10 Ways to Improve Amazon.com

#1: Better pictures, at minimum a scan of the actual product box

so we can read it for ourselves. You need better pictures because your item descriptions are so anemic. Also, try and provide some kind of scale. Sure, white backgrounds look pretty but they don’t tell me how big it is. If this is too difficult for you then at least make a program that encourages people to upload their own by giving them points they can redeem for something silly like MP3 downloads, etc.  (see #6)

#2: Allow us to sort by the # of reviews,

I don’t trust your “bestselling” algorithm at all. Alternatively allow us to narrow bestselling by the date, say I want to know the best selling MP3 of the last week, not all time. Come to think of it, do that with the number of reviews too, say only rank for reviews placed in the last year.

#3:  Make “See more technical details” expand on click:

now is a link to a separate page and sometimes it doesn’t even have any more info! For god’s sake, that takes seconds to load and go back and not everyone has a back button on their mouse. Just make it auto expand on click with some javascript. Also: I should be able to set a preference in my account to always show it!

#4: Stop embedding my amazon search terms in the page

that is served up. Often I am looking for a specific very unique keyword and it is VERY ANNOYING to search through the whole page in firefox. click>highlight>click>highlight>click>highlight…this gos on FOREVER and the word isn’t even on the “real” page. For gods sake if you HAVE to do this just do it once or twice! BTW, if your search function didn’t suck so bad I would be able to narrow my query down to just product description, title, etc…

#5: Link to the manufacturer’s product page

for gods sake! If you have such crappy descriptions and pics then at least don’t make me search on my own for the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes this can take a long time because not every company has good SEO for their site and many are just in flash. Newegg does it, I LOVE IT, i use it all the time!

#6: Physical product dimensions

and actual product weight, with and without batteries and accessories. Sometimes this is provided, sometimes not and it is often ambiguous. Often all you get is the size/weight of the bloody package it comes in! The weight spec  is of particular concern to backpackers who obsess over every ounce they carry into the woods.

#7: Better descriptions

they seriously suck right now. Really, really, really bad. Sometimes there is NO DESCRIPTION, often it is a cut and paste from the manufacturer which is fine but at least style it to make it easier to read. Right now they read like a 600 word run on sentence. I could go on and on and on with examples and suggestions…

#8: Make reviews sortable by date/comments/ranking WITHIN product page.

Just like the “technical details” you have to load another page and that takes seconds, many of them on my slow connection and slow computer. You know what? Some people ALWAYS want the newest by default. At least let me set that as a preference. Yeah, I know this will push down your amazon vine reviews but… Here is a perfect example, the peek pronto messaging device. Looks GREAT but its service is discontinued, it is BRICKED and the buyer wouldn’t know that by looking at the glowing reviews that have 2 years worth of thumbs up tacking them to the top. Granted now the negative reviews are bubbling up but when I almost bought this 4 months ago it was all 5 stars on the product page. BTW: why are you selling bricks??

#9: Sorting based on price should be on the NEW price by default!

Here is an example with bluetooth speakers. I could care less that someone is selling it used for $20, if I narrow my results down to “$10-$25”  “amazon prime only” – Dont show me a product that is priced $45!

#10: expand your advanced search to ALL items.

Right now your advanced search it is basically books and a few other categories. Most of my grips could be solved by incoropating the BASIC FUNCTIONALITY I have ranted about in all of the above!

That’s it for now. Basically you are the biggest but far from the best. Either your database is too large and incomplete or you are trying to funnel people into purchases you want them to make for your own reasons. (I think that explains a lot, you probably see the above bugs as “features”) Regardless, I spend a large chuck of my income at your site yet it continually aggravates and frustrates me. You have the resources to fix this. This bad of a customer experience can’t be good in the long run. Have you grown too large to care?

Bonus #11: Hire me.

I can help you sell more stuff by giving your customers what they want. Yes, I design website interfaces. Yes, I am obsessed with user experience and accessibility.  And I must be a world-class expert at it because given my experience on the largest online retailer in the world you guys must be hiring friends with no experience or nepotism or be locked in analysis paralysis and inter-departmental power struggles or all of the above. Whatever the case I just don’t want to believe that you just don’t care because you are already #1.

Update Bonus #12: Let me search in my wishlist for heaven’s sake! I have 72 pages full of 1786 items I want to buy and it can be a pain to find some exact item you spent hours researching a few months ago! Make it easy for me to find the stuff I ALREADY TOLD YOU I WANTED TO BUY!!

I found a workaround though I shouldn’t have to do this: select “print” your wishlist, screenshot below:

click there and you can search a new pop up window with all your items on one page

it opens up in a popup window. Rather than printing it use the search function in your browser to easily find what you are looking for but for some amazon doesn’t want you to easily find.


5 thoughts on “10 Ways to Improve Amazon.com

  1. Thank you for this! I literally laughed out loud. I keep thinking to myself ‘They’re gonna change it any time now. The new and improved Amazon.com with 20th century search and sort functionality. It’s just around the corner! I know they MUST be working on it’. It’s been YEARS, and I’ve seen nothing. Ridiculous. I don’t even buy from them anymore unless I know EXACTLY what I am looking for.

    • Thanks for the comment – soo glad you liked it and that people are actually reading it! I saw a burst of traffic once and I figure Amazon themselves were looking at it internally…. But that was a year ago and guess what? Nothing has changed. Nada.

      Amazon is the Wall Mart of the internet and as far as I can tell they either

      1) Don’t want to spend ANY money for ANY kind of advanced search page that a grad school computer science intern could write in a week.

      2) They think they are so awesome they don’t want to change or it would confuse people.

      3) Want all their customers to do their work for them – working out so far! I can’t tell you how many pics and labels I have scanned and uploaded for them, not to mention reviews detailing the products that lack any meaningful description – for NOTHING in return (unless you give a rip about your reviewer rank or something). Unless you get into the “vine” program I don’t see any benefit other than wanting to help poor saps like myself. I’m such a tool! LOL

      What should be illegal is buying food or supplements through them. At a MINIMUM shouldn’t they be required to list the nutrition info that is standard on US packaging? Some people with special diets need to know what is in stuff and would rather not order it and send it back.

  2. Thank you for the above post @intellectualconversation..
    A simple feedback, though for word-sake or heartfelt, brings a enormous change to a person or organistaion..I very much appreciate it on of behalf of Amazon and as a person who regularly shops at Amazon..Thanks you..
    See, it is no wonder to realize and pinpoint a bad in every organization that is top-class, what is great about a stuff is, when u take the responsibity to upgarde it, even when u r a non-profit directly..
    I as a simpleton, will take forward ur thoughts..but as a matter of fact there has been lot of changes in the wewbsite overall and u could see it..but whatever is lagging will be taken care of..

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