I heart Amazon.com

31 05 2011

I’m a bibliophile. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that I love amazon.com. I love it a lot.

My love for Amazon’s site has nothing to do with design. I don’t find it aesthetically pleasing. Actually, I think it’s a jumbled, mish-mashed mess. My love of this site comes from its simplicity. Despite all the photos, banners, links, ads, special offers, lists, and other stuff, I know each time I visit, all I have to do is choose “books” from the drop-down menu, type in what I want in the box to the right, and then hit “go.”

Viola. Here comes what I’ve been looking for. Simple. Simply beautiful.

And, on Amazon, I don’t have to have the author’s name spelled correctly. I don’t even have to have the exact title of the book. Amazon does it for me. It allows me to get what I want quickly and easily with no – or very little – thinking involved. It’s obvious.

And that, my friends, is one of the elements that makes an effective website, according to web guru Steve Krug, who wrote “Don’t Make me Think. A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.”

Steve (I’ve never met him, but if I did I would hope I could call him Steve) says effective websites need to be self-evident, obvious, self-explanatory. As web users, we should be able to figure out what the site is and how to use it without having to think very much. 

My other favorite web guru, Gerry McGovern, who wrote “Killer Web Content,” says successful websites put their customers first.

That’s exactly what Amazon does. In addition to making it easy for me to find what I’m looking for even if I mess up the spelling, the site allows me to buy it with just one click (I love that) and also offers me recommendations based on my previous purchase (I love that, too). 

I bet you love Amazon, too. Don’t you? Tell me about it.

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11 responses

31 05 2011
dcaryll

I agree with your post and also enjoy the simplicity. I think Amazon’s greatest strength is something that it did before most other websites, relied on user reviews for quality reviews of the products. Would you ever consider buying a product that had one star and 50 reviews? It’s great how reliable it is and it forces sellers to provide the best quality and service for purchases.

31 05 2011
imcpat

Dan,
You’re right about the value of the reviews. There have been several times I’ve wanted to purchase a book from an author I hadn’t read before. However, if I saw the negative reviews I changed my mind.

Of course, that works the other way as well. If I’m on the fence about a book, several positive reviews will push me over to the other side, and I’ll be buying it with the one-click feature.
Pat

31 05 2011
Kara

I love Amazon for the variety of items I can find in one place, with very little hassle. When one of the boys decides that their “must-have” toy for Christmas or a birthday is something no one in our local area carries? I can go to Amazon and have it in a few days, often on sale and/or with free shipping. When I need Underarmour cold gear in the late spring because Bradford hasn’t thawed yet when the rest of the world has? Amazon has it. In a wider variety of colors than any of our local stores carry even at the peak of their inventory. One order this spring included science fair project supplies, new Camelbak water bottles in everyone’s favorite colors, the elusive heat gear, and an extra pair of the exact brand/style baseball pants the team provided. Can’t beat it!

1 06 2011
imcpat

I often forget that Amazon has more than books, Kara. But, the more I go there, the more I realize that the site offers a cornucopia of products.

A couple of months ago, I bought a little penguin cake pan that I hadn’t seen anywhere else.

31 05 2011
Jim

Great one click shopping, offers shipping discounts and open 24/7.

1 06 2011
Lauren

I love Amazon too, although I have to admit that they make it a bit too easy to impulse shop. Now that they have my credit card information stored, I don’t even have to trudge across the house to get my wallet – a short period of time that might have caused me to have second thoughts about buying that new book!

1 06 2011
imcpat

You’re so right, Lauren. Amazon makes it so easy. We don’t have to have our credit card handy, We don’t have to have the spelling of the author exact. We don’t have to hit a lot of buttons.

The only thing missing is that great feeling you get when visiting a book store.

2 06 2011
Gina Furlano

I love amazon because I am big fan of old movies which are not always available at the DVD store. I have also found DVD’s of old classic holiday shows we watched as kids and can now share them with my granddaughter.

2 06 2011
imcpat

I”m looking forward to sharing those great old movies with my granddaughter as well. Lucky for us we can find and purchase them at Amazon. Another reason to love Amazon.

16 06 2011
Matt

I really only think of Amazon for books, CD’s and DVD’s. Lost a lot of old blues albums that were vinyl in Katrina and have been able to replace many through Amazon.
Let’s face it, there’s an efficiency in large providers and Amazon has that.

16 06 2011
imcpat

For the most part, I still think of Amazon that sells only books, although I purchased a sweet set of penguin coffee mugs from the site not too long ago.

I do appreciate that the site almost always has what I’m looking for, even if it’s an older book that other sites like Barnes and Noble don’t have.

You’re right. Amazon is very efficient.

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