How Amazon is reacting to the latest trends of shopping behavior and what retailers can learn from it
The pandemic’s effects on the retail industry have been significant. Many retailers have been turning to online solutions in order to keep up their game. With changed shopping behavior comes endless possibilities to reach customers. Since Amazon is all about the customer, the company is often fast to imply new tools into their business model to reach customers. So here are the 5 trends that are here to stay and what we can learn from Amazon.
Trend 1: Let me entertain you
In the past years there was a big focus on data and automation. But lately another factor has become more and more important: Creativity. People generally don’t like advertisements, they like to be entertained or learn something new. Good quality content in terms of videos and images is becoming a must for brands. The creative part of getting people to click and watch the video is getting more and more important.
But to spark interaction with customers, retailers have to get creative and find ways to interact with their customers and let them have a brand experience. One way to interact with customers is live streaming. On Amazon customers can take a free Yoga class and underneath the stream are the products you can buy like a yoga mat for example. But you don’t always have to produce your own live stream. You can also use others to promote your product or brand. So even without creating high quality content you can be part of other people’s content.
Twitch is another great Example from Amazon on how brands can interact with customers. The more you get creative and interact with your customers, the better it is for your brand.
Trend 2: We live in a mobile world
The first ones to pick up this trend successfully were the fmcg brands but for many other retailers, this is still uncharted territory. Mobile first is the new rule. And yes, this also counts for your images. Since the mobile world is faster and more compressed, brand or product information needs to be readable but also consistent. This means to balance between SEO and optimized keywords but also being readable which is a whole different thing on a mobile phone. So get to the point! Keep it short instead of stuffing everything with keywords. With this you can have better visibility, drive up your traffic and this will definitely amp up your conversion rate.
Trend 3: We need to talk
Voice commerce is another trend that is on the verge of conquering many customers’ homes. But pay attention here: Voice commerce doesn’t mean copy pasting desktop processes. You can’t copy paste a shop experience into a voice assistant. So think about how to integrate your brand into the ears and lives of your customers. Inspire your customers by building something that helps them and get them to interact with your brand on a more frequent basis. The key here is to create a service that brings value for your customer. Things where they normally have to pick up their phone. A service that makes the lives of your clients easier.
With Amazon’s Alexa Skills, brands have become very creative in creating skills like cooking recipes, providing advice for people’s pets or fitness workouts. If you manage to create a successful skill that can be integrated into your customers daily lives, they will have a closer relationship with your brand.
Trend 4: Tell and track your story
Tell your brand story, yes but not to everyone. Make it specific. Really focus on micro targeting instead and try to understand your target group in detail. Again Amazon programmatic solutions really owns that. You can really target specific groups. The hard part is that you need to track and optimize this system constantly. It’s hard to track the customer journey over all the different channels from your Amazon over your Instagram to your online shop. So the big challenge is really to get a consistent funnel set up, and measure that.
In reality all channels are walled gardens and Amazon, Google and Facebook are not friends. So tracking the customer journey on all these channels and bringing data together is the challenge and working towards having one integrated reporting. But you don’t have to build these big data hubs on your own anymore. You can use what other companies have built. At factor-a we put all the amazon performance indicators as well as other advertising and retail and data into an integrated system. This is often a 6 to 12 months project for a lot of retailers so start as soon as you can or read this. So you really have to create an actionable data pool and build it step by step.
Trend 5: I want it now.
At first it was one day, now it’s just a few hours or minutes. Fast delivery has become the new normal and Amazon is really good here because it’s drivers deliver on time, are friendly and call you when you are not there. Last mile apps like gorillas and flink are challenging. So can you keep up with that? Start to think about what your last mile approach is. Since the frequency of orders has gone up, the basket sizes are shrinking. A lot in e-commerce is still based on low prices and relies on people buying more at a time. So think about that when you enter the world of online delivery.
Amazon is changing a lot by reacting fast to the latest trends in the e-commerce world. You can love or hate it. But if you focus on only a few of these trends, work out what strategy brings results and then automate as much as possible, you will definitely not regret it.
About the Author:
Nils Zündorf, Amazon expert and Managing Director of the largest European Amazon agency, factor-a, advises more than 150 manufacturers and brands on how to maximize their success on the sales platform. With the creation of factor-a suite, an intelligent software solution, the company helps retailers navigate, interpret and use e-commerce data successfully.