Amazon’s Obsession With Customers Pays Off


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Amazon is rarely out of the news. The Christmas period is always a busy one for Amazon. It has a new electronic reader, the Kindle, on the market. And its success continues to go from strength to strength. A recent article in the New York Times, Put Buyers First. What a Concept points out that much of this is due to Amazon’s focus on the customer experience. Or more correctly, to Jeff Bezos’ obsession with customers.

This obsession hasn’t always made Wall Street’s analysts happy. They would much prefer to see profits growing by being less nice to customers. Like most of Amazon’s competitors do. As Amazon’s CEO Thomas J. Szkutak said in a recent analysts conference, Amazon gave away over US$600 million in foregone shipping revenue in the last year alone. But Bezos, as the biggest single shareholder in Amazon, with over 100 million shares, is well placed to ignore their advances. And to focus on what makes Amazon so special; its obsession with customers.

When I looked at buying an expensive digital camaera last year, the first place I looked was Amazon. Even though it wasn’t the cheapest of the many offers on Amazon, I opted to buy from Amazon direct, rather than from one of its many merchants. And I am not alone in doing this. Amazon’s customer return rate is about as good as it gets. And each of its 72 million returning customer spent US$184 with Amazon last year. An enormous return on its customer experience. And on Bezos ignoring Wall Street’s short-sighted analysts.

Tip of the hat to Mark Graban at the Lean Blog.

What do you think? Is Amazon’s obsession with customers something we should all copy? Or are the Wall Street sharks right to focus on short-term profits?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

Gunning Fog Index: 10

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn


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