The Secret Ingredient Of Amazon Marketing
When someone hears the word Amazon, the first thing that comes to mind is product deals and delivery. Everyone, from a ten-year-old who just got his first smartphone to a seventy-five-year-old who just learned how to use Whatsapp, has heard about Amazon (probably used it too). But what people know about Amazon is just the tip of the iceberg. Lying beneath the water is the amount of work and struggle that has gone into making Amazon marketing the gargantuan online retail beast it is today.
From a strategic marketing perspective, Amazon marketing has played big, risked it, and been incredibly patient to get to where it is today. What once started as an online bookstore, is now one of the largest companies on the planet. Amazon is now everywhere. Due to its long list of products and services, Amazon has successfully occupied a lion’s share of the online market. The list is so long that it is altogether another day’s topic. It has revolutionized the way people shop.
So what exactly has made Amazon marketing click and stick? Here’s a peek into what it does right.
Customers, customers everywhere.
The reason that has been the backbone of Amazon’s success is the value it gives to its customers. Prioritizing customers above everything is the driving force behind Amazon’s tremendous growth rate. While other contemporary tech giants focus on competitors, Amazon firmly believes in giving precedence to its audience.
Amazon makes it a point to provide its customers with the best possible customer experience. Its ability to personalize content to each individual and provide recommendations based on browser history and previous searches has made buying experience simple and easy going. This rare skill transforms amazon marketing into an online powerhouse during the holidays. Amazon focuses on gingerly looking at buying behavior. It then uses this information to come up with fitting recommendations for each individual.
Amazon constantly keeps a tab on every move of its customers and customizes the homepage accordingly. Keeping a track on what customers look for helps amazon learn their interests.
Amazon’s one point agenda of focusing on customer satisfaction has helped the brand gain a loyal base of customers who are happy to share their good experience with their friends and families. Putting customer needs above everything else, Amazon has been able to successfully establish a powerful online shopping destination.
Small retailers can learn a lot from Amazon. They should look for ways to be exclusive. They should think hard about what they need to do to provide the ultimate customer experience all customers crave.
Give the people what they Want.
Amazon has taken it to the next level when it comes to giving people the product they want. People are aware of the fact that they can get just about anything on Amazon. By anything, Amazon means anything. For instance, Amazon sells cow dung in India. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Why ? because there are people who actually buy it. What would appear to be strange and superfluous to many is actually an amazing marketing tactic? The idea is to gratify the customer at any cost, irrespective of what the product is.
Its marketing model maintains that selecting a myriad of products is key to customer engagement and adoption. Amazon does not rely solely on carrying inventory held on its balance sheet. Instead, it asks third-party sellers to come on board, allowing them to list their products which have resulted in rapidly expanding product variety without capital limitations.
Take the Long View.
This style is what separates Amazon from the rest. One of the stands out features of Amazon’s marketing campaigns are thinking long term. Amazon has always believed in growth over profits. Planning and thinking long term has helped Amazon establish a strong foothold in the market. Short term gains and benefits take a backseat in Amazon’s approach. Right behind the wheel is a comprehensive long-term strategy which has given Amazon the competitive edge that has helped it reach the pinnacle of success. As Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos points out,
“What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and it changes against you- what used to be a tail wind is now a headwind- you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.”
A market is a dynamic place. Over the years it has gone through drastic changes. But there are a few aspects that tend to remain more or less the same over a long period. Amazon has successfully crafted and implemented their business strategy around things that have remained constant in the long run. For instance, tennis players will always need racquets and kit bags, wrestlers will always need wrestling gear, boxers will always need gloves. Recognizing these stable factors and formulating strategies around them is bound to have a far-reaching effect.
Always be Creative.
If a brand is looking to keep its audience engaged and retain it, it needs to be creative in its approach. Amazon has done exactly that. The reason Amazon has been able to catch the attention of the audience and compel them to stay time and again is that it continuously innovates. It develops and provides everything.
Amazon continuously launches product after product and service after service. It has managed to adapt to the frequent changes in the retail market and provide stuff that is in line with customer needs. Like when Amazon introduced the prime feature in 2005. Through prime, Amazon was successful in building a strong and loyal customer base and remove the issue of long waits for delivery and shipping charges. Over the years, what has added to the amazingness of prime is the fact that Amazon kept on stacking benefits one after the other. The sole purpose of amazon prime was to offer unlimited next day delivery at no extra cost, but now it includes live video streaming, unlimited cloud storage, e-books, comics and others.
Trial and Error.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, thinks along the lines of the expression “take risks if you win you will be happy if you lose you will be wise.” Amazon has always been into trying out different tactics one after the other. Surely all of these tactics were not supposed to hit the mark and many headed straight into a blind alley, but it made Amazon aware of what works and what does not. Experimentation has allowed Amazon to put to test more than one possibility to unearth which one is the most promising. The strategy was worth amazon’s time and money as it was confident a winning formula will ultimately surface.
Experimentation has allowed Amazon to try out a strategy that is completely different than anything else it has ever done before and discovered the reaction of its customers.
What small time retailers can learn from this is that experiment is good, in fact, it is necessary. Not only does it cut down expenditure costs, but also opens up new possibilities and within them lies the one that is going to click.
Tackle Competition Effectively.
The one thing Amazon has in common with other tech giants is the way it eliminates its competition. What does it do? It buys them. Buying competitors are one of the sure shot ways of tackling competition. Every time Amazon buys a company, it reduces its competition by one. The less the better. This process has helped Amazon increase its business overnight.
This has served a twofold purpose, not only did Amazon take control of the business of its competitors, but also their customers, thereby adding to its already strong customer base. When it buys a company, it also buys its customers. By buying its competitors, Amazon has absorbed in itself up and running businesses that are already making money which has also increased the size of its market share. Amazon has rendered the competition irrelevant by buying it.
Almost every man in the street knows about Amazon and where it came from. Amazon’s journey is truly inspirational, right from the time it started as an online bookstore to the time when it became the most powerful online retail giant. Going by current market trends, it would not be wrong to say that Amazon will continue to sit atop the online marketing world.
As mentioned before, there has been a seismic shift in the balance of power from the seller to the buyer. The value Amazon gives to its customers has re-defined the company customer relationship. Amazon believes in going the extra mile and tries everything in its might to meet the needs of the customers. The cardinal aspect of Amazon becoming the most dominant force in e-commerce is its heavy dependency on providing complete customer satisfaction.
Retailers, both big and small can learn and benefit a lot from Amazon marketing. Although given their limited resources, it would be practically impossible for small retailers to replicate each and every move of Amazon’s practices, that does not mean they can’t take a page from the e-commerce giant’s book. Making a couple of minor tweaks in strategy can do wonders for their business.
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