But it was when I set the pricing low to high (looking for carry straps I think) that the real surprise occurred. There were two or three yoga mat carry straps, but everything else was, I kid you not, teeny tiny tacky lacy strappy undies illustrated by all manner of pictures of professionally pleased to see you ladies. I was in the grip of a big EEEK already (mainly at the thought of the ads that would now be chasing me across the internet) when I spotted that adult items had been excluded from the search. Well, thank heavens for that, I suppose.
But what the heck is happening here? Time for five minute's thought:
- Hypothesis #1: Some SEO scamp has tagged all the products in the store (it is all one store) with Yoga Mat, presumably on the grounds that ladies who like yoga may also like skimpy pants.
- Hypothesis #2: It is common practice to massively multiply tag penny items, on the assumption that people just go into a click-buy haze when they see such bargains.
- Hypothesis #3: There is some alternative use for yoga mats of which I am not aware.
I clicked through to one of the more innocuous items to check it out, and what's been done is either sort of clever, in an annoying sort of way, or a result of automatic categorisation having gone wrong. It's also possible it's an exploitation of a known weakness, so essentially both.
Under special offers, possibly because there is no-where else to go when most of what you're selling is retailing at £0.01+ p+p, the seller has simply linked back to some site search pages, including best rated yoga mat reviews among other outdoor and fitness categories. The category assigned, Sports > Outdoors > Fitness > Yoga > Mats, appears to have been lifted from this non-information in the special offer category.
While the seller is a mere # 69,166 in the Sports > Outdoors category, they are a surprisingly high #384 in Sports > Outdoors > Fitness > Yoga > Mats, suggesting that for some yoga fans at least, hypothesis #1 (or potentially, for some lingerie fans, hypothesis #3) does hold.
Hypothesis #2 I discarded by running a few more searches (shoe stretchers, pepper grinders, sugar mice, yoga bricks, door mats, watch straps, exhaustive search run fans). No other search terms had suffered this mass lingerie invasion.
Right then, onto the incorrect product information feedback forms.