Amazon Personalizes Recommendations

Source: TechCrunch, Aug 2013

Amazon has been particularly focused over the past few years on extending its personalization features for its sellers on the marketplace, both on the front-end consumer experience and on the backend.

we think about customers in two ways; we obviously think about the Amazon-buying customers and what they need and everything kind of starts with those customers in mind. But we also think of sellers on the Amazon Marketplace as our customers.

And sellers years ago began asking us questions around, what are the things that they can do to improve their business? How can they manage inventory better? What products should they be adding? How do they serve customers better?

And so sellers really value, they have told us, our guidance on when they are about to run out of stock and how much inventory quantity they should carry. And depending on the season of the year, particularly during the holiday season, it’s difficult to know how much inventory to have in stock, as the sales ramp up closer to the holiday season, in November, December.

So one example is that we give — one of our most popular recommendations is called straightforward enough, almost out of stock. So we take a look at how much you are selling; we take a look at the inventory that you have in stock on Amazon, and we make a recommendation based on what we think the forward-looking demand for your product will be, how much more you should add to inventory.

PF: When customers go to search for something on Amazon, and either they can’t find the product at all, which we call no search results, or the search results are of low relevancy, we have a way to measure how relevant the results are we return. We take that information and immediately surface it back up to sellers who already sell similar products and recommend that they also begin to carry these products that customers are looking for.

LR: It sounds like Amazon wants to go beyond just providing the kind of access around the stock or in the fulfillment, but also help them on the backend with their sales and business and things like that.

PF: Yeah, exactly, I think that’s a good way to say it. I mean, right now the most popular areas we are helping sellers on are things like inventory, which we talked about; helping them find new selection, new products to add to Amazon. We’ve got a lot of positive feedback on those recommendations.

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