Taking a Lesson from Amazon.com

As the world's largest online retailer, Amazon.com is clearly doing something right. Between their hundreds of thousands of product offerings, e-reader domination, and all around clean image, Amazon has proven itself to be a powerhouse that we could all learn from. With such a behemoth of a company in the market, it may seem dismal to even try to compete. Rather, there are a number of ideas you can take from Amazon and apply to your own business. Take what has worked for them, make it work for you.

1. Competitive pricing

Amazon offers reasonable pricing on most items as is, but those who pay for Prime memberships get even more discounts as well as other offers (free two-day shipping on thousands of items, etc). You can compare your prices to Amazon or other retailers right on your website, showing that your prices are lower or that you have more to offer. This may sway some to stray from their Amazon accounts and to your website.

2. Customer service

Amazon is an absolute powerhouse in the customer service sector. No matter what the issue, it seems as though the company is constantly striving for new ways to serve their customers faster and more efficiently. They have integrated live chat, you can email them, call them, and complain any which way. They then look at each issue individually, and using their well-kept records they are able to process returns and refunds in a timely manner. This is crucial to any company, as your customers are what keep your business afloat. Making them a priority is essential to building customer loyalty.

3. Hands-on product reviews

If you've ever shopped online, one of the easiest ways to see if an item will truly fit your needs is to read the reviews. Reviews written by real people just like you; not paid salespeople. These people are brutally honest about what they liked and what they didn't when it comes to a product. By allowing users to post product reviews to your website, you build trust among shoppers, because they can see real, honest recommendations.

4. Site Simplicity

Amazon’s website isn’t flashy, it’s clean, it’s simple, and it’s easy to navigate. This is highly underrated in the e-commerce world. By allowing users to navigate and search your site easily, you will encourage them to come back time and time again.

5. Mobile Accessibility

Nowadays, our mobile devices are by our side all the time, and having a website that is readily accessible via smartphone is crucial to capitalizing on customers who need something in a bind or on a whim. Amazon has an app that makes online shopping a breeze, and even if you don’t want to develop a new app, making sure that your website is optimized for mobile is essential to competing with the big name retailers.

6. Feedback

Everywhere you turn on Amazon, they are asking you for your feedback. That feedback is then analyzed and turned into real changes that improve their site and the customer experience. By asking for your customers feedback and then acting on it, you show them how crucial they are to your business and you better cater your services to your clientele.

7.  Follow Ups

After just about any order, Amazon drops a friendly email asking if everything was to your satisfaction. This shows customers that you care and that their business matters to you. It’s an easy, automatable task that can be extremely effective in building a loyal customer base.

8. A clean track record

Amazon doesn’t have a long line of angry customer with pitchforks, and neither should you. If you follow the above steps, you should be able to manage your customer base effectively while still providing cost effective, quality products/services. If you receive a complaint, act on it quickly and efficiently. Resolve it, do everything you can to keep that customer coming back to your site. Remember word of mouth travels fast, and one unhappy customer can cause a domino effect of losses.

Though Amazon seems to have cornered the market of online shopping, there is no need to despair. You can use Amazon’s strengths and successes to better your own business and even compete with them. By making the customer a clear priority, keeping a clean track record, using feedback wisely, and following up, you can help your business grow and prosper.

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