Solimo and Amazon Basics — Amazon India’s nepotism children
As a coding tutor and retired full stack developer, I know a thing or two about technology. I also know how much tech companies love their ‘data’. The world’s largest retailer, Amazon, also happens to be amongst the world’s largest tech company.
That means, like any other business, Amazon will try and use the treasure trove of data, for their benefit.
Full disclosure : My house is filled with Solimo and Amazon Basics products and I am along time Amazon Prime customer. Sometimes, as part of my work, I use Amazon Web Services.
One day, when I am wealthy billionaire, I also plan to go to space with an Amazon Blue Origin space ship, yes!
Whatever are the morally questionable ways Solimo products are made, these products are good. And cheap.
This morning, I read this article on engadget, Amazon India allegedly copied products and promoted its own versions in searches
I am surprised it took so long for the tech press to realize that Amazon has been doing this ‘product cannibalization’. As with the famous ‘camel and tent’ story, it starts small.
Like really small.
- Solimo branded pillows. These pillows look exactly like the most popular pillows. But, they cost 10 % less and have better packaging, product photography and cool lettering and product description.
- Amazon Basics monitor stand. These monitor stands look exactly like the most popular monitor stands. But, they cost 10 % less and have better packaging, product photography and cool lettering and product description.
- Solimo Pack of 3 T-shirts. These t-shirts look exactly like the most popular t-shirts. But, they cost 10 % less and have better packaging, product photography and cool lettering and product description.
- ……[In some distant future]
- Solimo and Amazon Basics Car! It looks exactly like Suzuki Maruti car, but, hold on, they cost 10 % cheaper! Howza! I love my brand new Solima Amazon Basics budget car man. Thanks to Amazon Prime, I get free petrol every month as part of my prime subscription.
Really though, I am not sure if this is right or wrong. During my MBA days, I learnt, a good business always tries to find holes in the market and fill them.
No double entendre intended.
Perhaps, the best example, is my own career. All my clients are based in US or UK or Europe. Many of them say that, I am an Indian freelancer who works in American style. That is the hole I fill, and god’s grace (and touchwood, I hope it keeps going like this), and I make money from it.
So, Amazon India, uses its treasure trove of data to incubate a company — Solimo or Amazon Basics — which is data driven. Data is fed into machine learning and what not, and it gives product ideas about the different product categories (pillow covers, HDMI cables…) which are fast moving goods.
Amazon India uses its financial muscle, places bulk orders or imports them at very low prices. Then, sells it to us Indians.
The (allegedly) morally unenthical part is, Amazon is a seller who is also running the platform. That means, it has an (allegedly) unfair advantage — access to data that other sellers dont have-and hence, yeah.
That would be (allegedly) cheating.
Oh my god! Amazon India just announced the Solimo Basics TV. It’s 10 % cheaper than the next highest selling TV. I got to buy it right now.