If you're in the business of selling stuff, having your product on Amazon's 'Buy Box' is - to put it mildly - a good thing.
But does Amazon unfairly promote its own products at the expense of third parties?
It seems that the EU is sniffing around this area. (link below)
In other words, Amazon understands what sells well on its platform - and can then simply replicate what sells best.
I've previously written about how reliant some companies have become on the 'Amazon' drug, and for many suppliers to certain sectors (retail) looking to go direct to the consumers (D2C) it's certainly one route to market.
After a period of positively insane growth in which it has skyrocketed to, by some estimates, close to half of all the online sales in the country, Amazon is now facing a nearly equally as massive amount of criticism, business disruptions and reversals of fortune.
It turns out online retail isn't a bad space to be in when all the shops are shut. Jeff Bezos' mantle as the richest man on the planet seems safe, for now.
At no time in retailing history has consumer inertia been so much in the consumers favour. Today your website is probably one of the last places the consumer will go to look at products and services and find out who you really are.
The reality is that the pace of change, opportunities and dynamics associated with the internet were for many retailers largely ignored other than those that bolted on a me too website and stayed in protectionist mode around the store portfolio.
Social Commerce is simply the transactional part of that process, today it's purpose is to distract the purchaser from having to go to your very expensive SEO driven eCommerce website!.
I started writing about the rise of 'Social Commerce' a number of years ago.
It came to my attention some 6 years ago when I was asked to help a young start-up fashion business who had grown from very tiny beginnings by one person (single parent) and a £50 budget, yup, you read that right just £50 a whole lot of enthusiasm, and a much savvier understanding of how to leverage 'social media' than every corporate out there.
'Social Selling' (crap name BTW) is really about understanding the buying journey and how you can use it to provide your consumer with sufficient information on their terms about you, your company and what it does early enough in the 'intent' stage of the buying journey.
To do this well requires you to be social, authentic, inform, educate, listen, all whilst connecting to and building a like minded tribe, and the last thing you do is try to sell upfront.
If you're a big brand retailer or a current supplier into that sector you might fall into the foolish mindset of thinking 'so what'.
Just as millions of businesses flocked onto 'Bezo's baby' known as 'Amazon, social commerce if done right will allow you to wean yourself off the mighty Amazon and focus on building an authentic and lasting relationship with consumers around the world.
What is the EU doing? Central to the EU's concerns is Amazon's dual role. It runs an online store and also sells its own products on that platform. The criticism is, that it's both the player and the referee.