According to the sources, Amazon India has halted the use of an important tool called “search-seeding” over the past few months. This tool helped in deciding which products appear first in searches on its Indian marketplace.
Search seeding is responsible for boosting the chances of products to appear on the coveted first page of results, once a consumer looked for a certain product. Amazon India said in its statement that it does not provide any tool to sellers that can manipulate the ranking of shopping results.
The move comes at a time when e-commerce portals in India and across the world are under regulatory scrutiny over carious practices, specially over few contracts favouring some merchants.
A merchant, who independently sells his goods on Amazon and also supplies to Amazon-backed seller firms, said that he has used the seeding feature to improve search results. “We were provided with search word-based analytics on the platform about twice a month, which helps sellers using those keywords to appear on top results,” he added. However, Amazon disabled the search seeding feature months ago since it was abused by various merchants.
According to the merchant quoted earlier, appearing on the first couple of pages is critical as consumers often don’t search for multiple pages. “Without it, my products hardly appeared on the top results and one has to opt for other tool like sponsored advertisements,” he added.
This directly impacts the sales figure. Amazon has over 5,00,000 sellers in India and it’s important for sellers that consumers see their product first. “Search-seeding helps you appear on the first couple of pages once someone is looking for a certain product. Keywords used to list that particular product, based on the segment, are a critical part of search-seeding. That listing would get pushed up in the marketplace by design. Various factors go into determining top results, like reviews, ranking, price and relevance,” added the merchant quoted earlier.
In addition to this, Amazon is also planning to bring Vine for new private brand programme Accelerator products exclusively in India. Vine is a curated network of top reviewers, who based on their choice, can review a product before it is released on the marketplace.