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Love it or hate it, Amazon customer service is second to none. Named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company of 2017, the world’s largest online marketplace continues to push the bounds of what’s possible in ecommerce, an impetus dubbed “The Amazon Effect”.
The businesses that thrive will control the margin by taking control of the customer experience, their way. In this series we’ll dive into five differentiators behind Amazon’s success, including its customer service. Then we’ll explore how your business, no matter its size, can leverage these factors to compete with your E-Giants.
“The Amazon Effect” explains the pull of e-retailers toward a higher standard of customer service, operations, and innovation.
Here are three key factors to Amazon’s success in ecommerce:
In an industry where customer-centricity is a buzzword, Amazon puts the money where their mouth is. CEO Jeff Bezos continues to innovate to improve the shopping experience—from Amazon personalization, to free shipping, to day-of delivery by drone. In fact, Bezos attributes the #1 reason to Amazon’s success to their focus on the end user.
So what’s the secret to good customer service? “Don’t [overcomplicate it]. Provide personal care, and be nice about it” writes Neil Patel of Kissmetrics.
Truly, Amazon doesn’t merely abide by the Golden Rule; they go above and beyond even that. Take the story of Henry Blodget, a writer who took to Business Insider to share an extraordinary example of Amazon’s proactive service. The story goes something like this:
When it comes to ecommerce customer service, this step of proactivity is a lesson for all. Where word-of-mouth once reached five people, a bad review can reach 5,000 online. In the world of business—and in general—going above what’s expected never returns void.
Though not the first retailer to sell online, Amazon’s introduction of free two-day shipping rocked the industry. Today, Amazon Prime reaches nearly half of American households, and 70% of upper-income American families. Truly, consumers not only expect fast and free shipping; they’ll pay in dollars and loyalty to those who offer it:
Just the mention of “free shipping” sends ecommerce retailers running, as it comes with a cost. In July 2016, this feature cost Amazon over $1 billion per quarter for three quarters straight (MoneyTips). So why do they do it?
“Prime membership and free shipping moves a lot more product,” writes Jeff Hoyt on MoneyTips. “The increase in sales justifies the increase in costs.”
In a day and age where it costs significantly more to attract new customers than to keep the ones you have, Amazon’s customer service paves the way for long-term success.
Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the word of the year in 2013. In 2014, Wired wrote about “The Internet of Me”: an emphasis on building a hyper-personal online experience.
As the largest online marketplace, Amazon uses its reams of data to focus the browsing experience, saving customers time and enabling discovery of lesser-known retailers. In fact, personalization is so important to customers today, it can make or break their interactions with you:
As competitors saturate the marketplace, recognizing and contributing to the value of each customer wins loyalty for life. It’s no wonder 70% of marketers name personalization their top data goal.
Related: Find out how Miva delivers custom ecommerce solutions to drive personalized success
No industry is safe. Technology continues to turn each area of business on its head. As Amazon continues to soar, harnessing their strategies to success combined with your market expertise is key to beating your E-Giant, your way.
Want to see more? Check out Part 2 of The Amazon Effect.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.