Monday, June 1, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Unhelpful Amazon Order Confirmation E-mails

Paul Rosania:

Amazon order confirmations and shipment notifications no longer include any item details. I could not for the life of me figure out why they would do this. They’re not scored on MAUs, they don’t need me to click through. Then I realized: is it so Google can’t see my order data?

I’ve been wondering about this for a while. It’s really annoying not to be able to search one’s own order history. I end up printing each order confirmation Web page to PDF.

Andrew Chen:

my guess- it’s not for google, but bc there’s email analytics cos that estimate sales of individual products based on parsing emails

At Uber, we used parsed competitor receipt data to estimate for instance, airport mkt share %, short trips mkt share etc

Previously:

Update (2020-06-02): John Gruber:

One reason this change was merely a low-grade annoyance for me, personally, is that I allow the Amazon iPhone app to send me notifications, and these notifications include shipping updates and delivery confirmation. […] And Amazon’s website and app continue to have a nicely searchable archive of your entire order history — mine goes back to the Clinton administration, which feels like another epoch. But it was nice having your own searchable archive of purchased items right in your email.

Stephen Swift:

You can also export your Amazon order history as CSV.

Update (2020-06-09): Matt Henderson:

This is annoying for me, because I always create an OmniFocus “Waiting for…” task attached to the Amazon confirmation emails. Now that the emails don’t include the order details, I can’t do that any longer. So annoying.

16 Comments

I also don't like not seeing the items in my confirmation mail, but I routinely print the invoice pages from everything I order. I do it in order to have a paper receipt that I can later compare to my credit card statements, in order to ensure that every charge is legitimate. As a bonus side-effect, it also means I have a piece of paper with every order number, in order to match up those e-mails with the orders.

Oh I thought I was the only one that was driving crazy by this!!

Its entirely annoying and I hate it.

I noticed the same, and have seen the same explanation.

It helps that searching my past orders on Amazon.com works pretty well, though it can still be annoying when I'm not sure it was Amazon I ordered from in the first place. It used to bother me that I don't receive a proper receipt, but now I don't mind so much; I do get a paper receipt along with delivery, and I usually just throw it away anyway.

Related:

- https://twitter.com/ambimorph/status/1080215510967414784
- https://twitter.com/avidrissman/status/1080126259265523719

[…] (Michael Tsai) Unhelpful Amazon Order Confirmation E-mails […]

Is it possible they're only doing this for gmail accounts? I have a non-gmail account and I still get full order info in my order and shipping confirmation e-mails. Odd.

UPDATE: I also order through a Business Prime account, however. Perhaps that's the distinction - they're no longer including the info for personal accounts but they still do for Business?

[…] Amazon Order Emails No Longer Include Item Details […]

"Is it possible they're only doing this for gmail accounts?"

Negative. I no longer see them either, and I do not have anything Google in my life.

Taylor Wescoatt

Anyone notice they still mention what you bought at the bottom in the “Recommended for you based on X that you bought”?

[…] Michael Tsai – Blog – Unhelpful Amazon Order Confirmation E-mails […]

Yes, I noticed this too and find it inconvenient. I'll receive an email saying my order is shipped but I have no idea what it is. If they send the order details as an image (instead of text) in the email then it will be much harder for Gmail to scrape and understand the image contents.

In case anybody is keeping score, I endorse the complaints above, and I note this was done without warning or explanation. Thanks to Michael for surfacing this. Amazon's mysterious and capricious behavior reinforces the idea that I want a copy of my own data. I download my order history annually, but it's not the same.

I've noticed this as well. But each order e-mail I get does have a link to the order on Amazon, so the order info is just one click away. Still not as convenient as it used to be, but not completely inaccessible either.

@A. Hajra: Not inaccessible, but it is *unsearchable* in your Mail client.

How about a boycott until they make it convenient again to shop on Amazon!? This is a global issue, I'm from France.

I just talked to a CSR and she confirmed that this is 100% intentional and there was no department she could tranfer me to that would help me. Probably the only e-commerce site that does not tell you what you ordered, what's been shipped, or what's been delivered, via email.

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