Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Amazon Stores Work, but Why?

A few years ago I signed up with Amazon as an "associate" to see how it worked. I use it to demonstrate e-commerce, but until last month I hadn't earned enough for Amazon to send me a cheque. A few weeks ago I tried call an "Amazon Store". This is simply a web page hosted on the Amazon system with whatever heading and product categories I choose.

People started buying things from the store. I have no clear idea where the orders are coming from, or why. No one seems to buy any of the things I listed on the front page of the shop; they buy an odd assortment of other things. Amazon's tracking tools are not as good as Google's.

Just see if it works I signed my brother up. He advises parents and teachers on learning problems with their children. So the store has books, voice recognition software and spelling aids. His web site has a low hit rate so it will be interesting to see if anyone buys anything.

Amazon have improved the store system in the last few days, so I set up a few more stores:
So far only a few dozen people have visited them and no one has bought anything.

Speaking of tacky, I noticed that the Amazon link builder puts a web bug in the links creates for my web site. I find these annoying so manually chopped these out. I wonder if the system works without them.

Amazon also have "Omakase Links", which attempts to create a similar look to Google advertisements. It attempts to list items relevant to the web site, but is not as good at this as Google AdSense. Also it includes prices, which looks tacky and I told it not to include images, but it still puts an animated image in occasionally. Amazon need to do a lot more work to catch up with Google in terms of on-line advertising.


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