Sunday, October 09, 2005
Went shopping today. Realized the obvious: when brand name stuff is on sale, there are some amazing deals to be had. Wonder if there's a website that lists all the top stores that have a sale. Also, is there a website that tells you when items one likes are on sale?
Where Amazon.com fails
Also realized what is good about Amazon.com and where it sucks. I was looking for books for my 3-year-old nephew. I could not find anything worthwhile at Amazon.com. It was obvious that Amazon does have lots of books for kids. But how to find the good ones? There is a crappy "Editor's list," as well as the half-assed "look inside the book" feature. Neither is really useful. That's where Amazon fails. So we went to Barnes & Nobles and found lots and lots of amazing - truly fabulous - kids' books.
Then I looked for books for some older kids too at Barnes & Nobles. Lots of choices again, but this time I found missing a web-like search feature in the store. Is "The Wizard of Oz" appropriate for a 5-year old? Do they sell Enid Blytons in the US?
A combination of mobile phone and RFID/location technology can bring the best of the two worlds together. The mobile phone can help you search thru Amazon.com, Wikipedia and other sources when you are inside a store. The location/RFID technology can reduce the amount of information you need to type into the device (name of the book, shelf you're standing in front of etc.)
Will such a combination technology really benefit either Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com? That's not quite clear - it will certainly help the customer though.