Amazon is using machine learning to send free samples you'll likely enjoy

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,698   +124
Staff member

Amazon is piloting a new program that could become an instrumental part of its overall advertising strategy and give it a leg-up on competitors like Facebook and Google.

Axios, citing recent job listings, details on Amazon’s website and first-hand accounts on social media, reports that Amazon is using machine learning to study purchasing data and hand-select customers to receive free samples of products they are likely to buy.

Amazon says it surprises select customers with samples, adding that you don’t have to be a Prime member to receive freebies. Examples of products that have historically been sampled include coffee, dog food and granola bars.

Amazon is no stranger to product samples. The company previous offered a sampling program that allowed shoppers to sample products and earn credit towards the purchase of a full-sized product but it has since been discontinued.

Naturally, Amazon declined to comment when pinged by Axios.

While most would probably love to receive unexpected freebies in the mail, Axios notes that some customers may feel violated when something random shows up at their doorstep. I’m not sure if “violated” is the right word – perhaps irritated over something that could potentially be deemed as wasteful?

Would you like Amazon to send you free samples or would you rather not be bothered with stuff you didn’t order?

Lead image courtesy Artur Szczbylo via Shutterstock

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,606   +6,117
Free samples eh? Now that will be refreshing .... haven't seen anyone do that ( I mean a REAL free sample ) in a long, long time!


Posts: 5,461   +6,134
I'd be willing to pay for a sampler of say 10 different products. Not everyone wants to invest in bulk quantity without first trying.

Right side bob

In my opinion the free sample idea is neat. But there should be a setting to turn off free samples but still keep it a surprise. Or the samples might be wasted.


"betting that free samples will better convince shoppers to purchase products than ads on a website"
I want to know who is clicking all these ads and buying stuff....for example the ads on this page (I would think yours would be different)...
Dedicated server winter sale: I haven't been near a server for 10 years and even then all I did was change the crypto on the KG-84.
Investors who want to retire comfortably: It starts "if you have a $500,000 portfolio".., well no use to me LOL
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Free download of Configuration Management Tool for Routers, Switches, Firewalls; sorry, no use to me

Again, it seems these ads are pointless and useless, I have no idea how companies make money off them (the ones selling the products, not the ones selling the ads). I can't recall ever seeing an ad and buying the stuff. Instead I do research, pick and track down the item. Ads are worthless except to the extent they promote a brand name (I actually do buy Tide detergent, perhaps the ads all my life had an effect?), but then there are brands I avoid.
I also can't imagine what free sample Amazon could send me that basically wouldn't be unsolicited junk.