I can almost be 100% sure that you, yes you, have either made a purchase through Amazon before or at least know someone who has. And if you have, there’s a good chance you’re a Prime member who’s not planning on churning any time soon. I mean, why would you? Amazon is the ultimate, go-to one-stop shop that you know you can rely on.
When I think about companies that absolutely master customer loyalty and retention, there’s no doubt that Amazon takes the win. But how does one just suddenly win over the hearts of hundreds of millions of customers around the world?
Optimizing Competitive Advantages
One of the most defined traits of Amazon is their trustworthiness. Amazon has us hooked because they simply fail to disappoint. It’s the little things that make a difference here - like how Amazon lets you know whether or not you’ve already purchased an item on the site before. They could’ve just let you repurchase the same items on accident again, benefitting company profits, but instead, they’re letting you know that the customer is the priority.
Or, like how you just know that if you end up needing to return a product for whatever reason, you can securely do so. And although this might hurt profits in the short term, the long run benefit of perceived trustworthiness has proven to be worth it for Amazon.
And obviously, there’s more to Amazon than just their reliability. You have your two-day shipping, low, low prices, and expansive selection of products from different sellers. To put it simply, they make shopping more convenient than ever.
Sure, there are certainly other options out there which might price what you’re looking for at much lower rates. BUT are you really going to put in that extra effort to search for alternatives? Probably not if you know you might have to wait many more weeks for your product to come, or if the seller may not be as reliable, or even if the customer experience is just worse overall. That’s why Amazon’s success is not just attributed to their reliability and convenience - it’s about how these competitive advantages fit together to create a strong, reputable brand image.
Investing in Conversion and Retention
The way Amazon generates profit isn’t from extraordinarily high margins - it’s from having such a predictable, large amount of absolute margin dollars. Prime users will already automatically want to make the most out of their membership cost by ordering as much as utterly possible throughout the year. This way, despite Amazon’s low profit margins, they still end up having so many repeated purchases per customer that all the individual profits from each order add up to a whole lot - truly genius.
On top of that, once customers latch onto that Prime membership, Amazon gets ahold of immediate cash flow that they can continue to invest into improving their operations, prices, and customer experience, all of which feed into attracting and retaining customers and suppliers even more effectively. This is a cycle that continues on and on, not only attracting more Prime users but also lengthening the customer lifetime value of existing ones.
- Building trust pays off - Amazon strengthened customer loyalty by focusing on building up their company-customer relationships.
- Carefully fit your competitive advantages together - make sure your strengths complement one another to represent a consistent brand image.
- And finally, invest your extra cash in customer conversion and retention - giving your customers more reason to come and stay will make you all the more successful!