When talking about the ideal online retail store, the perfect example would be Amazon. Their business skyrocketed to the first place of the National Retail Federation’s list in just five years with a whopping $80 billion from online sales. To put it mildly – they left their competition in the dust. Today, the world’s largest and most profitable retail store enjoys the title of the most important brand for millennials in the United States.
Amazon has its unique way of doing things and the folks behind it have figured out what customers want and expect. Instead of meeting their customers’ expectations, Amazon exceeded them. If you’re trying to improve your e-commerce business, following the example of Amazon is the right way to go. Here are a few things online retailers can learn from Amazon to improve their business.
Find easy, buy easy
One of the things e-commerce businesses can learn from Amazon is that simplicity is key to customer satisfaction. Amazon implements a simplified search feature that makes navigating the website a piece of cake. However, it’s not just simplicity that’s favored in Amazon’s search, but the additional features such as keyword search and related category recommendations. Basically, Amazon helps you shorten the search easily and effectively, until you find the product you’re looking for.
Furthermore, Amazon eases the buyer’s journey by allowing customers to save their credit card information on the website and make one-click purchases. Amazon leverages the behavioral pattern where customers are more likely to make a purchase if the process is fast, convenient and simple. Simplicity is beneficial to all e-commerce businesses, because customers don’t like complications when browsing for products and they get frustrated when items they’re looking for are difficult to find.
Another reason why Amazon is on the top of the e-commerce industry is that they utilize personalization to its fullest potential. By personalizing the shopping experience, Amazon successfully retains and keeps their customers engaged. Amazon leverages information about the customer to personalize offers and recommend items that customers would most likely need.
They personalize offers based on your browsing history, your latest purchases, shopping trends, recently viewed items and so on. By offering products that are the most relevant to customers, Amazon encourages repeated purchases and effectively holds their customers’ interest. Therefore, if you want to start an online store in the future, then plan for a personalized shopping experience to truly impress your customers.
The importance of reviews
One of the reasons Amazon is so successful is the product reviews. Reviews offer customers transparency and insight into other people’s experience with a particular product. That’s especially beneficial to Amazon’s business, because reviews influence 90 percent of purchases. Moreover, Amazon’s community is encouraged to leave a written review and rate the product on a scale from one to five stars. That way, customers can explore the reviews before they decide to make a purchase.
A lesson that can be learned here for other retail stores is that customer feedback not only matters to your business, but it also matters to other customers. By leveraging feedback, you can easily detect flaws in your products and handle the issue appropriately, while also leveraging other people’s word-of-mouth recommendations to further boost your sales.
Customers love features that meet or exceed their expectations. Amazon is well aware of that fact so they implemented Amazon Prime subscriptions. For an annual fee of $99, customers are entitled to two-day free shipping on eligible items, free same-day delivery for eligible locations and the list goes on. The additional features are truly amazing and for $99 per year, customers have a wide variety of benefits. That’s Amazon’s way of ensuring customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
If you put all other benefits that Amazon Prime offers aside, the free shipping feature is enough to seal the deal. Customers love when brands offer something of value in exchange for loyalty and you should keep that in mind when you start creating strategies on how to improve your e-commerce business. Of course, small retail businesses simply cannot compete with so many features that a giant like Amazon offers, but they can still offer something that’s unique for their business to ensure customer loyalty.
Following the example left by Amazon is a good way to improve your e-commerce business. However, it’s important to understand that key to a successful business isn’t in copying your competitors, but in creating something unique based on your own creativity and innovation. Amazon’s example can give you directions and reveal what is it that people love about a retail store, but it’s up to you to find new ways to improve your business.