How To Deal with the “Amazon Effect” & Still Run a Successful eCommerce Business

Congrats on creating a fabulous product! We can imagine you’re proud of the effort it has taken to develop and look forward to getting it into the hands of customers.

It’s likely that in this competitive eCommerce space, your immediate focus has been creating a high converting website and innovative digital marketing. While managing eCommerce sites and growing digital businesses are two big reasons many customers hire us, we want to share a reality with you…

A great product and marketing strategy does not always equal success.

Gulp…how so?

We attribute this to what is sometimes called the “Amazon Effect,” a term that pays tribute to Amazon’s early and ongoing domination, evolution and disruption of the eCommerce market. This powerhouse has revolutionized the online shopping experience and set the standard for what customers expect.

Quite simply, it means that because of Amazon…people get what they want, when they want.

In 2019, this online retail giant will capture nearly half of U.S. online sales, according to the market research company, eMarketer, and while Amazon has made the lives of customers around the world dramatically easier, it has also made the jobs of businesses like yours so much more challenging.

Because of the world-class order and fulfillment standards they have set for customers, it’s necessary for online retailers to run a seamless shopping experience that is convenient, reliable and enjoyable.

The “Amazon Effect” coupled with social media has also created the perfect storm for online retailers in which just a few bad reviews can damage your credibility. There are approximately 3.4 billion active social media users worldwide, many of which take to their social platforms to voice their feelings and experiences about brands.

Customer reviews are powerful, and dramatically affect other consumers’ buying habits. Consider:

  • 93% of consumers determine whether a company has a good reputation based on reviews
  • 97% of consumers report that customer reviews influence their purchasing decisions
  • Products with reviews are 270% more likely to be purchased than products without. Yes, 270%.

The net net…if your eCommerce website and customer service are not exceptional, people will hear about and will stop coming back if they even consider you at all.

So, while a great product and marketing strategy does not always equal success, we’ll now add the point that…

Laser-focused attention to customer service and order fulfillment WILL create a happier and more frequent shopper.

It’s time to get back to the basics, and by this, we mean customer service. Here are a few strategies you can start implementing in your eCommerce business today, which will help strengthen your brand in the days to come.

1. Be an updater.

In the age of eCommerce, there is no such thing as over-communicating about an order. Customers have come to expect transparency and information as it pertains to their online order.

Send frequent emails and/or mobile updates to let them know you are processing the order and another update advising that it’s been shipped…and don’t forget that customers love tracking numbers. Should the order be delayed, let them know right away and continue to provide updates about when they will receive it.

We’re pretty certain that no customer has ever complained that a company gave them too many updates about their order.

2. Be a solution seeker.

Don’t waste your customer’s time. In Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report, of the 5,000 people surveyed, over a third of both global and US respondents said that, “Getting my issue resolved in a single interaction (no matter the length of time),” when asked, “What is the most important aspect of a good customer service experience?”

A key proponent of effective customer service is being able to resolve a problem efficiently, which is the result of having a team that is capable and knowledgeable.

3. Be proactive.

If you have a problem with an order or anticipate delays, immediately reach out to the customer. Don’t wait! Do you need one and two-day free delivery like Amazon? No, but if you’re not able to ship within seven days, communicate with the customer early on so you can manage their expectations.

Customers are savvy, so it’s better to be proactive.

4. Be human.

One Gallup survey showed that customers who perceive the treatment they get from a brand as personal and empathetic, are up to 9x more likely to be fully engaged with that brand. Usually, this requires taking extra time to understand, listen and work toward providing an appropriate answer.

With the speed of the world today, it is noticeable when customer service representatives are courteous, respectful and honors your time. Make sure your team is focused on delivering the highest quality service and communication that is all this and more.

5. Be a source of surprise & delight.

Customer buying habits and preferences may differ, but they all share one quality – they like feeling special. Surprise them with freebies, gifts or useful content. Consider upgrading your packaging – it matters!

Standing out in a sea of retailers will only happen if you make your customers feel good.

6. Be available.

In addition to being available online, if you can, establish a 24-hour phone system to support your customers. Most people prefer to speak to a representative over the phone and there are many services available so that customers can interact with your brand no matter the time.

Investing in 24-hour support will make a world of difference and will contribute to your customer-first reputation.

Let’s Take a Look

We work with some wonderful and truly talented clients, and we’d love to share this story with you…

This particular company had a great product and our team was charged with cleaning up the website to improve the conversion rate. We immediately executed a multi-channel marketing campaign and the results were phenomenal – a 20% increase out of the gate and the knowledge that with a few refinements the next campaign would generate an even better increase in revenue. Excited about the immediate success, we planned our next marketing campaign, which included several Conversion Facebook Ads.

Sound good? We wish this is where the story ended…

Our client was unable to fulfill the orders fast enough and customers began complaining on Facebook. Our customer and his team while very honest with the best of intentions, in the age of Amazon, it didn’t matter. Waiting over a week for a product had become faux pas, and the power of social media hurt this brand’s reputation.

This story does end well, though, we promise!

Due to these setbacks, we had to pivot, stop all marketing, and spend the next few months revamping our client’s entire eCommerce platform and order fulfillment system. We helped our client hire, train and create the necessary processes to ensure orders went out quickly and the proper communications were sent out. Together we created a best-in-class customer service department.

How Can We Help You?

Amazon is too big and too good at what they do for there to be deficiencies in your eCommerce business, and we want you to succeed…

With all you have to do, why not seek a partner to take on such an instrumental component of your business?

We have a reputation and passion for helping our clients take on the challenge of managing their eCommerce websites and growing their business into something great. Whether it’s setting up the proper CRM system or creating customized promotional email campaigns to managing order fulfillment, we will be your ultimate eCommerce partner.

We love helping our clients go from overwhelmed to elated that they have entrusted us to launch and run their eCommerce business so they can focus on creating and connecting.

Reach out today for a complimentary consultation to discuss your eCommerce needs and how we can help!

Business Insider
Biz Journals

READ NEXT How to Create Great Product Videos: A Framework by Gina Miranda |
The Journey To Success Begins With You + Us.