Why is Amazon so successful?
Some statistics about Amazon’s online presence
Amazon is a pretty clear winner in the battle of ecommerce companies these days on the web – but demystifying how they got there, and how we can capture some of they have is often hard to do.
We do however, know a lot about the people visiting the Amazon site and a lot about how they’re interacting with the site.
New shoppers in 2013: 20% of all traffic
They are 51% male and 49% female
13% of them are 24 or younger
18% of them are 25 to 34
20% of them are 35-44
15% of them are 55 to 64
and 14% of them are 65+
Statistics and Numbers Source: 2014 Top 500 Guide to Internet Retailers
Ecommerce is now universally accepted – Make sure your ecommerce site is built for optimal effectiveness
With such an even distribution over age range, we’re pretty sure that ecommerce has gained acceptance amongst even older people among us. The same kind of homogenization and acceptance for online shopping is happening in the income ranges, the four major brackets from 30% or lower to More than $100,000 are all around a quarter of the people shopping online.
Amazon’s growth rate is at 20.3% and they are banking hard on getting as many people to shop there as possible, and apparently are not expecting large profits for many years to come. Currently their profit margin is at 0.22% compared to Wal-Mart’s 3.32%. Many skeptics believe that the momentum Jeff Bezos is hoping for will never quite deliver on the profit margins of the future he’s clearly focused on, along with providing a superior service.
Use share buttons, make search prominent on mobile, cross device cart functionality
Some of the things that Amazon is doing right are not necessarily revolutionary. Share buttons allow people to quickly shout out to their friends if they are purchasing something or just browsing. Search is extremely accessible on mobile, as that is a primary way people use the mobile web. People who abandon their cart can find the items they were looking at before easily again even if they are signed in from another device. Cart abandonment and other promotions target users and allow them the opportunity to shop later again for what they were looking for.
I think the smart suggestion algorithm that Amazon employs is one of it’s largest digital assets. Visuals of similar items are there to assist you the next time you go to Amazon whether you bought something or just viewed five books about salamanders. “Here are top salamander books,” served up very intentionally for you to peruse. Brilliant.
Search is clearly growing in importance. Search engine shoppers were up to 41% from 2012’s 37% and the trend has no sign of slowing. Whether it’s Google or Bing, Amazon knows it has to work to make it’s pages easy to parse for the search engines so that people can get to the products they want quickly and easily from anywhere; even off of the site.
Pay attention to quality content, Image tags, and don’t skimp on SEO
For smaller online retailers and ecommerce web sites, this means making sure you give plenty of text and description on a product page so that it’s clear what the page is about. Google respects synonyms, content that captures people’s attention (time on page,) ‘alt-tags’ that explain what an image is about to people who can’t see, and even the file names of images, when-they-are-named-like-this.jpg. So don’t take for granted that your web design team created everything in a way that allows it to be the most search engine friendly it possibly it can be. If you want your website to be easy to find on Google, it usually requires a significant amount of intentionality and a significant investment of time.
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