Best Customers and Velvet Rope Marketing (Part 2)

The Broken Best Customer Experience

I buy a lot of books and some random stuff from Amazon. I have been a customer pretty much from when they started operations in India – possibly a Best Customer. (This is for Amazon to decide based on what they think my Customer Lifetime Value is.) Amazon’s home page is therefore prime estate to target me. They are supposed to have amazing algorithms to target me based on my purchasing history. This is what I saw the other day on the home page:

I have little interest in starting my parenting journey with Amazon – my son is 15 years old! And I have no interest in ACs, washing machines, TVs and fridges. Show me books, books and more books. To be fair, book recommendations did show up later on the page (second scroll).

I have over time learnt to ignore the home page. I invariably never scroll down. I just use the search bar to get to what I want. The home page is a significant lost opportunity for Amazon to sell one of their possible Best Customers a lot more. Here is another screenshot of wasted sales moments:

Netflix is another company which is supposed to have very good targeting algorithms. And yet, I find myself seeing much of the same content that I have ignored for many months. I have seen those recommendations and I am not interested. There is no way for me to tell that to Netflix. It knows I have not clicked on those shows or movies, and yet I have to wade through them. While the recommendation engines are good to targeting me based on what I have watched, they don’t seem to understand what I am not interested in, and therefore not waste screen real estate showing me those recos for the 258th time.

The purpose of these rants is to show how brands miss moments for monetisation (either revenue or attention). I can understand brands not doing it for everyone – but not doing it for Best Customers? Unforgivable in a world where they track not just every transaction but every click and perhaps even eyeball movement.

And it is even worse when it comes to the physical retail stores.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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