Well, this is new – Amazon now lets you shop for your next car or truck, right on their website. Or, at least it’s new to me – have you seen this before?
I was checking to see if Amazon had any live listings for toilet paper (it has almost become a game at this point), and at the bottom of the page they had an ad for a GMC truck. I clicked the banner, and it took me to an Amazon listing for the truck.
Looking deeper, they have a whole section for “vehicle” shopping.
I don’t yet know if this is a good thing.
Are these new car and truck listings accurate? Are they helpful? Or are customers better off with all of the very many auto research websites, magazines, and resources currently available?
There are user reviews – here’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee as an example.
Amazon says that they are: Your trusted destination for automotive research, with features such as:
- Customer and expert reviews
- New and used pricing
- Images, videos, and 360 views
- Detailed features and specifications
The “expert reviews” part could be problematic, if they’re anything like the expert reviews and “editorial recommendations” Amazon has been featuring all over their site on search results pages.
Amazon is already competing with publishers, blogs, review sites, and magazines, with “editorial recommendations” that they aren’t vetting.
They seem to have made some changes to the program, but the quality doesn’t look to be getting better. I’ve recently been shopping for some kitchen gear, and all of the “editorial recommendations” I’ve seen so far were completely unhelpful, similar to what I’ve seen in their tool recommendations, seemingly solely drawn from Amazon’s bestsellers lists.
To be transparent, we were contacted by a company that helps to manage Amazon’s on-page editorial reviews, and signed on, but as far as I’m aware none of our content made it on the site yet. Then again, I also haven’t created any suitable posts or content yet, at least not with the intent of targeting republication on Amazon.
Right now, Amazon links to car makers’ websites, and I wonder – how long will it be before you can order your next car or truck right on Amazon’s website? Imagine that – curbside delivery of your new car, ordered through Amazon from your smartphone.
Should that happen, what will happen to auto research and reference sites? Run a Google search for “best [tool of your choice],” and see how many junk websites there are, with shallow information and the sole intent of getting you to click those Amazon affiliate links.
There are some listings for used cars as well, but not much aside from photos and approximate pricing.
If Amazon puts effort into this, their car and truck shopping tool could be a helpful resource to customers. But will that hold true if they leave their algorithm to run things? A tool like this needs people behind it.
Amazon has tried a lot of different things over the years. They started providing home services via local contractors, and quite a few years ago they tried to provide contractor suppliers and jobsite deliveries. They absorbed Small Parts and launched Amazon Supply, with the intent of it being a source for industrial, scientific, and office supplies. They closed Amazon Supply in 2015.
How long this automotive research experiment run for, and where it will go?