Can You Engage Like Amazon Does? Top Consumer Engagement Lessons from Amazon


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In the past few years, Amazon has shot up the ranks to become one of the popular and successful retailers in the United States. In 2013, Amazon posted an incredible 27.2% growth over 2012, dwarfing the next-highest growth rate in the top ten, the Home Depot’s 6.6%. What’s more, Amazon is the first and only retailer selling solely over the Internet to crack the top ten. This offers Amazon many competitive advantages, including the seemingly unlimited selection of products not bound by stores’ physical capacity, and the consumer-to-consumer portion of their business, Amazon Marketplace, that traditional retailers cannot replicate.

However, their intangibility presents unique challenges. How does Amazon establish their trustworthiness and appeal to consumers without ever meeting them face to face? Without showing customers a product they can touch and evaluate? The proof of Amazon’s success is in the pudding, but here are two consumer engagement tactics Amazon has mastered.

Personalization. It seems obvious now, but retail websites haven’t always shown suggestions for each individual consumer based on what they’ve browsed or bought. Amazon was one of the pioneers. As Steve Jobs famously said, “People don’t know what they want until they show it to them.” Amazon more than capitalized on this, showing consumers a tailored way to impulse shop online. There is not a single Amazon homepage that I can go to, but rather my Amazon homepage during this period of time. All the more business for Amazon!

Personalization, or individual customization, is incredibly important as the culture of the Internet and the habits of the Internet user stabilize. Consumers have been conditioned to all but ignore anything reeking of an advertisement because in the past, the advertisements they were shown were irrelevant to their interests. Thus, the native presentation of Amazon’s recommendations, coupled with their relevancy to the individual, drive consumers to action.


Individual customization is better characterized as a tool rather than a set process — the results depend on how it’s wielded. It’s easy to see how this can apply to a retailer, but with a little lateral thinking, it’s just as applicable to any other industry: Who am I speaking to? What messages will resonate with them? How will I spread the message? How can I do this at scale?

Proactive Consistency. Amazon is famous for their obsessive customer focus. This, of course, does not work for everyone. However, there is not a single company that will not benefit from proactive consistency. One of Amazon’s most famous services, Amazon Prime, builds its reputation and thus its value from its consistency. In this case, Prime promises delivery within 2 days, and anyone who calls into Amazon with a missed deadline complaint typically receives very comprehensive customer service. If they expect delivery delays, such as for a bad winter storm, customers will see a warning about it on their order page. As a retailer who cannot build relationships and trust in person, it is hyper important for them to take every sale as an opportunity to build their reputation.

With Amazon’s reliability and pervasiveness, it’s no wonder customers come back over and over again. In fact, Amazon Prime customers purchase on average $1,224 worth of goods per year. Consistency is easily applicable to any industry. What consumer-facing services am I providing? How can I do this every time, for every customer, without fail?

How will you take Amazon’s best tactics and apply them to your own company?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Anqi Cong
Anqi Cong is a student at Carnegie Mellon University studying Business Administration with a minor in Computer Science. She is a content marketer at Insightpool, a company that allows brands to deliver "sincerity at scale" using its social engagement automation software. Anqi enjoys social media, coding up video games, writing, and dry humor.


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