Why is Amazon’s approach so strong? Well, beyond its giant success, the principles you can glean from its nitty gritty strategy are endless. It’s a company that has almost endless resources for research and development, a focus on user experience, and automation. Here are three things I’ve noticed that help make Amazon so effective.
1. Product remarketing everywhere you look; you wanted it, well, we still have it.
This is the biggest one I think many businesses of any size can learn from today. When you’re out and about on the internet and see the pair of shoes you had your eye on from Amazon in the sidebar, you’re not only possibly going to click on them and purchase them, but you might be more likely to buy them later as well.
These nuts-and-bolts details of Amazon’s approach are important in their overall marketing/remarketing stack. It’s not just user experience on their site that makes them an engaging and dynamic place to shop. The other ways they reach out to customers and nudge them to make a purchase they may have wanted to make at one point but abandoned are noteworthy. Amazon is a master at remembering what you liked and showing it to you until you can no longer resist; impulsivity at its finest.
2. An obsession with making its customers happy.
When you’re as powerful as Amazon, you can sacrifice some short-term superficial gains in favor of long-term relationship building gains instead. The reasons why Amazon is so successful are numerous—it has been on the top of the heap for 15 years—but it hasn’t made enormous profit.
According to an author of a story on Business Insider, he had some issues with playback on a digital video rental from Amazon. Without him even prompting them, Amazon said they “noticed the problem, and were giving him a refund.” This is above and beyond customer service, albeit automated. When and if our businesses come across a way to notice and observe poor quality, even if it’s accidental, a refund of this type really sets the tone for creating a positive customer experience.
Perhaps we don’t all have the opportunity to automate these types of refunds, but the principle is there. Customer service is everything. If you make that a centerpiece of your organization, it would be hard for you to not be successful.
3. Some of the best “Suggested Products” feature algorithms in the game.
A quick peek at the suggested products on an Amazon customer’s home page is a glimpse into their mind. You could probably draw a couple conclusions about mine from my own Amazon home page.
What you’re looking at here is a mixture of things:
A. Some of these books I’ve looked at several times and haven’t purchased, plus I’m being shown books of a similar nature.
B. Some books are by authors I’ve bought and read before, but I haven’t purchased their other books.
D. Some are in the same genre of books I’ve purchased or looked at.
The problem with many online store’s “Items you might be interested in” section is that they populate these areas almost soullessly. Perhaps two or three items that are like the product you’re looking at will populate, but they are never reaching beyond the bounds of one or two data points to get those suggestions. When you’re shopping on Amazon, it feels like they know you a little bit. If all online e-commerce stores had suggestions based on previously looked at items combined with more granular suggestions based on previous purchases, they would greatly benefit from this “they kind of know me” feeling.
You can utilize Amazon’s strengths.
Simply by making customer service a cornerstone of your business, utilizing granular segmented remarketing in PPC and paid social advertising, and utilizing better tools or options for suggested products, you can utilize the principles that constitute some of Amazon’s core strengths.