I was on the phone last week with the head of one of the business units at my company (a large technology firm). He wanted me to work with our customer experience team to improve the navigation and functionality of some of his business’s web pages. I asked him to send me an example of a best in class website that we could use to model the changes after. Of course he chose the website that everyone chooses when having a conversation about customer experience, Amazon. This got me to thinking, what has Amazon done so well in order to be unanimously considered the best platform when it comes to customer experience? Below I’ve outlined the top 3 aspects of the Amazon customer experience that I consider to be game changers.
- Dynamic Content
Dynamic content refers to website content that changes regularly or constantly based on user interaction / behaviors. The content could be video, text, color scheme, pricing, etc. The benefit of dynamic content is that every visitor to the website has a unique experience based on their interests and past website behaviors. The content on the website is uniquely tailored to the viewer’s needs and provides an easier browsing experience. Amazon’s dynamic content feature provides the user with recommended products based on their product browsing and purchase history. Amazon relies on a detailed algorithm that predicts associated products in order to show recommendations. The product recommendations are also based on “like customers” or “like purchases.” Customers that behave in a similar manner or have purchased similar products in the past are grouped into segments, and products associated with those segments are pushed to those customers. While dynamic content clearly plays a role in improving customer experience, it also allows Amazon to cross-sell many of their products without coming across in an overly salesman-like or pushy way.
- Customer Reviews
While customer reviews are relatively commonplace in today’s digital world, Amazon was among the first to offer and perfect the customer review experience. From a marketing perspective, word of mouth is the most persuasive tool for convincing purchase behavior. Customer reviews act as word of mouth advertising for websites as they provide readers with a sense of trust and validation for the site’s products. Not only do reviews provide customers with trusted insights before they actually purchase the product, but they are a means by which brands can be held accountable for their product quality. Part of Amazon’s value relies on the network effect tied to customer reviews. The more customers purchase through Amazon and leave reviews, the more customers decide to come to Amazon and trust the products on the site. This cyclical pattern that partly contributes to Amazon’s growth could only be made possible by a top-notch customer experience.
- Simple Shopping Experience
Amazon has continued to improve the customer shopping experience through innovation. One click shopping allows Amazon to auto populate shipping address, billing address, and payment details for customers based on previous interactions. One click shopping is now commonplace among ecommerce sites and other online purchasing sites, but Amazon was one of the first to incorporate this user experience tool into its website. Recently Amazon has taken the digital purchase process to new heights with the development of dash buttons and the ability to order products through Alexa. The dash buttons are WiFi enabled product buttons that, when pressed, automatically place an order through Amazon. The buttons can be conveniently placed around a customer’s house so that when they notice they are running low on a product, reordering is right at their fingertips. Amazon is seeking to further distinguish itself in the world of ecommerce by improving customer experience and ordering ease. Amazon made their customer shopping experience even easier when they introduced Alexa. Alexa takes the ordering experience one step further than the dash buttons by allowing customers to order by simply speaking out loud.
Amazon revolutionized customer experience for digital business back when it was founded in 1994, and they continue to move the industry forward today with their innovative ideas and customer centric strategy. It will be interesting and exciting to see how Amazon plans to shape the world of digital customer experience in the years to come. I’m sure my company and businesses around the globe will continue to use Amazon as a case study from which to model their online customer experience strategies.