Amazon scraps popular free sample scheme

Amazon is scrapping its experimental free sample campaign which saw it deliver free items to consumers it thinks they would like to buy.

In January, Amazon announced a free sampling programme which allowed brands to deliver free product samples of items like cosmetics, pet food and groceries to customers, based on their previous purchase history.

“Amazon helps you discover products you might love by sending you FREE samples from new and established brands,” the retailer said on its website when the scheme was launched.

READ MORE: Amazon begins delivering free sample products

“It’s like Amazon’s product recommendations, but real, so you can try, smell, feel, and taste the latest products. There is no obligation to purchase or review the product and you can opt out at any time.”

Amazon told CNBC that it has “decided to discontinue the sampling program in 2020”, confirming a report in Business Insider.

Though the retailer did not state why it was being scrapped, it is understood that the programme raised privacy concerns among customers increasingly wary of targeted marketing.

Brands who took part in the scheme were reportedly charged $2 for every sample delivered, plus the price of the same itself.

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