“Amazon is always changing the rules without explaining,” said Atkinson. “I realized they’re not a charity, but a small company like ours doesn’t stand a chance.”
James Thomson, former Amazon executive and chief strategy officer at marketing consulting firm Buy Box Experts, said tensions between the online retail giants and small mask makers reflect the competition. Big discussion on the overwhelming power of online platforms dominating the retail landscape. Mr. Thomson, whose company helps brands navigate Amazon’s complex sales policies, said their seemingly contradictory approach to N95 masks – claiming such products are exclusive to Medical staff but later allowed the exception to the masks they purchased in bulk – perhaps a massive outgrowth over Amazon’s platform consumer loyalty strategy.
“Even if they don’t make money off the mask, it’s really about keeping the customer happy so they won’t go anywhere else,” said Thomson. “The point is, if they allow these activities to scale, it becomes disruptive to anything other than Amazon.”
It’s hard to overstate the sales power of tech giants. Max Bock-Aronson, co-founder of Breathe99, a Minnesota startup whose washable mask filters out 99.6% of microscopic particles, said his company has been sick since when Facebook dropped ads in December, resulting in a 50% drop. in sales. “Due to our cash flow difficulties, we can only produce small batches of masks but they will sell out immediately,” said Mr. Bock-Aronson.
He said that he was particularly annoyed by the company’s claims to protect the public due to Facebook’s reluctance to handle disinformation surrounding pandemic and political content on its platform. me.
“It’s annoying because we were waving our hands, saying ‘Hey, we have a better mask that can protect people,’ but we weren’t really allowed to talk about that on their website. ,” I said. “It’s hard to start a business in the usual time, but almost impossible when these companies close you out of the market.”
In the statements, Facebook, Google and Amazon said they had no plans to immediately revise the policy.