My sister-in-law in NYC just got her first Amazon Local Deal and sent me the following note:

“This is the first time I have ever gotten something like this from Amazon.  I thought you might find the marketing interesting.

The fit with my interests is quite good for an algorithm I’ve never met, but I won’t know until I have gotten a few more to know if it was merely lucky. The fit is more interesting than Amazon or Kindle recommendations that are merely other books by the same author or arcane subject I’ve purchased before. The fit is WAY better than iTunes recommendations.

What they have right is: interest in cooking, preference for “latin” cuisine, upper east side location (though many from our ‘hood would not venture to Spanish Harlem).

I’m not sure how much of the following did or didn’t feed the algorithm… I have purchased cooking-related books for myself and as gifts on Amazon (including Kindle), and cooking equipment and tools (Amazon only, duh). I make restaurant reservations on open table and have a subscription to — but with a different email address — and have made reservations at many latin places. I have never bought any type of service or paid for any type of class via Amazon or PayPal.

I have never heard of the restaurant or chef, but this is interesting enough to me to check it out and maybe even do it.

This might make your brother paranoid. I’m not… yet.”

Amazon has tried to attack local before.  I’ve got to say I buy their entry into daily deals much more than any of the other big guns that have jumped in.  The marriage of purchase behavior data and these offers seems tailor made.  Never too soon for the competition to be paranoid.

Update: Apparently Peter Kafka is not into the Brazilian honey wax thing

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8 Response Comments

  • Stever  August 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Interesting. Sounds like it might be partly lucky instead of algo based as I assume their deal inventory is relatively small to start with. But her purchases of cook books and kitchen tools might have influenced it to some extent. Open table and Zagat are not Amazon properties so doubtful her activities there are being used.

    So yeah, interesting. Even more interesting the other big player (facebook) has jumped out of daily deals so quickly.

  • Andrew Shotland  August 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Guess Facebook sees more $ in being the platform and taking a tax than investing in a local salesforce – for the moment.

  • Zunaira Karim  August 30, 2011 at 6:50 am

    It’s definitely a tailor-made strategy and a good one at that. As Stever mentioned, I doubt that Zagat and Open Table would be influential factors. If you really think about it, this deal is perfect for someone who 1) purchases cookery books, 2) in the upper east side (convenience of location). Overall, convenience of location is a huge selling factor for any business, deal or no deal. If coupon companies could focus their deals on that aspect as well, they could potentially get more purchases.

  • ClickaSite  September 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Guess Facebook sees more $ in being the platform and taking a tax than investing in a local salesforce – for the moment.

  • WOG  September 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Amazon having daily deals, I think that’s a good strategy, specially that people nowadays are more into saving.

  • Sam  September 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I guess they just use the information they have regarding purchases you have made in the past to target their deals directly at you. It would be interesting to see how it reacts to someone who has only purchased one item on Amazon.

  • Andy Klein  September 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Sam, I have to imagine there’s a default offer that they send to people for whom they have limited info. And to Stever’s point, I can’t imagine their deal inventory is large enough that they actually got that granular on purpose. The fact that the offer so closely aligns with the interests of Andrew’s sister-in-law is surely 90% coincidence. But, hey, Amazon has some great info that they can mine to make their offers extremely relevant. Then again, so does Facebook. Will be interesting to see how it goes for them.

  • Hani  May 15, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Even though it might have been luck, you have to admit they’re in a great position to target deals at a micro level. Compared with the random scattergun approach of Groupon and co, Amazon could do some very interesting stuff around daily deals and targetted offers. I’d be surprised if the whole daily deals industry doesn’t head in that direction with more personalised due to the daily-deals-blindness that is developing.