Monday, March 24, 2008

I love and am annoyed by Amazon.com

For those of you who use Amazon.com, maybe you'll understand this following post. If you don't use Amazon (Really?) then ignore this post. I emailed the following to a friend of mine who works for Amazon.


I was using Amazon today, and had a thought that I figured I'd share with you, as it has been an annoyance of mine for some time. I fully understand this isn't your department, I'm passing it onto you because maybe you can get some credit for it or something.

I love Amazon and nearly all of it's functionality. The one thing that annoys me is the wish list. It annoys me in two ways. The one that prompted this email is that when I am viewing a product (today it was a book called Fusion by Nelson Searcy) I see "Add to Wish list" in the right side bar. You may question why is this an annoyance? Because this item is already on my wish list. But my wish list is long. Hundreds of books (and other things too). Too long for me to remember them all. Could Amazon code something to tell me this is already in my wish list (switching the button to say "In Wish list)? This would be saving me from clicking the add button to only then find out that it is already in my wish list, wasting my time and frustrating me. Or maybe Amazon could tell me "Hey, you've looked at this book 3 times now." Amazon could offer an incentive like "If you buy this widget you've looked at 4 times now with this other really good widget that pairs well with it (or that many other buyers are also buying) and we'll give you free shipping." Obviously more concisely stated than that, but you get the idea.

My other annoyance covers two areas - the wish list and the recommendations. When I am looking at my wish list and editing it (removing things generally) the system is pretty crappy. Say I am on item #34 and I delete it. When the page refreshes it moves my location on the screen. Ideally I'd like to see the screen updated with the old #34 deleted and what was #35 now as #34 so I can continue on editing from this point rather than scrolling all around trying to figure out that I was indeed on #34 (since now that one is gone I've lost my marker for where I was working). The recommendation system is similarly screwy, but worse in that it will change the order of things as I work to improve my recommendations. I understand it triggers a reassessment of what would be the best recommendation for me, but I'd suggest a built in time lapse function so I can edit my recommendations without new recommendations being updated. Then have a button or something where I can manually trigger a new set of recommendations. Set a cookie for this to expire a few hours later, so that I have time to make my edits, but the next visit I will be able to get all my recommendations fresh without having to manually trigger updated recommendations.

I really think this would trigger an improved customer experience on Amazon.com.

2 comments:

Shantih333 said...

One thing you can do that makes removing items easier (if you have to do lots of items on the list) is set the quantity desired to "0" on each one you want to delete, and then at the bottom of the page click on "save changes" on any item--it saves everything you changed as though you'd deleted it.

Nelson said...

I hope you get that Fusion book soon - its great (but I'm a little biased)!

In the mean time you might want to check out the two podcasts I recently did on Fusion:

wwww.ChurchLeaderInsights.com/podcasting

All the best!

Nelson

Nelson Searcy
Lead Pastor, The Journey, NYC
www.JourneyMetro.com

Author, Fusion
www.ChurchLeaderInsights.com