Prime News Ghana

Setting its own rules: Amazon

By Edem Sam
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It would not be unusual to find virtual storefronts or market places ignoring certain presumed excesses from its users, clients or customers (especially when they run into the millions and to a large extent rope in multi million dollars in revenue), talk less of insisting on their relational rule in what should be a free or open market place where companies can adopt the most effective marketing strategies or flaunt  mouth-watering incentives to potential buyers of its product or users of its services provided these are within the framework of legality within a free market (physical or virtual).

The latest is on Amazon’s crack down on the practice of some companies floated on its market who offer free products to customers in exchange for review. The online retail giant, in defending its new policy, cites recent studies which suggest that shoppers offered free products are more likely to give favourable reviews of the product brands, hence undermining the very essence for such reviews.

In the words Chee Chew, vice-president of customer experience at Amazon, "these so-called 'incentivised reviews' make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products".

He further claims that having product reviews that shoppers can trust has been one of the greatest factor in the company’s success. However, she does not intend to scrap incentivised reviews only the product brands should use the online store's own program, Amazon Vine.


The development ironically, further demonstrates the kind of monopoly that now runs in our business or corporate environment but who can win the debate? It is ‘a free market’ and each player has the right to set its own rules and precedents and, Amazon is no exception.