How to Apply 'The Amazon Effect' to Your E-Commerce Business
It's hard to overestimate the reach that Amazon.com has these days. What started as an online book retailer has become more than a marketplace; it's a place for market solutions. Love it or hate it, Amazon is truly a phenomenon of the 21st century.
It’s not like Amazon is slowing down, either. Recently, it added same-day delivery from select brick-and-mortar locations to its list of offerings. Now, instead of ordering an item from Amazon, you can buy it from your favorite local store and have it that same day.
Amazon's continued commitment to innovation makes it difficult for competitors to eat into its market share. For small businesses, directly competing with Amazon isn’t realistic, but what they can do is apply bits of what Amazon does into their own business model. Finding a way to implement “The Amazon Effect” into any e-commerce shipping best practices enables your business to stay relevant and keep one eye ahead toward the future.
Give Your E-Commerce Shipping Strategy a Touch of Amazon
What's "The Amazon Effect?" In short, it's about expectations. Convenience is the rule instead of the exception, and Amazon's influence has shaped an entire generation's concept of how simple e-commerce shipping fulfillment can be.
How do you apply it to your overall e-commerce shipping management? Here are some easy-to-implement strategies:
1. Keep customers locked in during checkout.
Do whatever you can to make life easier for the consumer. That means simplifying and streamlining your checkout process. Most people prefer to shop at places that have a physical location, and at the same time, consumers say that the worst part of the shopping process is the checkout experience.
Not only is the checkout experience typically the worst part of shopping for most consumers, but it's also your last customer touchpoint. Customers will leave with fond memories of your shop by easing the pain of the checkout process.
2. Explore in-store pickup.
The buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) option is crucial for companies wanting a hybrid consumer experience. Customers get the ease of shopping online, and businesses still get people coming through the door.
Same-day fulfillment, if possible, is also a crucial element to employ. Things happen fast these days; gone are the times when three to five business days were acceptable. Instead, let customers get the online experience and pick up their purchases at your brick-and-mortar store.
3. Expand your payment options.
Speaking of giving the customer more options, you should give them more ways to pay. A popular new method of payment is buy now, pay later (BNPL). This allows customers to break payments into more-manageable chunks instead of paying for something all at once.
It’s a win-win for the buyer and for the business. BNPL allows customers to build credit and to buy more expensive items that they otherwise might not because of the price tag. That means businesses can move bigger-ticket items more consistently than they used to in the past.
4. Build out your online store experience.
Incentivize customers to make an account on your online store. Do this by offering unique features and promotions. These accounts can be personalized so that promotions are targeted toward specific profiles. This gives the consumer a more engaging experience with your business and can help to build brand loyalty.
Amazon has been an e-commerce pioneer and disruptor, which can intimidate smaller shops trying to carve out their own place in the market. But by using some of Amazon's tricks of the trade, you can create an e-commerce shipping strategy that boosts your customer base, improves your customer experience, and breeds brand loyalty.
Rick Johnson is the president and CEO of Kadro, a versatile e-commerce platform that gives customers the power to create everything needed to succeed.
Related story: What Consumers Expect From Their Delivery Experiences
Rick is responsible for leading Kadro’s strategic vision, developing the business, and directing the company’s operations.
Rick has over 35 years experience in software engineering and engineering management in the areas of software product development, professional consulting services, and information technology.