Amazon’s Choice is a badge that is awarded to certain sellers. Amazon’s Choice is only used on products that are available for sale through Amazon Echo. Via Alexa and the Echo AI, Amazon Prime customers have been able to reorder items that they have bought in the past. Now, they are also able to buy new ones with Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices. Through voice command, Alexa can search through Amazon’s Choice for Prime-eligible products and make suggestions to Prime members.
There is a lot of demand for the improved Alexa-Echo devices, and this means a sizeable sales opportunity. So how do Amazon sellers get this Amazon’s Choice badge?
Becoming Amazon’s Choice
Amazon is keeping mum about how it selects products for inclusion in Amazon’s Choice list. We don’t know very much about which products Echo is likely to recommend or which brand it will tend to offer. What we do know is that Amazon’s Choice products are chosen based on several attributes. Positive product ratings, higher sales volume, reasonable pricing and favorable shipping speed are four features that we are almost sure play a big part. Lower rate of return and seller feedback may also factor into a product’s or a brand’s selection for inclusion in Amazon’s Choice. Based on observation, reviews don’t seem to be a huge influence here. Still, there is reason to wonder.
Amazon sellers have been known to play dirty now and again. One popular tactic that made the headlines a few years back is submitting fake negative reviews. By forcing a competitor’s review ratings down, a seller could get bumped up the ranks. If reviews are a factor in Amazon’s Choice, this practice could make a big comeback. Amazon sellers must be wary of this possibility and be sure to monitor their reviews carefully.
As far as shipping is concerned, Amazon Prime is supposed to guarantee fast shipping speeds for all of its eligible products. This seems to conflict with it being a factor in Amazon’s Choice eligibility. Perhaps it goes further back, being a factor for Prime membership eligibility. With only Prime products factoring into Amazon’s Choice, this would make sense.
Amazon’s focus seems to be on making major brands more available to customers. This is bad news for smaller sellers out there. Amazon wants it to be easier for Prime members to find and buy major brands, leaving a lot of less well-knows products out in the cold.
Still, Amazon would be wise to consider a wider scope. It is, after all, their general aim to bring in more sales. Making it easier to buy items means that more people are going to be likely to go through with their purchases. You can get toilet paper from pretty much any store around the corner, but why leave your home when you can tell Alexa to go do the shopping?
One concern regarding smaller brands would of course be their reputation. Amazon puts the customer first, and would not want to recommend products that customers may have a less than stellar experience with. This would damage Amazon’s reputation, and so they are understandably careful with the names that they put their own name behind.
Amazon is also excluding certain categories from Amazon’s Choice, regardless of whether the items listed there are Prime-eligible or not. Some of these are Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry, Prime Now, Apparel, Jewelry, Shoes, and Watches. It is not clear whether these categories will be permanently off the list, but it is likely that Amazon will consider them for inclusion as their voice ordering program develops.