Is Amazon coming to eat your lunch? Not necessarily. Make it your frenemy and steal its best ideas.
Who doesn’t love Amazon?! I know I certainly do. In fact, when thinking about companies that truly ooze a customer-first strategy, Amazon is one that jumps out at me. Were you surprised when CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the e-tailer had smashed records with over 100 million paid Prime members last week? I know I wasn’t. That’s why, when CPC Strategy emailed me their latest The 2018 Amazon Shopper Behavior Study that analyzes how consumers use Amazon, I felt compelled to take a look. The overall conclusion: Amazon just works.
Ryan Burgess, a channel analyst for CPC Strategy says, “If we know one thing, it’s that Amazon is customer-first in everything they do—and this new poll confirms their strategy is working. A guaranteed 30-day return window, hundreds of customer reviews, and dependable customer service are all reasons why Amazon shoppers are willing to leave their comfort zone and try new brands.”
Reading between the lines, we found five areas where Amazon excels, and these are weapons you can deploy. After all, we all know that Amazon is a pretty good role model to follow in the footsteps of, so read on for some of the things that make this “mean machine” great—and will make your email marketing great, too.
Are you as customer-first as Amazon? The customer-first approach begins with your emails and extends throughout your customer experience.
First, optimizing emails and the website for mobile continues to be critical—and mobile commerce is likely to continue to grow. CPC Strategies found that the majority of people 35 and under opted for mobile shopping on Amazon. That is likely to hold true for your own customers.
It’s extremely important that you capture interactions on mobile and desktop into the same CRM, so that your customers can browse in one channel and buy in another. The study found that, overall across age groups, shoppers were more likely to browse on mobile and buy on the desktop.
Mobile optimization isn’t a set-it-and-forget it thing. With the constant introduction of new devices, this is something you need to stay on top of.
Clear and usable design is another success factor for Amazon and for you. Design consistency across channels and throughout your website enhances that “just-works” feeling.
Amazon provides a wealth of information on the vast majority of its products, not only from the manufacturer or retailer, but also in the form of reviews and questions.
Do the same. You don’t have to wait until someone clicks through from an email to your website to provide substantive information. When you highlight a product in an email, including an overall rating and one or two snippets of a review can boost response.
Amazon’s onsite search is tuned to a variety of factors, but it seems to give people what they’re looking for. Shoppers feel they can trust Amazon’s search results—so much so that more than 50 percent don’t look past the first page of results.
CPC Strategy analyst Tanya Zadoorian notes, “Shoppers trust Amazon to provide the top products pertaining to a user’s search criteria on the first page.”
Your onsite search should be just as good—and how about linking to product search within your emails?
Dazzling customer service
Although Amazon is highly automated, help from a live person is just a click away. Customers can get an immediate call back, chat or email, as well as ask questions of other users.
Providing customer service contact information in your emails as well as onsite—with call and chat operators standing by—removes barriers to conversion.
If your customer service isn’t Amazon-quality—easy returns and quick access to dependable customer service—polish that up. If you’re already there, make sure to let it shine by bragging about it in your emails and on your website.
Brilliant use of automation
Amazon harnesses its heavy-duty customer database to automate all its customer interactions. With a robust email platform, you can take advantage of automation to increase engagement and ROI. For example, we’ve found that sending a personalized email to people who have abandoned a shopping cart can increase revenue by 20 percent.
Automation can also make personalization more efficient and effective. Delivering relevant messages based on an individual’s past behavior not only can increase sales but also make your customers feel that you’re looking out for them. Segment your customer database and then use the power of automation to establish the best cadence, content and promotions for each segment.
A sunny relationship
All of these tactics will help you beat Amazon at its own game and put you on the path to a firm, trusted relationship with your customers. And, ultimately, it’s that trusted relationship that will keep customers coming back for more.