6 Key Takeaways From Amazon’s Rise to The Top

 

Have you ever wanted to take a peek inside the playbook of the number one online retailer, Amazon?

From what started out as a bookseller, Amazon has grown to sell just about anything a consumer could want. With a variety of products, from electronics all the way to beauty, Amazon has proven to be a one-stop shop for consumers.

Take a look at what online retailers could learn from Amazon’s impressive transformation from being a one-product shop to being the largest online retailer in the world.

1. “One-second rule.”

No one likes to be kept waiting and this is why Amazon enforces its “one-second rule.” All of its web pages load within one second in order to provide an efficient shopping experience for their customers. It is crucial for an online retailer to guarantee that its store runs smoothly at all times. Your website is not only the face of business, but it is also the business. When a site crashes or fails to load quickly, it could result in a lost sale and hurt your brand power. Customers will associate your company with a non-functional website and be reluctant to return.

2. Keep it simple, play it cool.

Amazon’s website has a crisp, clean, and simple feel to it. They make it easy for their customers to click, view, review and check out products. Take this tip from Amazon. Don’t overwhelm your customers with notifications of deals or sales while they browse your products. Keep it simple; post it on the homepage and notify them again to utilize a deal before checkout. Too many ads on current promotions can be distracting, remember to keep the spotlight on your products.


3. Data is king.

Amazon collects information about its customers, their shopping habits, which brought them to the site and more. This allows Amazon to constantly change its strategy and approach to new consumers. Other online retailers should also work to collect information about their consumers in order to generate higher sales. They could also learn more about how to reach their target audience and what they need to change in order to attract them.

 

4. Stay competitive, change prices.

Amazon changes its prices more than 2.5 million times a day — 50 times more than their competitors, Walmart, and Best Buy. By changing prices, Amazon is able to constantly undercut competitors and close the sale. Adopting this pricing strategy will not only allow retailers to remain competitive, but it will also cut costs. Firms won’t have to spend money on market research to determine the optimal fixed price. They will also be able to see how price fluctuations can immediately affect the demand for that product. One important thing to remember: although Amazon’s price changes are driven by their loss leader strategy, other retailers can use dynamic pricing to optimize profits according to their own objectives. Dynamic pricing is not necessarily about having the lowest price.

5. Learn then innovate.

Amazon recently copied USPS in its strategy to provide pick-up lockers for customers who are rarely home. Amazon took USPS’s idea and innovated it by giving its consumers a quick and easy pickup. Make sure you keep your eye on the competition and try to stay ahead of the game. Like Amazon, use a strong foundation, even if it may be borrowed from elsewhere, find a twist, and make it your own.

6. Be social.

Amazon utilizes various social media channels to connect with its consumers outside of their domain. Using social media is a strong way to market your brand to new consumers. Amazon uses its social sites to post deals and sales and makes suggestions on what to get friends and family for upcoming holidays. Follow Amazon’s footsteps and use social media to relate to your customers. Managing your online brand is important and social media allows your brand and company to have a voice and communicate to your consumers. Give your company personality by posting fun images on topics within your industry, for example, an #ootd (outfit of the day), featuring your products if you are a clothing retailer.

Take these lessons from Amazon as a starting point to beat them at their own game. Channel Amazon’s drive for innovation and their determination to stay on top of your own company. Although each online retailers’ journey to success is different, taking tips from the most successful e-commerce companies can help ease the ride to the top.

What other lessons can be learned from the top dogs in retail? Share your comments below!

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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