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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Service Rant: Amazon.com

I’m disappointed in Amazon.com.

In their 1st twitter foray, they’ve abandoned the thing that I appreciate most about their retail experience – their ability to take my page view and purchase history, construct a startlingly close customer profile and use that for timely product purchase suggestions.

Instead, their twitter presence (amazondeals) behaves like a social media Kmart blue-light special, marketing products to me without regard for appropriate interest. It takes the unbelievably solid permission-based model they’ve developed over years to become the most trusted name in online retailing and moved the brand experience closer to spam.

I understand that social media is very rapidly becoming table stakes for all global brands, and that Amazon may have felt that they needed to "claim their territory", and could settle for getting a viable model into operation and then come back later to improve the experience to look, feel, and interact with customers like the retail site.

They should have taken more time to construct a twitter experience consistent with their flagship online retail experience. It likely wouldn’t have taken much to add a few fields / questions to the Amazon customer profile, request that customers update profiles with their social media personae, and then use the existing retail customer preference profiles to deliver timely, personalized, relevant and permission-based marketing to Amazon users via their facebook / myspace / twitter accounts.

Even if this task would have taken awhile, I have to think it would have been worth it. Their first try is brand deteriorating rather than brand-building.

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