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How Can My B2C Business Be More Like Amazon?

The world is faster paced than it’s ever been, and despite this, major companies and retailers like Amazon are not only keeping up, they’ve been on the forefront of this growth. They have the resources to keep customers coming back as well as the resources to pull in new customers.

These retailers service their customers well, and continue to grow their business model in all facets of the market, including digital and physical. For instance, Amazon Prime Video is now a huge contender, competing against major streaming networks like Netflix and Hulu.

In 2016, e-commerce grew by an estimated 45%, which is a 15.8% increase over the year prior. With Amazon at the center of this growth and movement, it's led to something called the “Amazon Effect,” which forces competing brands to come up with competitive policies just to keep pace.

With this continually happening, how can a business hope to be like Amazon? More specifically, how can your B2C business hope to compete on the same level?

We’re going to explore six ways companies and businesses can strive to be more like Amazon by providing similar products and services to their customers:

1. Provide a Seamless Experience

Customers today require cross-platform support, and not just between desktop and mobile devices, but other platforms, too.

For example, Amazon currently allows Prime Video users to watch content on desktop, mobile, smart TVs and related streaming devices. Now, you and your business aren’t going to need the same model for every product or service you offer.

The point, however, is to provide a seamless experience to your customers between all the platforms they will be using to interact and engage with your business, including social networks.

2. Real Time Support

Take a look at Amazon’s customer support and service channels. In addition to an integrated support system via their website, you can also email support, call via the phone or chat via an instant messaging service. On top of all of this, Amazon has an incredible selection of helpful resources and guides you can use to find answers on your own.

All of this amounts to hyper-engaged real time support for their customers. They don’t have to sit and wait around for an Amazon rep to get back to them. Instead, they can reach out for support or help and get exactly what they need, right when they need it.

Take a look at Amazon’s social profiles and you’ll see that customers receive support there, as well. You should be following a similar model by putting the resources behind your customer service experience to keep your audience supported, happy, and engaged.

3. Jump the Hurdles

Identify your e-commerce problems and tackle obstacles head on to innovate like Amazon.

You’re going to run into obstacles or hurdles. The trick is to find ways to overcome these problems, even if those solutions are unorthodox or out of the ordinary.

Amazon, for instance, recently partnered with certain retailers to allow customers to pay for Amazon orders with cash. Since it’s been nearly impossible up until now to pay for online orders and content with cash, this is an unprecedented move. It also opens up their platform to people who wouldn’t otherwise use it or have the means to.

They identified a problem—customers paying with cash couldn’t participate on Amazon—and found a way to overcome it. While this same exact model won’t necessarily apply to your business, you can use the concept to overcome obstacles that stand in your way.

4. Innovation Drives Growth

Did you know that Amazon currently employs a massive army of autonomous bots to work alongside their warehouse employees? Their purpose is to improve the efficiency of the shipping and fulfillment process for local customer service centers.

How many retailers have you seen adopt a similar strategy? How many have come up with similar ideas of their own? Sure, there are probably some, but this setup is largely exclusive to Amazon.

The reason they put this system into place is because the benefits are great, even though the innovation was questionable and the risks may have been high. In other words, when the Amazon team originally set out to deploy these systems, they didn’t necessarily know it would be successful. It could have just as easily failed and cost them money, but it didn’t.

You cannot be afraid to push the limits and innovate, especially if you want to compete with rivals on the same level as Amazon.

5. Know Your Audience

A big part of B2C success is knowing target audiences.

Amazon relies on a huge network of predictive analytics, collected data and customer feedback. They know what products and services to recommend to various customers, what they’re interested in and how to keep them happy. This is all possible thanks to analytics tools that are constantly monitoring trends, patterns and audience interactions.

You, as a business, must find a way to understand and identify your audience. In order to make proper decisions and offer successful product updates, you must know what they want, when they want it. You must also know—sometimes even before they do—whether or not a product is going to work.

You can do this with the help of big data and modern analytics platforms.

6. Provide Incentive

Amazon Prime customers—who pay a premium to be VIP or exclusive brand members—are given plenty of incentive for their loyalty. It works similar to a customer reward program, with the exception that customers are paying for the service.

They get access to free 2-day shipping, so they get products they buy faster. They also have access to Amazon Prime Instant Video content and services, all the Amazon apps and tools and much more. Plus, Amazon has a variety of additional services including support for their Kindle tablet or eReader line, Amazon Echo features and a continuously growing list of support.

In short, Amazon offers their most loyal customers incentive and gives back in some small way. You should adopt a system that does the same for your own customers. They more they shop, engage and interact with your brand the more rewards they receive in return. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, especially if you can bring in repeat business from the deal. 

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Lexie Lu

Lexie Lu

Lexie Lu is a freelance graphic designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest design news and always has some coffee in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.