Carts and Queues 2.0August 11, 2004
As a regular user of three, great e-commerce sites (Amazon, Netflix, and the new Blockbuster beta site) I find myself running into the same frustration again and again. Each site allows you to keep a persistent shopping cart (or queue) that you can return to as often as you like. I love all three and use them regularly as ongoing wish lists of products I may want to purchase, or in the other two cases, movies I'd like to see.
What each of these companies miss is that I'm not the only member of my family who uses these sites. My Amazon cart is filled with books for me (both work and personal), gifts for others, and any number of other products for myself, my wife Lori, and my son Ben. Similarly, the movie queues have selections from each one of us.
We are not going to start multiple Amazon accounts, and any movie subscription is per household, so what we need is some way to categorize and sort these lists. I would love to be able to sign on to Amazon and just see my products, but have the option to see others if I need to place an order for the whole family.
And in the case of our online movie queue, my dream feature would be the ability to categorize movies and then have them shipped according to a sort of category rotation. One family might setup a category for each person and then have it rotate between family members (one for dad, one for mom, one for the kids, then one for dad, etc...). Another house, however, might setup categories based on type (one action, one drama, one comedy, one family, one documentary, etc...). The queue would just send the next available movie in the rotation.
As online commerce becomes more and more entrenched in our daily lives, the ecommerce tools need to evolve to meet our changing needs.