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Amazons Attack!

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Amazon.com is a​ very successful retailer. ​Though for years, their high stock prices were based on little more than hope, the company has been actually making money for a while. A lot of money.

Here are a few reasons for their success:

Easy to use. T​hough they tried to patent one-click ordering and were rejected, Amazon.com is pretty simple to navigate and quickly search for whatever you want —  and buy.

Fast. I​f it takes more than a few seconds for a Web page to load, most of us are outtathere. Amazon’s page designs are fairly intuitive and easy to use.

Variety. T​hey started with books, then music, now they offer electronics, clothing, jewelry, groceries — even I​rish oatmeal!​

Price. W​hile not always the lowest-priced provider of an item, they are usually in the ballpark. And since Amazon allows “associate” businesses to sell on the site, it’s often easier to find a lower price without searching too hard. And Amazon still gets paid on the transaction!

Brand names. M​ost of the popular names are available. They’re not pushing too many Amazon-branded stuff other than Kindles (which they push relentlessly).

Service. T​hey ship pretty quickly. And though they don’t do live customer service by phone, they w​ill g​enerally respond to emails with 24 hours.

Recommendations and reviews. Y​eah, if I buy a Beatles CD I might like The Rolling Stones, too. Fine, but at least they’re not touting Milli Vanilli. The customer-generated reviews are often fun to read. Some are quite informative and can actually aid in buying decisions.

Innovative. A​mazon developed its own search engine, which is fast and fairly sophisticated. At times, I’ve even used the site as a research tool! And their new music download service​ may eventually supplant Apple’s iTunes Store.

Clearly, there’s a lot to be learned from Amazon’s success. Here’s your challenge: adapting what they do to your business. What factors apply? How can you improve your customer experience?

Get busy!

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