Week 3 of Way Back Wednesday, and we’ve decided to take a look at Amazon.com, our favourite online shopping destination (unless Asos is more your thing).

Apart from revolutionising e-commerce, Amazon is known for its recommendation algorithm where it “captures” (or harvests) your product browsing history to display relevant, enticing products on your screen. It’s a system that has worked wonders for the company and has become an industry norm that others now try and replicate where ever possible.

Yes there are obvious changes visible in the screenshots below: Amazon’s promotion of its own product range,  its visual UI, recommendations and the fact Sex and the City was a VHS top-seller. But I was particularly drawn to the shopping categories on display.

The categories, and their positioning on the list, are a good indicator of how consumer interests and demands have changed over the course of the last 12 years.  Despite the glaring self-promotion of its own services when looking at 2013’s list, a lot of the categories have now been meshed together based on its algorithim determining relevance through purchases etc. It’s also interesting to point out how Movies, Music and Games overtook Electronics at some point, along with the disappearance of the cellphones section.

Don’t forget to click on the image below to zoom in and get a clearer picture!

…And check out our Facebook page for more cool stuff!