Amazon aims to be more than just the biggest online retailer in the world. With its primary focus set on the customers’ experience, it’s becoming harder to avoid the giants in a world where their presence dominates almost every digital platform.
When Amazon first launched, their goal was to introduce a new and convenient way for people to shop and giving shoppers the ability to compare products and prices easily, but currently, this goes further than that. Now more than ever, Amazon is revolutionising the way people shop.
What does this mean for Retailers? Well, Retailers will need to look closer at their services. How are they managing their customers’ experience? Are you offering more than just good pricing? Understanding and improving your customers’ experience can be very effective (look at Amazon for example).
The 3 biggest factors that put Amazon above all is the convenience of their platform, as well as shoppers being able to trust the Amazon marketplace (Next /same-day deliveries, easy returns and refunds etc) and the way consumer data is collected and utilised. Retailers and Merchants could learn a thing or two from the world’s leading retail giant.
The way Amazon uses their obtained customer data to understand behaviours and provide a tailored experience is one of their most effective strategies to keep their foot in every household – and it’s working! According to studies, 95 million Americans have Amazon Prime memberships. With more products and services added to Prime membership, it’s obvious that their focus seems to be on customer loyalty and retention, rather than acquisition. Customers who begin their search on Amazon typically end up buying on the platform. Retailers should view Amazon as a potential ally, rather a threat, the saying goes “if you can’t fight them, join them!”.
Two examples of how Amazon has been effectively changing the way we shop:
Amazon keeps on evolving by acquiring and learning new consumer data and using this data to enhance the consumer shopping experience. For example, Amazon Go launched in 2018, with no physical checkout points or checkout lines (it’s as easy as picking up items you need, chucking them into your basket and heading out the store). But you still pay for the items you take. This experience integrates with your Amazon account, as you exit the Amazon Go store, an automatic transaction is done and processed. Amazon can detect accurately every item you took from the store, items you have put down and picked up again etc. This is what can be expected by Amazon, to revolutionise the shopping experience and create a hybrid experience between offline and online shopping.
Another example comes as a solution for those who like shopping online for clothing. Amazon introduced Amazon Prime wardrobe which allows consumers to select up to 8 items to be delivered to their doorstep. These items can be fitted and tested by the consumer (as you would in a physical store), how it works is, if a consumer likes an item, the consumer gets to keep the item (purchase), if the consumer does not like the item, they can simply send it back(return). This is a massive improvement for online apparel shopping as many people face the same problems, either size is incorrect or you received the product and do not like it in person, this often results in extra effort having to ship back the order for a refund, waiting for refunds etc. Amazon smartly designed and utilise this system which can only be used by Amazon Prime members.
Soon, we predict that Amazon will further focus on linking the digital, and physical shopping experience. And being a business evolving around consumer data, it is no brainer that the majority of consumers will eventually lean towards favouring Amazon in the retail war. Amazon Wardrobe, Amazon Go, Amazon Bookstores and Amazon 4 star have been their latest strive into populating more industries with the Amazon trademark, and we can expect it not to stop there.