If you haven't added anything to your wish list lately on Amazon, it's because it's likely not near the holiday season, but by adding price alerts to the wish lists, Amazon is allowing customers to build their own personalized "deal of the day" type marketing strategy to capture purchase intent on products that customers are going to "wait until they go on sale".
While most retailers would see this as "buy it now" conversion suicide, the reality is that online consumers only click "Add to cart" on 2% of products that they are researching, which means that there's no way to capture the 98% of products they "might buy" later if/when the price changes, which is basically telling your online consumers "I don't care what you want to buy in the future, ONLY what you might buy today."
But Amazon, Macy's and other smart retailers are launching these types of individualized options which can drive as high as 80% open rates, and 5x-10x higher return to purchase engagement for retailers as their campaign based marketing results continue to decline - no matter how good their "Personalization" and "Recommendation" engines are, they rarely match what your customers want to buy next as seen in this great webinar by Brendan Witcher of Forrester.
When done correctly, this helps smart retailers to capture everything that EVERY consumer intends to buy next, and why. Imagine if you could have the asset of that for every customer, and your customers would feel like you now know them, respect them, and are providing nearly 100% relevant alerts to them with every communication.
This new level of "notification marketing" is something that the social networks have ushered into how people want to do "conversational commerce" online.
With every person + post on the social networks, you can either tune-in or tune-out of the conversation. The same will need to be possible as consumers interact with products & brands online, however, most marketing is All-on, or All-off on shopping sites, and don't allow consumers to turn on alerts for a brand or category they love, and tune out brands and categories they don't want.
This will continue to be the case until the marketing gods conversion rates continue to drop to near zero and they realize that just like how TiVo and DVR's changed how people watch and consume media.
The same revolution is happening in consumer marketing. If you don't give the consumer the remote control and a channel guide so they are in control of their marketing, (along with skipping your ads) you will soon just be broadcasting to an audience that's gone, and wondering why giants like Amazon have taken over.
Hear from a customer how they'd like to tune in to shopping sites for what they want