How did Amazon – a company that started in a garage – turn into the single greatest online retailer?
Many things contributed to its growth, but since Amazon is essentially a custom ecommerce website, its success can be attributed to personalization and relevant recommendations, the speed at which products are delivered (especially via Amazon Prime), fantastic customer service and a depth and breadth of inventory like no other.
If you’ve ever browsed Amazon (and who hasn’t), you know that Amazon is not just a destination for buying stuff – it’s the holy grail of shopping experiences. From the time you log in to the moment you tear open your package at home, chances are you’ve had a very positive interaction with the signature Amazon smiley face.
Amazon routinely trumps Best Customer Service lists, beating out brick and mortar stores and online business, and their success holds many lessons. Highly satisfied customers are 60% more likely to return and do business with the company again, more likely to buy more, and more likely to leave a positive review. In time, good customer service actually lowers the cost to acquire new visitors.
Many retailers never move into the online space because they are so intimidated by Amazon, and small retailers often feel there is no point directly competing with Amazon’s wealth of products and brand recognition. But retailers (also called e-tailers) can learn a lot from Amazon’s digital initiatives. Prospective ecommerce business owners should know what makes a great ecommerce website, so when they’re ready, they can pick the platform that meets all of their needs… for conversion.
Whether you’re an emerging ecommerce business or a retail brand ready to expand online, Ecommerce Creator™ should be on your list of potential platforms. Toe-to-toe, it rivals Amazon in key areas:
A robust ecommerce site like Amazon gathers user information and pushes interactive features that create a one-on-one conversation with the shopper. Amazon asks registered users to rate products in order to deliver more personalized product suggestions. It also records browsing and purchasing patterns to understand user behavior and site flow. Later, it uses this information to drive targeted ads to shoppers – a practice known as banner retargeting. As you settle into ecommerce you will learn very quickly how important banner retargeting is – even more so than PPC advertising – at driving customers, who are in the ‘very likely to buy’ category, back to your site.
Online retailers can compete with Amazon by also creating a personalized experience for their customers. Ecommerce Creator, for example, offers a product recommendation solution that enables retailers to upsell or cross-sell with relevant and complementary products, with full control over where and how they display. Additionally, Ecommerce Creator has popularity ranked searching to leverage your best-selling items.
Amazon Prime provides members with unlimited free two-day shipping on millions of items, as well as access to Amazon Instant Video and the ability to borrow Kindle books – all in an effort to build sustainable customers. These special benefits helped Amazon add an extra 1 million shoppers during the holiday season.
Retailers should work on developing their own, scaled-down version for their store’s top customers. Whether it be early access to new products, free shipping, or reduced rates – your special benefits must be integrated into your site from the onset. Ecommerce Creator has a number of customer-specific marketing features to make VIP customer perks work for your bottom line.
Many shoppers head straight to the reviews section to make their decision. Product reviews have tremendous influence on purchasing decisions and they almost always review more than just the quality of the product.
Retailers can take steps to increase engagement with their reviews, such as offering incentives or sending friendly reminders via email to shoppers who made a recent purchase. Ecommerce Creator’s social sharing integration and ‘email a friend’ features are just a few ways of getting your customers talking. Product reviews appear in date order and ask prospects how useful they were, and pending reviews can be approved by site administrators before being published.
Amazon is always trying new things and testing the ecommerce space. Some things (like drones!) are not even worth competing against, but your site can be innovative in its own way through engaging design and flawless functionality. That’s what we mean when we say custom ecommerce website development; we literally build your site from the ground up, fitting your/our collective creative vision for the front-end with the back-end functionality that drives results.
A single retailer trying to compete with Amazon is an uphill task, so capitalize on what makes your brand unique.We know you have something special, now let us help you build a custom ecommerce website that creates an Amazon-like experience.