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Amazon’s Latest Patent: Guessing Religion Based On Giftwrap

Written by Evan Schuman
January 4th, 2012

Patent filings are fun documents, in that they provide a peek into the most creative what-if visions of leading retailers. With the caveat that most patents are never productized—and for good reason—they offer a moment of pure research, pure idea, without the burden of market realities to dilute the dream. And when these ideas come from Amazon, it’s even better.

With that in mind, Amazon is floating the idea of launching a social service. Whether it would be a dating site or a potential business partner finder or just a more intelligent way of choosing who to hang with online, that’s not clear. But it is clear that Amazon is drooling over its vast CRM files and trying to figure out how much money it can make off them.

The Amazon filing starts by capturing all activity from Amazon, so it can better match consumers with other consumers.

“The analyzed behaviors may include the item purchases, item rentals, item viewing activities, Web browsing activities and/or search histories of the users. The items may, for example, include book titles, music titles, movie titles and/or other types of items that tend to reflect the traits and interests of users having affinities for such items,” the filing says. “The event data may, for example, include user order histories indicative of the particular items purchased and/or rented by each user. Event data reflective of other types of user actions, such as item-detail-page viewing events, browse node visits and/or search query submissions, may additionally or alternatively be considered. By taking catalog-item-related event data into consideration, the matching service reduces the burden on users to explicitly supply personal profile information and reduces poor results caused by exaggerations and other inaccuracies in such profile information.”

In other words, customers don’t have to tell us their likes and dislikes; we already know. (The one thing this filing lacks is good sound effects. To try and address this oversight, StorefrontBacktalk is suggesting that readers, while reviewing this story, periodically play this 3-second MP3 file.)


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

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