Amazon insists that its algorithm chooses products to go into the buy box based on a range of factors, including customer service and free delivery
When customers search for and click on a product, the Amazon algorithm chooses one vendor’s offer to put in the buy box
Having the product in this buy box offers a major advantage for the retailer, as most customers end up adding it to the cart and buying it
Sept 21, 2016: The online shopping portal Amazon’s algorithms make customers pay more for popular products giving prominence to items that benefit the retail giant, a study by ProPublica said.
ProPublica on Tuesday said it reviewed 250 frequently purchased products over several weeks to see what all were chosen to appear in the highly-priced ‘buy box’ that pops up first as a suggested purchase.
Amazon that bills itself as the “Earth’s most customer-centric company”, not only sells products directly itself, but also allows other retailers to sell their own products through its platform.
When customers search for and click on a product, the Amazon algorithm chooses one vendor’s offer to put in the buy box.
Having the product in this buy box offers a major advantage for the retailer, as most customers end up adding it to the cart and buying it.
ProPublica found that almost three-quarters of the time Amazon would place its own products or those from companies that pay Amazon to fulfil orders into the buy box, even though they might not always be the cheapest.
If a customer bought everything recommended by Amazon’s buy box they would end up paying 20 percent more than if the same products was bought at the lowest price on the platform, the study said.
Amazon, however, offers a tool to allow customers to compare product prices by producing a list that ranks sellers of the same item by “price and shipping”.
Although even there, the company gives itself an advantage by omitting the shipping costs for its own products.
This would mean the rankings were accurate for Amazon Prime members, who get unlimited ‘free’ shipping for $99 per year, but for anyone else the ranking is misleading.
Amazon insists that its algorithm chooses products to go into the buy box based on a range of factors, including customer service and free delivery.
Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Bezos had said in 2007 that it uses “very objective customer-centred algorithms” to automatically award the buy box to the lowest priced seller, which is clearly no longer the case.
At least 94 percent of sellers who won the buy box placement without having the cheapest listing were either sold by Amazon itself or companies paying Amazon.
The companies that do not pay Amazon hefty fees (between 10-20 percent of sales) to fulfil orders, find themselves sidelined.
ProPublica concluded that it shows how hidden algorithms govern online interaction from Google search results to Facebook news feeds. (IANS)
New Delhi, Jan 10, 2017: With a number of options available in leather jackets, it’s easy to get duped. Know the difference between fake and genuine leather by the texture and odour, says an expert.
Arshbir Singh Bhatia, Director at Voganow.com, an online platform for buying leather garments and accessories, has given tips and tricks to check the authenticity of the leather:
1. Easiest ways to check is by pressing the texture of the leather. If it is real, the texture would seem wrinkled and pulled. If it is fake, it would hardly make any difference to the texture when affected by the pressure.
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Also, genuine leather does not crack easily and is quite durable. It can last for more than 10 years. One can easily see a drastic change in jackets crafted in faux leather after using for just one season.
2. Try to check and feel the texture of the leather before making a purchase as little imperfections like creases or scratches are considered to be a good signal while testing the authenticity of genuine leather.
Genuine leather does not smell like plastic or give an odour of chemicals which is obvious with faux leather. A jacket crafted in genuine leather gives more of a natural and swanky touch.
3. On pulling leather, one can see very fine holes which are the hair follicles while on synthetic leather, they are artificially created and disappear on pulling.
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4. Feel the texture of leather. Genuine leather should feel soft and smooth like a skin while faux leather would give a hard and solid touch and feel.
5. Genuine leather can easily absorb water while goods made of faux leather cannot absorb it and the droplets of water would puddle on the surface of the material.
6. Similar to the wrinkle test, another way is by bending the leather as real leather has a unique elasticity while bending it might change the tone. Faux leather remains rigid and regular when bent. (IANS)