Right now, I have in my house the wrong oven knob for my stove and the wrong filters for my vacuum because of reliance on searches like that.
I used to do this but now I just search every site indexed by Google. I often find better prices elsewhere and I like to support Amazon’s competitors. .
I think poor search is primarily intended to increase ad sales, not sales of goods. The short story is that Amazon sold roughly $16 billion in ads last year, which is almost all profit for them. If they had a really good search engine, they would have fewer opportunities to serve up ads. If you put in a very specific search term and there were no results because Amazon didn’t have it, they couldn’t put up any ads. Instead, their search engine posts hundreds or thousands of mostly irrelevant results and you have to click on a bunch of them, Every click on a “sponsored post” is money in their pocket, regardless of whether you buy something.
The truth is, Amazon does not make much if anything selling goods. According to Amazon’s 2021 10-K, Sales from physical and online stores (online revenue of $197.3B, physical sales of $16.2B, but cost of sales of $233.3B) don’t make money. That is, they lost about $20 billion last year selling goods. If you add in revenue from “subscription services” ($25.2B , mostly, Amazon Prime subscriptions), this combined business made roughly $5 billion, not including the cost of Amazon Prime content (an inscrutable number, buried in $42.7 billion of “technology and content” expenses). But, their ad revenue alone was $16.2 billion. The ads they sell earn more than Amazon’s entire business of selling goods online or in stores.
They run a break-even store to attract buyers, then they run a bad search engine populated with a lot of ads to keep those buyers (fruitlessly or not) clicking on the ads.
It might seem counterproductive in the long run to focus on selling ads that don’t generate many sales because, presumably, advertisers would see declining value in the ads over time and pay less for them. Maybe that will happen and Amazon’s search engine will get better butit doesn’t seem to have happened yet.
Amazon is an organization that ruthlessly and relentlessly eliminates the type of corporate inertia that stalls other companies. I don’t think this is it.
The best shopping site is Google, which effectively combines them all. Don’t search site by site.
Because once I’ve decided to buy something, Walmart might have it in stock for less. It’s happened at least a couple of times in the pandemic. And I hate Walmart.