Today I was going through the Amazon app to buy a carpet. Looking at the homepage made me curious about how Amazon is prioritizing the homepage.
So, the homepage’s first fold is broken into 6 parts:
- Search, QR scan
- Quick link icons
- Marketing space to cross-sell or sell within app
- Widgets for user jobs on Amazon’s Pay side
- Marketing space to cross-sell miniTv content
- Bottom nav button
My curiosity started when I saw that cross selling marketing space was taking over 40% of the entire app display. Amazon’s homepage team has this space where other team can add image and link and cross sell whatever is the company’s major objective for the week.
My question is why isn’t product suggestions or past product which were viewed but not bought being displayed here? This is a prime space. I have 2 guesses about this:
- Amazon users have burned their hands with online shopping which showcases tonnes of ads and unneccessary suggestions. Now, the users have formed a block bias where they simply ignore this section and go on to do their jobs (buying product). Since, this doesn’t significantly degrade their core product selling business, this estate remains.
- Amazon has a wide array of business from sponsored products, prime, miniTV, etc. These products keep users occupied in the Amazon ecosystem thereby increasing engagement (clicks and time spend), thereby increasing users comfort and chance of generating revenue.
I do think Homepage team can personalize the page to some degree where users who don’t use primevideo or miniTv at all, they can be shown a different homepage which prioritizes shopping experience. When someone is using Amazon as just there shopping app, if it does a good job at it, company can further increase the revenue. Rather than showcasing irrelevant products which might work.
A more interesting point is that the priority of marketing real estate is above the user’s job. Job refers to the reason why the user came to the app where my(as a customer) job is shopping for carpet.
Business needs(Cross-sell) >>> Users’ needs (Aid in shopping)
The 4th section has Amazon Pay widgets. These icons or widgets are there to support the user’s job. Amazon Pay nav buttons are useful for customers who use or have used Amazon Pay before. But for a user who has never used Amazon Pay, this real estate is again irrelevant. I would only showcase Amazon Pay Widgets once the user is activated.
The column next to Amazon Pay helps me restart my shopping journey for carpets. (Finally, something relevant) This is the relevant section for me as a user. But sadly, I never notice it since it’s deprioritized in space and placement.
We humans, tend to block our information whenever something isn’t relevant, takes a lot of effort or is redundant. Hence, most Amazon users rely on Search functionality as the homepage is filled with products which prioritize business needs before user needs.
If I had to solve the homepage, I would prioritize real estate for user jobs like “Start where you left”, “product recommendations based on past searches”, “popular/trending items bought near you”, and “marketing real estate”. I would randomize the marketing section with other user job sections to increase some visibility for other business lines. This way I won’t be showcasing cross selling products at all times to all users.
In any case, when a new product is launched its banner effectiveness can be tested first on a smaller scale before releasing it for a custom and larger audience.