Amazon disables search-seeding tool used by merchants to boost visibility
US-headquartered Amazon has disabled its search-seeding tool which helped merchants improve search results on its India marketplace.
The service has been reportedly stopped after the marketplace found merchants abusing the tool.
Sellers or merchants often press to appear on the first couple of pages as they find it helpful in attracting more consumers. The search-seeding allowed sellers on the platform to appear on top pages of product search based on keywords.
“Keywords used to list that particular product, based on the segment, are a critical part of search-seeding,” said a TOI report quoting a merchant using the tool.
After halting of the search-seeding tool, another option that is left for sellers to improve search on Amazon is a sponsored advertisement.
Amazon India said that it does not provide any tool to sellers that allow manipulation of the ranking of shopping results.
The development comes at a time when there has been strong demand by offline retailers to check regulatory adherence and abusive business practises by online marketplaces in the country. The government is also closely watching the space.
For Amazon India, which has more than 5 lakh sellers offering 200 million products, the move might prove to be costly. However, the marketplace has a different plan.
It is all set to bring Vine, a curated network of top reviewers, for a new private brand programme Accelerator products in India next year. Under this programme, a product with a higher number of positive reviews will have higher visibility on the platform.
Amazon is said to provide data on what products, combinations are being searched on the platform to manufacturers and merchants.
E-comm marketplace is constantly trying way to improve its business margins and expand business through structural changes.
In July 2018, the government brought a new FDI policy for e-comm firms barring them from selling exclusive products from companies where they own a stake and from owning more than 25% of vendors.