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Bloomberg reports that Amazon "will let brands and merchants send marketing emails to shoppers, a risky bid to boost sales that could inundate inboxes with spam.

"The company announced the initiative Wednesday at the Amazon Accelerate conference in Seattle, where it demonstrates new features to the independent businesses that sell more than half of the products on Amazon.com. 

"Merchants will be able to send free emails to recent shoppers, repeat customers and their biggest spenders through a 'Tailored Audiences' tool, which will also let sellers monitor the results. The tool has been in testing this year and will be available to all US sellers in early 2023.

"The move marks a break with Amazon’s historic reluctance to let independent merchants connect directly with customers for fear of alienating them. But online sales have slowed from their pandemic highs, and antitrust investigators are probing the power Amazon holds over millions of third-party vendors. Some merchants also say Amazon makes it hard to create a relationship with even their most loyal buyers."

KC's View:

Here's the sentence from the Bloomberg story that could best illustrate why this may be a bridge too far:

Customers will have to unsubscribe if they don’t wish to receive the marketing emails.

I've been shopping on Amazon since March 1997, and one of the nice things about it has been that I don't feel abused by its marketing machine - I get emails, sure, but they largely seem relevant and targeted. If emails in the future are a lot more frequent, it may seem as if Amazon is abusing its access to its shoppers, and that will hurt Amazon's brand.

Not a good move - it seems more directed at short-term profits than nurturing long-term relationships with customers.