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Amazon is launching a program that may enable shoppers to pay for his or her information for purchases outdoors of Amazon

Amazon launched a new program that pays consumers directly for information about what to buy outside of and for answering brief surveys. The Amazon Shopper Panel program prompts users to submit 10 receipts per month for all purchases made at non-Amazon retailers, including grocery stores, department stores, drug stores, and entertainment stores (if open) such as movie theaters, theme parks, and restaurants.

Amazon-owned stores such as Whole Foods, Amazon Go, Amazon Four Star, and Amazon Books do not qualify.

Program participants are using the newly launched Amazon Shopper Panel mobile app for iOS and Android to capture pictures of qualified paper receipts, or they can email receipts to [email protected] for a $ 10 reward to be applied to their Amazon balance or used as a charitable donation.

According to Amazon, users can then earn additional rewards each month for every survey they complete. The optional surveys ask about brands and products that the participant might be interested in and how likely they are to buy a product. Other surveys may ask what buyers think of an ad. These rewards may vary depending on the survey.

The program is currently only available for invitation and invitation and is currently only open to US consumers. Invited attendees can now download the newly launched Shopper Panel app and join the panel. Other interested users can use the app to join an invite waiting list.

Credit: Amazon

Amazon claims to delete sensitive information, such as prescription information, from the receipts users upload. However, the personal data of users are not deleted, but are stored in accordance with the applicable data protection regulations. Users can delete their previously uploaded receipts at will. However, it is not clear whether actually collected data will be removed from the Amazon systems.

Consumer research boards are common operations, but in the case of Amazon, there are plans to use the data in a variety of ways.

On the website, Amazon states that customer data may be used to improve product selection on and Whole Food Market, as well as to improve the selection of content offered through Amazon services such as Prime Video.

According to Amazon, the data it collects will help advertisers better understand the relationship between their ads and product purchases on an aggregated basis, and will help Amazon create models that groups of customers are likely to be interested in specific products.

And Amazon may offer data to brands to help them get feedback on existing products, the website says.

Credit: Amazon

The launch of the program follows a closer look at Amazon's anti-competitive business practices in the US and abroad when it comes to the use of consumer purchase data.

Amazon has been targeted by US regulators for using third-party sales data to benefit its own private label business. When Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, testified before Congress in July, he said the company had a policy against it but could not confirm that that policy had not been violated. The retailer may also face antitrust fees because of the practice in the EU.

At the same time, Amazon increased its investment in its advertising business, which grew 44% year over year to $ 3.91 billion in the first quarter. That was a faster growth rate than Google (13%) and Facebook (17%), even if they were tiny by comparison – Google ads made $ 28 billion and Facebook made $ 17.4 billion that quarter, Digiday reported .

As the pandemic sped up the transition to e-commerce by about five years, Amazon's need to better optimize ad space has also accelerated – and it may need to ingest more data quickly than can be captured directly from its own website .

In a message to advertisers about the program's launch, Amazon positioned its e-commerce business as a small part of the overall retail market – a point it often makes in hopes of avoiding regulation:

“In this incredibly competitive retail environment, Amazon is working with brands of all sizes to help them grow their business not only in our store but in the myriad of places customers shop. We also work hard to provide our channel partners – and especially small businesses – with tools, insights, and data to help them thrive in our business. But our business is only part of the puzzle. Customers routinely use Amazon to discover and learn about products before buying them elsewhere. In fact, Amazon only accounts for 4% of US retail sales. As a result, brands often turn to third-party consumer panel and business intelligence providers such as Nielsen and NPD, as well as many segment-specific data providers, for additional information. Such opt-in consumer panels are well established and used by many companies to gather customer feedback and shopping insights. These companies aggregate shopping behavior across all stores to report data such as average retail price, total units sold, and sales of tens of thousands of the most popular products. "

The retailer then stated that the Shopper Panel could help them support sellers and brands by providing additional insight beyond their own store.

Amazon doesn't say when the program waiting list will be removed, but it does say anyone can sign up starting today.

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