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. Though 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. If 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. They started with books, then music, now they offer electronics, clothing, jewelry, groceries — even Irish oatmeal!
Price. While 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. Most of the popular names are available. They’re not pushing too many Amazon-branded stuff other than Kindles (which they push relentlessly).
Service. They ship pretty quickly. And though they don’t do live customer service by phone, they will generally respond to emails with 24 hours.
Recommendations and reviews. Yeah, 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. Amazon 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?