroger. Two stores – one in Monroe, Ohio and one in Redmond, Washington – will have digital shelving displays that will keep prices updated in real time, and digital ads that are customized to each shopper.