Amazon has closed an item that sends samples to shoppers for free, which will provide samples based on shoppers’ wishes to buy. Amazon began testing the project earlier this year, using machine learning tools to identify shoppers’ buying habits and then send them free samples based on their tastes.
Samples include Mibalmaline mascara, Calvin Klein perfume and Kind chocolate energy bars.
Although Amazon likens it to the site’s product recommendation tool, the project has raised privacy concerns among some consumers who are increasingly wary of data mining and targeted advertising on the web. Now, Amazon says it will phase out the project.
A spokesman for Amazon said: “Amazon has been testing and launching new products to innovate on behalf of its customers. At present, we have decided to stop the sample distribution program in 2020. “
While some customers find the project scary, it’s an effective way for brands to get their products to Amazon shoppers at very low prices. According tomedia reports, the brands participating in the project pay $2 per sample on the basis of the actual cost of each product.
Meanwhile, Amazon continues to outstrip Google and Facebook in the digital advertising market. Amazon has begun to eat into Google’s dominance of search advertising, and it held its first major advertising conference in October, showing the scale of the business’s growth. At the same time, the company claims to have rich consumer buying habits data that its competitors don’t have.