Reaching a staggering $469.8 billion net sales, Amazon is undoubtedly one of the most successful businesses the world has ever seen. Offering everything from books and clothing to smart home devices and tech services, Amazon is commonly known as ‘the everything store.’
But how did Amazon achieve such astronomical success? An omnichannel approach is the answer. In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into Amazon’s omnichannel strategy, how it generated success and the learnings you can take away for your eCommerce business.
Amazon: from then to now
Amazon's success is unparalleled, from starting as a book-selling site in the early 1990s to being a global household name that generated the wealthiest man alive. Created by Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon had a humble beginning selling books to worldwide customers, before it began diversifying and expanding its product and service offerings.
By the mid-2000s, Amazon began operating outside general household product categories and into tech services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Today, you’ll struggle to find anyone who hasn’t heard of Amazon.
From Amazon Prime and Kindle devices to publishing services, drone delivery and fresh produce, Amazon is the biggest internet-based company in the world. Worth $705.65 billion, Amazon is one of the best examples of how an omnichannel strategy, technology, data and efficiencies can combine to create global success.
What makes Amazon's omnichannel strategy so successful?
Although it would be nice to follow an Amazon recipe for success, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Replicating this success takes time, testing, data and — of course — money.
But that doesn’t mean to say that it’s impossible. There’s a lot to learn from Amazon’s omnichannel strategy and how they continuously innovate to expand their broad reach.
So, what exactly makes Amazon tick? Let’s take a look.
Perhaps the most significant contributing factor to Amazon’s success is always putting the customer first. It’s about giving the customer what they want, when they want it and at the right price, which leads to repeat purchases and customer loyalty.
Here are some examples of how Amazon keeps the customer as its core focus:
- Offering a wide range of products and services: Whatever customers need, they can find it on Amazon, putting the platform at the top of the list when customers come to purchase.
- Seamless customer experience: Whether shopping online, through the app or in-store, Amazon’s omnichannel approach makes the experience seamless and free of friction, enhancing the chance of repeat sales.
- Using customer feedback to its advantage: There’s a lot to learn from what the customer has to say. Star ratings are a central point of Amazon’s shopping experience and the business and customers take those considerations into account.
- Data is crucial: Data is one of the most valuable assets to eCommerce businesses. It can lead to foolproof digital shelf strategies, personalization algorithms, efficient logistics and so much more.
- Continuous testing: Trialling new technologies and multivariate testing can improve functionalities and enhance the customer experience.
- Personalization: Whether it’s product recommendations, individualized search results or targeted marketing, Amazon uses personalization to resonate with the customer, increasing the chance of interaction.
- Customer service: Amazon understands the importance of effective customer service. It’s what keeps its customers happy and stops them from shopping elsewhere when there’s a mistake.
Strong channel integration
By definition, omnichannel is a strategy that operates across multiple channels at any time. For it to work as well as it should, channels must be properly integrated horizontally and vertically.
Whether shopping through the website, on the app or in physical stores, the Amazon customer journey is seamless. Customers can buy online, pick up in stores or order from small businesses while benefiting from Amazon’s efficient logistics network and next-day delivery options.
Working with third-party sellers and partners benefits Amazon, the independent store and customers. For Amazon, it increases its product offering. For third-party sellers, it expands their global reach, which might only be achievable with the help of Amazon. For customers, it means they have a wide range of products to choose from, meaning they quickly get what they want.
If you’re unfamiliar with Amazon Prime, it's a subscription service that spans video, music, next-day delivery, groceries, Kindle books, exclusive deals and more. It’s a perfect example of omnichannel at its best.
But why? Amazon Prime offers a consistent experience, regardless of the channel a customer chooses. It offers the convenience of a wide range of services through a single membership, eliminating the need for multiple subscriptions.
Amazon Prime is an omnichannel approach that benefits both Amazon and the customer. Prime collects and uses a large amount of data, which can be translated into optimization and personalization opportunities for Amazon, further enhancing a positive customer experience.
Ease and convenience at its best
Amazon’s successful omnichannel approach has helped it achieve its mission of being the ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company’. Amazon has achieved unparalleled growth driven by customer centricity and convenience.
While there’s a lot to learn from Amazon, taking these learnings and translating them into growth strategies for your eCommerce business isn’t so black and white. It takes time, learning and understanding to turn Amazon’s model into a successful approach for your business. But we can help you get one step closer.
Apply learnings from Amazon to your own eCommerce business
Our Amazon training course is the perfect place to start. The course is packed full of current information, practical outcomes and impactful knowledge, and will help you upskill your eCommerce teams to reach your business goals. Take a closer look and see how we can help you transform your eCommerce offering.
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