Your shopping cart is the window to your soul — according to retailers. Each company you visit believes they have access to your innermost thoughts because of their dumb metrics or consumer data tracking or whatever. They’re certain they can anticipate your every want and need.
Well, I’ve got news for them: not even I can predict me. So the yahoos who think analytics and cookies give them keen insight into my behavior are in for bitter disappointment.
Take amazon. You buy a book or flash drive or whatsit and product recommendations flood your inbox based on that purchase. Google and eBay and Twitter are no different, suggesting who to follow or buy from or search for. Personally, I get a kick out of their deluded advice.
Barnes & Noble, bless their fervid little heart, is no exception. I bought two magazines and got four book recommendations on the receipt. Nostradamus they’re not. By purchasing Vanity Fair and Juxtapoz they thought I’d enjoy the above books:
First, I object to Go Set a Watchman for purely ethical reasons. Harper Lee, in my opinion, was taken advantage of by an unscrupulous ‘adviser’ and a greedy publisher. The manuscript should never have seen the light of day and I refuse to read it.
Second, they were tardy with All the Light We Cannot See. I’ve already read it and liked it fine, but found The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer a better story with more compelling characters. Barnes & Noble missed that little detail.
The third try had to be a joke. I could’ve written Life-Changing Magic, for crying out loud — I know everything I need to about tidying up. And considering I often do exactly that in the magazine section at Barnes & Noble, which is to say tidy things up, they clearly don’t have the first clue. FYI: There’s nothing magical about obsessive neatness, it’s just tiring.
Aw, look at that, they struck out, totally whiffed. Yay, I win.