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Positive Customer Experience — Competing with Amazon

Positive Customer Experience-Competing with Amazon

Positive Customer Experience-Competing with Amazon

In a recent article on Direct Marketing News, Senior Editor, Al Urbanski breaks the code on how to win against Amazon!

Well, not really.

What Mr. Urbanski points out is, like Google, Amazon uses an algorithm to rank queries in their search box. Google’s algorithm is looking for the best answer to a question in its box. Amazon gives an answer based upon three main areas including customer experience.

I have to admit that came as a surprise to me. We own an online retail business that sells on Amazon. Like most sellers we believed we were competing against lowest prices.

Not so, what we’re actually competing against or for customer experience. It’s what Amazon calls The Buy Box.

Regular readers of this blog know we believe customer service, or customer experience is at the heart of good business. See: Customer Retention — 4 Ways to Improve It. To know Amazon ranks products based upon a seller’s customer service is a great surprise.

Amazon.com’s search engine looks for three main things: price, inventory, and my favorite, positive customer feedback/reviews.

How NOT to Get Positive Reviews

One of the companies we do business with is a multi-level marketing company. It provides excellent products to the public using a direct sales model. It has one of, if not THE worst website we’ve ever used.

If a customer wants to buy an item on their site, they have to know referral numbers of the person they wish to purchase from. Once they make it through that maze they then have to hunt to find products. The site is anything but intuitive.

Once the customer finds an item, they select the item and then they have to save their selection at the bottom of the page. If the customer leaves that page without saving, they lose their selection.

To say this is an aggravating experience would be an understatement.

To add insult to injury, many of the favorite items offered by this company are perpetually back-ordered.

Finally, prices aren’t cheap, but the goods are great quality.

How are we doing with the Buy Box? Price…maybe; inventory…not so good; customer experience…HORRIBLE.

In An Effort To Serve

With such a frustrating experience we’ve decided to set up our own website to offer a much better experience to buy these items. The site will go active soon and when it does, we’ll make an announcement on Empowered Pros.

At our site, we sort products in a logical, easy-to-find manner. Customers click on an item they wish to buy and it’s added IMMEDIATELY to a shopping cart—sound familiar?

At our online shopping center we offer our customers flat-rate shipping rate. If they buy over $100 worth of merchandise, shipping is free. We value our customers so if an item is not available we offer them the choice of back-ordering or a substitute item of equal value.

We know that customer experience means loyal customers so we offer other premiums as well. We offer a REAL monthly newsletter mailed to our customers. We offer a blog that discusses these products and how to use them. We offer a way for each customer to offer feedback and reviews of each item and the website.

In other words, the customer is part and parcel a member of our team.

Forewarned is Forearmed

Price, Inventory, and Customer experience; the three things Amazon.com uses to determine what provider comes up first on its search engine.

Offering your customers a competitive price, available products, and GREAT customer experience whether you’re on Amazon or not, will mean steady customers and steady sales.

If you are selling on Amazon.com, keeping these three keys to the Buy Box in mind should put more sales in your court.

 

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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