When it comes to e-commerce, many look to Amazon for hints as to what is the best practice. While simply replicating Amazon's practices won't work, it's important for online retailer to look at what Amazon has done and is currently doing, and learn from it. Here are six things all e-commerce companies can learn from Amazon's business.
Personalization is key
If you've been in e-commerce for very long at all, you already know that it's important to tailor your service to individual needs. Knowing your customer is more important than ever before. Amazon does a good job of keeping track of all customer data and using it to make recommendations for future purchases when you sign into your account. They also use this information when they contact you via email, whether it be in a follow-up after a purchase or a email promoting new features or services.
Utilize reviews and product information
To help your shoppers realize that they do indeed want to buy one of the products listed on your website, you need to provide them with enough information to make them feel comfortable doing so. Allowing for reviews and providing accurate and useful information in the product reviews will help you sell more products. Amazon's reviews give future shoppers plenty of information on quality, while product descriptions give them everything they need to know in terms of dimensions or materials.
Offer shipping options
Amazon offers plenty of options to its customers when it comes to shipping. And because shipping can greatly affect the cost of shopping cart abandonment, you should too. If at all possible, offer free shipping. To do this, figure out the average shipping cost for your products and then find a way to add that into the price of the product. Tacking on the price of shipping near the end of the transaction process will only lead to cart abandonment.
Speed is important for shoppers
Your website needs to load fast. While this isn't always something you can control, your site has to perform well. If it's down, or if the pages of your site take a long time to load, people will just go someplace else. Amazon enforces a one-second rule, meaning every page on the site should be able to download in one second. In order to make sure this is happening you need to get a good website hosting company.
Try to keep things simple
When you come to Amazon's site, you don't see a lot of flashy graphics or interesting pages. That's purposeful. Amazon knows that it's customers are there to shop. This means that the site doesn't actually do anything else. Try to trim the fat from your site and keep the page as simple as possible while still providing people with everything they need to know to buy.
Simplify the payment process
In addition to the website itself being easy to navigate, you want the payment process to be simple. E-commerce is successful when the customer can easily purchase what they want. Try your best to eliminate unnecessary steps in the payment process. Provide people with the option to save their payment information for future use. Also, it's a good idea to provide several different payment options, including credit and debit card payments, ACH payments and local customer payment options.
Listen to customers and experiment
Many e-commerce companies get stuck on one business plan and won't divert from that path. While having a plan is important, you also need to be flexible, listen to customer feedback, and not be scared to experiment. Companies who don't innovate don't survive.
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