Out of curiosity, what would you change about email? It’s one of those mature technologies where the user interfaces more or less coalesced about 15-20 years ago onto a particular set of functionalities, and nobody’s had a burning need to add to it as far as I know.
I’m with the crowd that thinks Amazon’s searching wretchedness is by design; it’s not some legacy search engine that’s just old and janky, it’s something that never even worked right when it was new.
Mostly what I tend to see is when you search for something like “T30 Torx screwdriver”, they return everything with “Torx” in it- maybe you might get a single good hit low in the results, but by God, you’ll get EVERY screwdriver set with a Torx bit in it early in the results.
I have no problem with the “Sponsored Results”, although I wish they wouldn’t insert them into the search results as if they were actual results. But I do object to the idea that if I search for “Xacto knife”, that the first actual Xacto brand knife is the fifth result, after the sponsored results which often only tangentially resemble the search terms.
I would guess that someone did one of two things- either an analysis to see if accurate search terms yielded more or less money, or they did an experiment to see. I can’t imagine that a company of that size is just letting their searching on their big retail user interface languish in obscurity; anything that important is almost certainly by design, or at least by choice.