Statisterrific!

Whilst browsing Target’s website for holiday gift ideas, I noticed something slightly creepy: When I view additional details about a particular item, I can scroll down and see “Guests who viewed this item ultimately bought,” listing several other items with a percentage displayed next to them. Basically, Target (other online retailers, too?) is tracking my browsing habits.

This is a little disconcerting, but the possibilities to mess with their statistics are theoretically endless (had one enough free time on her hands). I mean, say I’m browsing grilling accessories (completely hypothetical, Dad, if you’re reading this). What if suddenly my brain shifts to, oh, board games? What if I end up buying Bananagrams,* having completely forgotten about the grilling tools? (completely hypothetical, Mom, if you’re reading this). I know that the algorithmistaticiticisms involved in this process are far more complex than this, but I’d love to see “83% of guests who viewed the Mr. Beer Home Brewing System ultimately purchased The Twelve Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.”

I mean, that’s funny.


*Just seeing if you’re paying attention.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: