Amazon sends stupid recommendation emails


The battery on my Casio Pro Trek watch died a couple of weeks ago. These amazing sport watches have a few battery-hungry features like compass, barometer, thermometer, altimeter, alarm and light. As a result it has 4xSR927W batteries.

Sony SR927W batteries for Casio Pro Trek watch

Searching the Internet I found the exact Japan-made Sony batteries on Amazon UK and ordered them. No problem with payment and delivery but today, 1 week after the order I opened my mailbox to see a ridiculous advertisement email from Amazon! Based on my purchase Amazon has suggested me “similar” batteris! Here it is:

Amazon battery recommendation advertisement email

OK, so let’s see what Amazon thinks I should buy:

  • 1 x Sony 377 SR626SW
  • One (1) X Sony 371 SR920SW
  • One (1) X Sony 321 SR616SW
  • 1 x Sony 321 SR616SW
  • 1 x Sony SWN-PB, SR621SW
  • … (other non-interesting batteries)

I bought 4 x SR927W batteries. That’s what my watch needs. I’m done! The watch is working! Why would Amazon think that I need those different batteries? There are several problems:

  1. None of the batteries that Amazon has recommended don’t fit this watch. The recommendation system may work for books but not for spare parts! “Similar Books” can be a good email, but “Similar Batteries” is an epic fail!
  2. I have already bought the spare part I need. Why would Amazon try to sell me what I don’t need anymore? Except if it assumes that the first batteries didn’t work and I need new batteries within a week. Again, this advertisement method may work for books but not spare parts!
  3. This particular watch needs 4 batteries. I know I can increase the number of an item in my shopping card. Those “1 x” and “One (1) X” prefixes on those recommendations is unnecessary. It just makes the email crowded. One may argue that Amazon is trying to mention that it is only one battery. But I would say it’s not necessary to mention that in the email.

Sending such stupid advertisement messages questions credibility and intelligence of sender. I most often don’t even open advertisement messages. But Amazon was different. As a top high-tech companies founded by one of the greatest minds of our time, Amazon had enough credibility for me to open their email and spend my time to read it. Yet it was complete garbage.

The reason I spent more time to write this post is because Amazon is well-known for having smart Business Intelligence algorithms and great usability. If they manage to screw it up, there are many smaller companies who can screw it up too!


There comes several solutions to my mind.

  1. Use a smarter advertisement method for spare parts. For example, when I buy batteries for my watch, it means I can repair a watch. Maybe I would be interested to the equipment for repairing watches.
  2. If you can’t send a meaningful recommendation, don’t sent it at all! I wouldn’t contact Amazon support complaining why they don’t send me a recommendation! The important point to realize is: if you have nothing important to say, just shut up! In this case, not only Amazon didn’t sell me anything, it got itself bad reputation.

If you have any other solution/suggestion, please share your thoughts in the comments.


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