A message for sales algorithms

Dear Makers of Algorithms,

Yes, indeed-y, I was www-shopping for warm slippers. It was an unusual action for me; I rarely buy anything on line and never do I buy footwear on line. Because, you know, trying footwear on in a store pretty much guarantees I’ll get the right size and other elements. I’m fussy that way.

I acknowledge that you picked up on my search, even down to the fuzzy innards and grippy soles, and I…trying to find the word here; “appreciate” is a bridge too far…recognize your sharp nose for potential victims, purchasers.

Hammacher Schlemmer was my chosen store because I’ve shopped there for years, still own and use most of what I’ve bought from them and everything I bought there works perfectly. Although a trip to the store itself was possible and I haven’t been terrorized or made lazy by COVID, I’ve gotten sort of, I dunno, lax and local.

Thus, shopping on line.

After a couple of weeks of (online) dithering, I did buy a pair of slippers. I made a mistake about the size; they were too big. I returned them to HS and they sent me the right size and I am now wearing them happily.

Here’s where you come in. You have failed to grasp my slipper purchase, which necessarily ended my slipper search. Yet every day on Facebook I still encounter ads for slippers. Some of those ads are for the slippers I’ve already bought. And am wearing. Even as I type this.

I don’t blame HS for this. HS is never blameable. They are the perfect store. So you Algorithm Folk need to understand this: I am no longer in the market for slippers and doubt I will be for the next, maybe, eight years.

I compliment your considerable skills and artfulness at spying on my movements, but thought you’d like to know you are wasting your time pitching me slippers. Why not return to thrusting ads for neo-bohemian clothes onto my feed? I won’t be buying them but I do love to look at them.

Sincerely yours, Me.


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