Every so often, when feeling momentarily wealthy or enthusiastic, I visit my Amazon wishlist and buy some things. Depending on how strongly I feel that way, I might buy up to four or five things.
It’s a mild pain to buy several wishlist things in a row, though, because with every “Add to Cart” click, the next screen is a come-on to look at items that people who bought my thing tended to also buy, when what I really want is to buy more things from my list. I have to hit ‘Back’ or otherwise navigate back to the wishlist in a hurry, so I can continue my buying frenzy before good frugal sense takes over and I stop buying at all.
Now, why would Amazon want to do that to me, since I’ve just declared that right now I want to buy some particular thing from a page full of things that I earlier declared that I someday wanted to buy?
Doesn’t this mean that the promised day has finally arrived? Why not show me that page again, and ask me if I still feel lucky? I can only think of three reasons (speculating wildly of course):
1) Although the idea of sending you right back to the wishlist (along with an acknowledgement of cart addition and a big “Proceed to Checkout” button) occurred to me in about two minutes, it’s never occurred to Amazon’s expert team of data-enabled revenue optimizers. (Let’s discount this one.)
2) As an architectural matter, their “Add to Cart” destination page is not well-equipped to do different things based on the source page, including fancy site-internal redirection. Although you _might_ want to customize the just-added-to-cart behavior based on source (and the revenue-optimizers have been clamoring for it) they’re just not there yet. (I think this is more likely, but still unlikely.)
3) I’m a buying-behavior oddball. Although some weirdos like me get all OCD about their wishlists, most people are like totally ADD, and are most suggestible about other people’s opinions right when they’ve bought something from the wishlist (and in fact it’s very rare for people to buy more than one thing). The Amazon analysts have done all the analysis, and have average-cased me out for the time being. (And by 2007, they’ll have special-cased me back in by clustering customers by their site navigation and purchasing behavior, and we’ll also see not only different pageflow but different composition of page elements based on who you are and in which configurations you have tended to buy … but they’re just not there yet.) I’m betting on this one.