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  • Laura Monk

Amazon makes risky email move

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Amazon has decided to let brands and merchants send marketing emails to shoppers in a move that has been described by industry observers as “risky”.

The company announced the move at the Amazon Accelerate conference in Seattle on Wednesday, where it presented to the leading independent businesses on the site.

Under the move, merchants will be able to send free emails to recent shoppers, repeat customers and their biggest spenders through a new tool called ‘Tailored Audiences’. Amazon has been testing the resource this year and it will be available to all US Sellers from early 2023.

It marks a significant move away from Amazon’s traditional reluctance to allow Sellers to connect directly with customers, and some believe it is linked to online sales slowing from their pandemic highs.

Amazon sees the move as a way to build relationships with loyal customers that has not previously been available. But the flip side is that inboxes could become flooded with spam that puts some customers off. Customers will have to unsubscribe if they don’t wish to receive the marketing emails.

Thompson and Holt senior case handler Laura Monk can see both sides of the argument and believes it is a major step for Amazon to take. Monk explained: “It has become almost part of Amazon’s fabric that businesses weren’t permitted to send emails to even their most loyal customers.

“All of a sudden that is about to change, and there will be positives and negatives to the move. Many Amazon businesses have spent years becoming experts in their products, and this a chance to make firm connections between customer and brand. They will see it as a tremendous opportunity to boost sales, and also to gain deeper insights into the customers and their buying habits.

“But others have rightly pointed out that consumers are already flooded with retain emails and more of the same could have an adverse effect. Some shopper in-boxes are already inundated and that can minimalist emails’ effect.

“For so long founder Jeff Bezos resisted email marketing, but the company has shown signs of moving in the opposite direction in recent times. Amazon already lets shoppers follow favourite brands, which can then send them messages. The big difference moving forwards is that shoppers had to opt in to receive those messages - now they’ll have to opt out.

“Amazon’s financial figures will no doubt have played a part. This year US online sales will rise 9.4% to $1 trillion, which sounds incredibly healthy, but it is the first time growth has slipped into the single digits according to reports.

“With markets like Walmart also growing, Amazon will be keen to do everything it can to stay ahead of the pack. It is a risk - but Amazon rarely fail in significant moves like this and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out in the new year.”

If you have found yourself suspended while selling on Amazon, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.

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