Amazon Creates Auto-Generated Variations Under Listings

Amazon has been making some interesting changes to their platform. First, the controversial, yet unsurprising, change to their A9 Algorithm, and now we’ve seen auto-generated variations being created. 

The variations are being automatically created by Amazon, and they appear below a product listing on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Reference the screenshot below for an example.

auto-generated variations

Variation Deep-Dive 

While this feature seems to be relatively new and there hasn’t been any formal introduction, Katharine Johnson, Account Manager at Envision Horizons, took a deep-dive to get a better understanding.

“I did a quick deep-dive to see where exactly the feature could be found and it seems the only category where it can be found is under Automative and Accessories,” Katharine explained.

This is primarily interesting because as Amazon is monitoring KPIs to test how this may improve conversion rates, profitability, clicks, etc. the feature won’t be found in any category that has heavy variation listings. 

For example, in “Clothing, Shoes, & Jewelry,” you may find the same shirt in 10 different colors. Similarly, in “Beauty & Personal Care,” you can find the same brand of foundation in 10 different shades.

What would be really interesting to know is if Amazon is doing this to increase their profitability. For every conversion made on the marketplace, they receive a 15% referral fee. In theory, if a consumer clicks into a product detail page because of multiple choices they see on the SERP, and they convert with a higher balance, Amazon makes a higher percentage on fees.

However, they aren’t listing the top-performing product variations – at least this is the case for our clients. It appears the listed variations are dependant on how they are listed on your product detail page. 

“What I’d really like to know is if and when we can manage the variations ourselves. Also, these variations don’t appear on Sponsored Advertisements, so we don’t have to worry about ad spend. Ultimately, this gives us much more room to toggle with best-selling variations to see how they impact our clicks and conversion rates. ” Katharine said.

Conclusion

This is an interesting feature as they were just under-fire for allegedly putting consumers second as they self-promoted their own products in their A9 Algorithm change. However now, they enabled a way to offer a positive user experience before consumers even entered the page. While at the end of the day this could be another play at profitability, I believe the new auto-generated variations will increase clicks, page views, and sessions ultimately benefiting the brands and consumers as well.

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