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Amazon Gives A9 Users a Discount

By - September 17, 2004

a9-logo-sm.gifIn my earlier post I mentioned that Amazon planned to market A9 this time round, but that they were not telling how. Now the first piece of the strategy seems to be out: Amazon is giving discounts to users of its A9 engine. I’m waiting for confirmation, but several sources claim this email to have come to A9 users from Amazon:

”[User name], since you’ve been using recently, virtually everything at is automatically an additional p/2% (1.57%) off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout (it will happen whether you use the shopping cart or our 1-Click Shopping). You don’t need to do anything to get this discount except keep using as your regular search engine.

“We don’t advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they’ll find out. All they have to do is use as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit.”

I didn’t get one, but then again, I haven’t checked my spam filters.

(hat tip to Search Engine Journal)

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8 thoughts on “Amazon Gives A9 Users a Discount

  1. Carrick says:

    I noticed this yesterday when I logged onto, then blogged it here. I think it’s an excellent idea and a great example of that “synergy thing.” I’ll be using A9 as my primary search engine for the next couple of weeks to see what comes of it.

  2. Kate says:

    I can confirm, I tried it this morning, and the discount shows on the last screen before hitting the final “purchase” button. Very good idea, I love it.

  3. pb says:

    Wonder when I’ll be able to search Amazon through a9? Not a big fan of Amazon search especially the “search inside the book” label that makes it hard to tell book covers apart.

  4. ben says:

    it’s true, but so what? the 1.5% is worth very little (a buck and a half per $100? i buy a lot at amazon, but the difference will be negligible), and it creeps me out more than a little to see all of my old searches on screen each time i visit the site. google may cache everything, but they don’t throw it in my face. i’m also curious to know just how often you have to use the search to get the “exclusive” discount. i’ve only used it maybe three or four times in my life. just one more site that knows my name.

  5. Mike says:

    Brilliant and maybe just the begining of a new wave of reward systems for product searchers. I coined the term pay-per-search (PPS) earlier today on Andy’s blog comment board.
    Consumers love cash back and discount schemes no matter how small. Before today my wife had never heard of Amazons search product. Now she has it bookmarked. I doubt she will ever search Google again.

  6. julie says:

    I’ll be in the minority. I don’t like the idea. The idea that my real name, address etc will be tied not only to what I purchase but what search terms I use, websites I visit, what links I save … if I decide to install the toolbar A9 tracks all searches done regardless of whether they are from A9 or not.

    I have a major problem with “rewards and discounts” be it from my local grocery store, airmiles or my search engine for the simple fact that data can be correlated, played with and used to profile me and my habits and in turn be used to make their marketing more effective. This is an advertisers/marketers wet dream, for me more of a privacy nightmare.

  7. Scott says:

    Personally, I’ll keep using Google but occasionally go to the site and enter bogus search terms to throw it off. Such as my latest “pustules of the moon” search. Perhaps I could even write a script to choose some random words from the dictionary and search using A9 every day. I don’t know if I’m that bored, tho, and will probably just not bother to use it.

    Still, I like the idea of giving them a lot of garbage for their spying efforts. Then I’ll probably get recommendations from Amazon to buy “Barbie’s Dream Pustules” or something.

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