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In the UK, Marketing Magazine reports that Tesco plans to relaunch its Tesco Direct service to make it more like Amazon.com.

Here’s how the magazine describes the redeveloped website:

“The 'major business transformation project' will shift the website from 'manual merchandising' to an automatic 'algorithmically merchandised' offer, similar to that used by Amazon.

“Each customer's content will be driven by recommendations and data feeds about topics such as sales and top-rated products. The integration of Clubcard data will mean that customers will see content reflecting their purchases, and those of consumers with similar profiles ... According to sources, the relaunch is broader than just creating recommendations, as Tesco hopes to bring all orders, preferences and Clubcard insights together.”
KC's View:
Phrases like 'algorithmically merchandised' make my skin crawl, because they reinforce how much I don’t know, and how much I’ll never know.

But if the goal is to be as responsive and relevant to shoppers as Amazon, that’s laudable. And worth pursuing. And ought to be a little scary to anyone competing with Tesco. (That includes, potentially, people and companies competing with its Fresh & Easy division in thew western US, in the event that Tesco decides to bring this web operation here along with its Clubcard program.)

It continues to amaze me that I have never received an email notification from Amazon that is completely irrelevant to how I live my life and the things I buy. There’s always some connection...and I almost always scroll down to see what they’re offering and why.

Sometimes this gets skewed. When my father-in-law was still alive, I used Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service to send things like Depends and Ensure to his nursing home on a regular basis, so he’d never run out. That sort of messed with my profile a bit, but I certainly understand why...

This ought to be the promised land for retailers. Know who your customers are. Know - specifically - what they buy. Understand - algorithmically or otherwise - what they need and want. And sell it to them.

As opposed, say, to throwing spaghetti/coupons against the wall to see if they stick.