Amazon are the masters of online marketing and their online retail store is one of the most popular websites on the internet. But like all businesses, they started from small beginnings and used some of the most innovative marketing that the internet at the time had seen.
Now they are huge and it’s probably not surprising that we can learn a lot about marketing by looking at the Amazon website and thinking about why it works so well.
Want to sell more and get more traffic to your website? Here are 6 items to take from Amazons play book:
So many online retailers simply use stock descriptions or at best write a short description of their own based on the original. Generally writing unique descriptions is harder the more products you have.
But Amazon have millions of products and yet the majority of those items have a unique Amazon description as well as the manufacturers description and numerous other details.
This is a lot of effort but what it amounts to is that Amazon product pages contain a wealth of information – everything that a user needs to make a buying decision, and everything that Google needs to want to rank them highly.
User Generated Content
Amazon are the masters of user generated content – reviews are of course the main weapon in their armory, but not the only one.
Amazon use UGC to great effect and in doing so they create a lot of unique content for their product pages, which is not an easy thing to do when you sell so many different items. But what if you don’t have enough customers to garner so many reviews?
Well they also use algorithms to power their up selling and cross selling…
Up Selling / Cross Selling
You’ve all see the little box in the product pages which says things like “other customers bought these” and “here’s stuff you might like”. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point.
Amazon use simple tracking and statistics to create these suggestions and they are hugely powerful.
For instance, if you search for some weights, they will pay attention and make a note that you are probably into weight lifting. Next month, they might suggest you look at their special on protein powder!
Likewise, when you view a product, they suggest groups of products that other people have bought. So if you are not entirely sold on that particular product, there is a good chance you will like one of the others.
Always Be Testing
Amazon are known for their relentless split testing. Unlike other big brands they never completely change their interface because they know that that annoys customers. Instead they constantly make small changes.
Over the years the basic look and feel has changed little, but small details are constantly changing and overall the ordering experience is as simple and streamlined as any website on the internet.
Think Long Term
For a small business the profit you are making right now might take priority, but Amazon show us the power of sacrificing profit now for profit later.
When they started, Amazon made huge losses for years whilst they built up the buying power to be able to negotiate better prices from suppliers. Now they have huge buying power and make big profits.
You can also see this mentality in their product range. As mentioned above, they write unique descriptions for most of their products, even though some products may not make a sale for months, but they know that the investment of time will eventually pay off, even if it takes a year or more to pay for itself.
Page Speed Matters
Finally, look at how simple Amazon pages are, they have been carefully optimized using simple code and few images and graphics – all of which leads to a fast loading time.
It’s not that page speed improves search engine performance (that’s just a bonus) but they know that the faster a page loads the more you will browse, and the more you browse the more you buy!
Which just goes to show one more time: The single biggest lesson you can take from Amazon is that it is all about the customer’s experience!
My name is Adam, I am an SEO and small business consultant, I work at Digivate.com where I help small businesses to build an online presence. I love writing about business and marketing.
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