Daily Dose of iQ: E-Commerce Lessons from (You Guessed It) Amazon

Jun 05, 2015 — Allan Pulga

We came across a couple articles today that outline e-commerce best practices. The first article, written by NYU Stern marketing professor (and L2 Founder & CEO) Scott Galloway, looks at e-commerce through the lens of "Amazon strategy." The second article (by Benjamin Spiegel, CEO of MMI Agency, which specializes in digital advertising) took a more generic approach. But the two cover a lot of the same points.

So what points are those?

  • Optimized content
    - Galloway: "Enhanced product pages present an opportunity for brands to differentiate their products from competitors as well as third-party sellers, while branded storefronts discourage customer defection by aggregating product listings and showcasing wider collections. But despite the incentive, many brands do not fully utilize the toolkit of Amazon-provided features to optimize a customer’s branded experience on the platform. Even image quality on Amazon tends to pale in comparison to what’s found on brand sites."
    - Spiegel: "The product title on e-retail sites plays a key role in a couple of stages in the path to purchase. Primarily, it serves as the 'headline' on search results pages within the e-retail environments."

Products with 20 or more reviews have an 84% higher conversion rate than products with fewer reviews.

  • User ratings and reviews
    - Galloway: "Ratings and reviews can be highly beneficial, both in boosting search results and inspiring consumer confidence. Twenty reviews seems to be a tipping point, and products with 20 or more have an 84% higher conversion rate than products with fewer reviews."
    - Spiegel: "Ratings and reviews are an extremely crucial part of e-retail success; not only do they influence the actual rankings inside the e-retail sites, but they also increase the overall conversation rates."
  • Repeat purchase analytics
    - Galloway: "Over the next 12 months, an estimated 40 million 'first baskets' will be created in the U.S. as Americans get in the habit of ordering consumer packaged goods online. While in-store shoppers can be fairly promiscuous in terms of brand preferences, online shoppers tend to stick with what they’ve previously purchased, just fine-tuning the core list. Grocery, beverage and personal care brands have a unique opportunity to drive considerable lifetime value and redistribute market share. All of them should be in a relentless fight to get into that first basket."
    - Spiegel: "Enterprise-level e-retail platforms are built on amazing technology platforms, and as such, they record and utilize a wealth of information. In order to win in sites like Amazon, we must use this data to constantly improve our e-commerce content."

To win in e-retail, you need to monitor for negative reviews, competitor product updates and quality SKU content.

  • Monitoring activity
    - Galloway: "(Amazon) is not a platform that organizations can afford to flat-out ignore, since almost every brand has a presence on Amazon. Thanks to the gray market flourishing on Amazon’s third-party marketplace, brands can easily lose control of distribution and risk a poor brand experience for consumers (anything from misleading MSRP prices to expired or otherwise unsafe products)."
    - Spiegel: "In order to win in (the e-retail) environment, you need to constantly monitor for negative reviews, updates to competitors’ products and the quality of your SKU content. This will allow you to update and enhance your e-commerce content before it can impact your sales."

Topics: Privacy, Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, Business Intelligence, e-Commerce

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