Data is king at Amazon. Clickstream and purchase data are the crown jewels at Amazon. They help us build features to personalize the website experience – Ronny Kohavi, Former Director of Data Mining and Personalization, Amazon.com
It was a time when successful businesses are the one about whom more and more customers know and today successful businesses are the one who know about their customers as much as possible like how businesses in small town know about their customers, for example, a hairdresser knows what is Mr. Phill’s preferred hairstyle and a tailor in the same town knows what is Mr. Dawson’s shirt size and just because of that Mr. Phill and Mr Dawson will not go anywhere to get services. However, this is about a small town business which has limited customers but what if you have a global customer base? Will it be easy for you to learn everything about everyone? Most definitely your response will be “No” unless you have supernatural powers like “Professor X” from the movie “X-man”.
Data is everywhere, and its value has risen to the point that corporations such as Amazon, eBay, Meta, Twitter and many others are spending tons of money to collect it. However, it is difficult to collect information of customers due to several reasons, which are accessibility, customer privacy concerns, security, and legality, to name a few. So, how exactly do they do it?
Let me ask you a few questions before I answer the above one.
- Have you ever wondered about what are cookies and terms & conditions pop-ups on which you usually click “Accept” (without reading it) when you open any social or E-commerce websites?
- Have you ever come across a pop-up survey for feedback on a service/product you just received?
- How many signatures did you do while buying membership of gym or Costco?
My answer is in above questions and that’s how they do it. Every time you accept their terms you are allowing them to store your data. They use this data to find their answers like purchase patterns, preferred price, product and payment methods, location etc. This data helps them to prepare an offer for the type of service/product you are looking for. For example, when you open an E-commerce website the first thing you will see on your dashboard is recommended products which are based on your last purchases or search history.
However, We are here only discussing about business and customers but there is a lot going on out there with your data. If you don’t know, there have been many claims already of data stealing to design the campaign for presidential election. Not shocked yet! then you should search “Cambridge Analytica” on Google.