Amazon to allow merchants to email customers directly

The commerce giant is launching a solution to help third-party sellers re-market to segments of their audience.

Amazon is launching Tailored Audiences, a tool that will enable sellers to send free emails to customers and monitor results. The announcement came at Amazon’s Accelerate conference this week. In the past, Amazon has been reluctant to allow third-party merchants to directly contact Amazon customers.

Merchants will be able to target recent, repeat and high spending shoppers. Amazon had offered sellers an easy way to acquire customers; this is seen as a retention and re-marketing move with the potential to increase customer lifetime value. It also has the potential, of course, to alienate customers by flooding their inboxes with unwanted marketing materials.

Tailored audiences is currently in beta and is expect to be generally available early in 2023.

Amazon’s take. “Brands are able to quickly acquire new customers in the Amazon store, but they expressed a need for improved tools to increase customer lifetime value,” said Benjamin Hartman, VP of Amazon North America Selling Partner Services in a release. “These improvements help unlock the value of remarketing as we further our commitment to helping sellers reach the right customer, at the right time.”

Why we care. We buy from Amazon and we don’t need to get any more emails. For all the talk of customer-centricity in marketing, this is an initiative plainly based on demands from sellers. Instead of asking what the customer wants and needs, Amazon is throwing a bone to the universe of third-party sellers that uses its platform and with which it has long had a love-hate relationship.

Amazon sellers are constantly frustrated by the impersonal, algorithm-based decision-making of the commerce giant. Here’s something to make them happy — as long as it doesn’t backfire.

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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.