The E-Commerce Column

3 Ideas You Can Borrow from Amazon to Increase Your Sales

3 ideas you can borrow from Amazon to increase your sales

When it comes to being an e-commerce powerhouse, Amazon seems to have all the right stuff. A recognizable brand, fast shipping, detailed reviews – the list goes on and on. But can Amazon really teach you how to grow your sales? Absolutely. You just have to know where to look. Here are three of our favorite Amazon sales ideas that you can borrow – starting today.

Use Every Piece of Information You Have

Do you ever notice how much email you get from Amazon? No? There’s a reason for that. You see, Amazon doesn’t just blast e-mails out to everyone in neatly segmented demographics every time there’s a sale on shoes or iPods. Because they don’t want to dull the experience and find themselves relegated to the user’s email trash can. Instead, they use every scrap of data to send out the most compelling, personalized e-mails possible – so that you’re only getting notifications when a particular brand of running shoes just went on sale, and not every shoe under the sun.

In fact, Amazon sends out several e-mails the moment you create an account with them or place an order. But we don’t find them the least bit intrusive. In fact, we welcome them. Why is that? It’s because Amazon has eliminated the fluff and filler of an email and streamlined the process so that most e-mails are “Here’s what we have / here’s what to do / here’s how to get it on different devices and platforms.”

Then they get out of your way and let you shop. Amazon’s e-mail marketing strategy is brilliant in its simplicity.

Earn Your Customers’ Business

Another area Amazon excels in is earning their customers’ business. They don’t need to ask for the sale because the goodwill they’ve created practically guarantees it. Check out this article, where a customer added an item to their cart, and Amazon helpfully notified them of a price drop on it.

The price difference was just sixteen cents, but the fact that they notified him is what led to greater loyalty. He also mentions the fact that he doesn’t shop their often, nor does he “like” Amazon on Facebook. So in this case the only information they had to go on was the fact that he abandoned his shopping cart and there was a price change. Smart, right?

This is just one of many ways that Amazon works hard to earn customers’ business and loyalty. A small gesture, but a memorable one nonetheless.

The Two Pizza Rule

This is a unique idea that’s entirely Jeff Bezos’ making: the Two Pizza rule. While it doesn’t impact sales directly as the other two ideas do, it does impact productivity, which in turn can lead to greater sales. The idea is simple. When wondering how many people to invite to a meeting, only include the number that two pizzas will feed.

“But that’s not nearly enough!” You may be thinking.

But by only including the most relevant people, you save time and encourage fresh ideas while minimizing “hive-mind” and group-think reactions. By making meetings all about large teams, you encourage what the article author calls “social loafing” – when group members reduce their contribution because they feel they only have a small role to play overall and therefore, small value to add.

Smaller, less centralized groups tend to be more focused and therefore more productive and invested in the goal at hand.

As a result of this type of rule, Amazon has created all kinds of innovative products and services, from Prime to Web Services to products like the Kindle and Fire TV. While smaller meetings are just one of the reasons those products have done so well, it’s certainly telling when a company the size of Amazon reveals some of the many ideas that make it work.

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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