What is Amazon Woot? How do I sign up for Woot? We couldn’t help but notice that Good Housekeeping readers love Amazon, and that’s why we’re trying to share the site’s all-time best-selling products, insane deals, and all the shopping secrets we know so you can get your money’s worth every time. By now, you probably might think you’re an Amazon shopping whiz, but do you know about Amazon’s daily deal site Woot? It’s just like shopping on Amazon, except you’re only browsing discounts and deals every time you visit the site.
What is Amazon Woot?
Woot is basically a shopping site that offers daily deals, short-term sales and special shopping events. Tonally, their website is tongue-in-cheek and pretty silly, featuring a grinning monkey mascot and special items for purchase like “Bags of Crap.”
These “Bags of Crap” are mystery boxes containing up to three items, which could include something wonderful like a laptop or something totally useless like a single shoe. They also come with their own list of “Holy Crap Commandments,” such as “Thou shalt not be all upset when you find out what’s in this box and how you didn’t even need it in the first place.”
How is Woot different from Amazon?
This sense of humor and lottery-like approach to shopping is key to understanding Woot. While Amazon is great for finding something specific, Woot offers a more spontaneous—if sometimes ridiculous—shopping experience. The most notable distinction between Woot and Amazon is that when a deal expires on Woot, that discount item is removed from the website.
Woot also features bizarre and delightful sale opportunities like “Woot-Off!s” in which orange lights flash on the homepage and a new product is launched immediately after a deal is sold out. In a Woot-Off!, users have no idea how many of these items are up for grabs, so they must determine if they want the item badly enough to purchase immediately.
Lastly, Woot has full forums available for items, so users can chat with each other about items, as opposed to just reading Amazon reviews. This means that Woot has the feel of a lifestyle site as well as a shopping site, unlike Amazon’s more straightforward shopping model.
What kinds of purchases is Woot best for?
Because of Woot’s chaotic business model, it’s not always the best for more specific purchases. In short, you cannot go onto Woot expecting to find a particular item. Instead, it’s as if you’re scrolling through a digital outlet store, scanning for great deals on items you didn’t know you necessarily wanted.
It’s also worth noting that shopping on Woot is all about timing. There are instances in which an item may actually be cheaper on Amazon, so be sure to check both sites before committing to a seductive-sounding deal on Woot.
How do I sign up for Woot?
In order to shop on Woot, you need to be an Amazon Prime member. So, sign up for Amazon Prime before trying to access Woot. The good news here is that Woot does offer free, next-day shipping, thanks to the Amazon Prime connection.
Once you’ve signed up for Prime, just visit Woot.com and sign into your account. From there, you can browse to your heart’s content and even sign up for their daily deals emails so you can be the first to know about new items. Happy shopping!
Data Migration Project as a “Force for Good”
“I wanted this project to be a force for good within Woot,” says Chaya Carey, a data engineer at Woot and the sole employee responsible for managing the company’s data warehouse. “With the tight deadline we faced, it was tempting to just get a list of requirements, execute, and worry about technical debt later. Instead, we spent a lot of time talking about who used the data warehouse, what challenges they were encountering, and what they needed to use the data for.”
Through these conversations, one goal Carey developed for the new data warehouse was to shift to a model of shared responsibility for data that would eliminate the need for her to build or alter custom pipelines for every new service or service change. “I wanted services to send data to the data warehouse and have it be accepted with minimal intervention,” she says. “But I needed to find an easy way to push data that fit with the existing skill set of developers.”
Carey found a ready solution by having developers use AWS Software Development Kits (SDKs) for the various programming languages and platforms in use at Woot to send data to the warehouse’s Kinesis Data Firehose delivery stream.
“Instead of building a batch job to send data from a service, all developers need to do now is add an API call that pushes data to the Firehose endpoint,” says Carey. “Kinesis Data Firehose made the shared responsibility model a much easier sell to our developers. This was a big win for the migration, because we eliminated the lag time we used to have for adding new services or adapting to changes in existing ones.”
Simple Self-Service with Athena and QuickSight
By choosing Amazon Athena and QuickSight for data querying and visualization, Woot has made life much easier for the many employees— including accountants, financial analysts, inventory analysts, vendor managers, and customer service representatives—who need information from the Woot data warehouse to do their jobs but lack data science or business intelligence skill sets.
“Queries in the previous solution required opening a ticket, obtaining manager approval, receiving a password that was only good for 90 days—and on top of that you needed to understand SQL to write your query,” says Carey. “Now, by using Amazon QuickSight, anyone can build graphs and other visualizations just by dragging and dropping, with no SQL knowledge needed. For employees who want more customization, there is an option to query through the Athena console, but, again, no SQL knowledge is needed.”
Not only is the process of querying now simpler, but the queries themselves also take much less time to complete. “Every user we’ve talked to has told us how much faster querying is in Amazon Athena,” says Carey. “We’re also hearing that queries that were previously too complex are running with no trouble on Athena, which means people are able to answer even more questions than they could before.”
Because the AWS tools in the new solution are so user-friendly, a growing number of employees are taking a self-service approach to answering questions. “People are so impressed by the visualizations they can build in QuickSight that they are looking for more and more ways to use it,” says Carey. “We only have four BI employees, and traditionally they’ve always had more requests than they could get to. Now nontechnical employees can use Amazon QuickSight to get information on their own, so Woot BI resources have more time for strategic projects.”
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