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Amazon gets personal with Web site update

The e-tailer updates its home page to give it a more personal touch, recommending recently released books and videos based on a customer's previous purchases.

Amazon.com has updated its home page to give it a more personal touch.

The leading e-tailer has a "new for you" column on its site that recommends recently released books and videos based on a customer's previous purchases.

Amazon and other e-tailers are increasingly tailoring their offerings to individual consumers, Gomez Advisors e-commerce analyst Jill Frankle said.

"I don't think this is dissimilar from what we've seen on other sites, such as CDNow's 'My CDNow,'" Frankle said. "The idea is that if Amazon is in fact earth's largest bookstore, they are going to be earth's largest bookstore for me."

Amazon has previously used "cookies" to recognize returning customers and offer them personalized product recommendations. The Seattle-based company, which launched the "new for you" area late last month, will continue to personalize services for individuals, company representative Patty Smith said.

"This helps our customers find and discover something new on each visit to the site," Smith said. "For customers that are coming to our site more and more frequently, we found it important to surprise them each time they visit."