Lessons From Amazon

Lessons From Amazon
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Amazon is the king of all e-commerce. Their marketing genius has led them to billions. It's been studied and followed by the biggest players in the e-commerce world. Their proven customer interface model is worth paying a close attention to for those wanting to compete in online retail world.

 

Here are my 10 basic e-commerce lessons I learned from Amazon:

 

Lesson 1: Safety is always first

 
If the customer has any reason to doubt the security of your site or the integrity of people (you) running the site, they won't make a purchase no matter how great the offer is.  They'd be afraid to leave any personal and financial information with you for the fear of getting ripped off.
 
The solution is threefold:

  1. Be as transparent as possible. Display your name, a short bio and contact information - so that a customer knows you are a real person and they can get a hold of you if they need to.
  2. Make sure the customer knows their information is secure and private.
  3. Show any awards, testimonials, satisfaction guarantees, return policy - anything that will make them feel safe ordering from you.

 

Lesson 2: Product images sell

 
High quality interactive product images are a key to successful marketing.  Let them see products in different colors, sizes and textures. Enable them to zoom and rotate those images. The better "feel" they get of your product through your images, the more likely they are to buy it.
 

Lesson 3: Everyone wants free shipping

 
A forrester.com study showed that nearly 50% of customers abandon their shopping carts because of high shipping costs.
Though free shipping is not possible for every retailer and every product, it makes a big difference in closing the sale. The next best thing is flat rate shipping. If you offer free or flat rate shipping, advertise that fact early and often.
 

Lesson 4: Keep all fees transparent

 
If there are shipping or other fees that you must charge for, reveal them as early as possible. Avoid the sticker price shock at the checkout. According to WebCredible UK study , half of the people who are shocked by a higher final price will leave without making a purchase.
 

Lesson 5: Make it easy to buy gifts

 
Some visitors are there to buy gifts for others. Make it easy for them by using a "give a gift" button in the primary navigation.
 

Lesson 6: Let them make a wish list

 
Some visitors need more time to make up their minds. They may need to do more research, compare prices and solutions. A "wish list" invites them to come back and buy when they are ready.
 

Lesson 7: Everyone wants hassle-free shopping

 
Most online shoppers don't like the hassle of creating an account just to make a purchase. Give your shoppers the ability to check out as a guest, without harassing them for detailed personal information they may not be ready to give you.
 

Lesson 8: More payment options equals more payments

 
You may not accept cash or check on your ecommerce store (like WalMart does) but do you accept PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress?  Are you offering financing through BillMeLater?  Google Wallet? The big digital retailers know that more payment options equals more payments.
 

Lesson 9: Easy and speedy checkout

 
You’ve heard it before, a confused mind always says no.  If the customer is confused by your checkout process, she'll simply walk away. A confused mind doesn’t convert.  Keep it simple and clear as Amazon's one click checkout. Easy, clear and fast checkout process is critical.
 

Lesson 10: Keep the cart waiting for them to come back

 
If your customer added items to the shopping cart on a previous visit, keep that cart with their items waiting for them to continue where they left off. Gently remind them to complete their shopping by making that cart prominent and easily accessible. Most people appreciate the store keeping track. Most will need to complete their "unfinished business".
 

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