E-catalog-Learn From Those Around You (299 words)
By Melissa Sepos
Making your customers feel valued can cost you as little as 10 cents.
Amazon.com has long been touted for its one-click checkout, real-time package tracking and personalized book suggestions. In January, the company conducted a marketing program of an unusual nature. Amazon mailed an envelope containing 10 one-cent stamps with every order. The "convenience" envelope also contained a 10 percent off coupon, a promotional introduction to luxury retailer Ashford.com (see the Fulfillment story on page 69), and a letter:
From the start, one of our primary goals at amazon.com has been to make the lives of our customers easier. For over five years, this sensibility has guided our growth, site design, and the addition of new features and services.
But recently, it struck me that despite all of our hard work there are still many inconveniences we haven't yet addressed.
We can't wash your dishes.
We can't pick up your dry cleaning.
We can't change the little light bulb in your refrigerator.
We can't make your tuna salad just the way you like it.
Then I realized there was one thing we could do that we've never done before—spare you the hassle of an extra trip to the post office! First-class postal rates went up a penny to 34 cents on January 7, so enclosed you'll find ten 1-cent stamps—a necessity for using up your old 33-centers. Sure, we're only talking 10 cents in value, but hopefully the time you'll save will be worth much more.
Connecting with your customers in a relevant way when they are happiest is important. The stamps and the letter associate Amazon with convenience, which is the most popular reason people shop mail-order or online—but customers simply see it as a nice gesture.