In the recent past, we spoke about How Flipkart revolutionized the e-commerce industry by introducing an all-in-one shopping platform pan India. And, it is only fitting that we talk about how Amazon Streamlined that shopping experience by improvising on customer experience for the consumers.
This case study briefly talks about how Amazon introduced the concept of digital agility to streamline the Indian E-Commerce sector.
Please note that to understand this article better, we’d suggest for you to read the following article first: How Flipkart revolutionized the way we shop
Why do you need to learn from Amazon?
Amazon as a brand individually entered India in the year 2013 which was nearly 7 years after Flipkart entered the market yet conquered the market in a much easier and better way.
And their prior international existence hardly played a role in the process, though their development principles are similar to that of Flipkart but, their strategies helped them conquer at least twice an amount of audience in less than half of time.
Also, Amazon as a brand is often miscredited by people to be an e-commerce brand. But, in reality, it’s a brand/service that enhances the customer experience for their end-customer and the vendor experience for their on platform vendors which is what the consumers and vendors of today need.
How did Amazon improvise?
Amazon’s idea was to streamline the multi-vendor e-commerce platform. Though it never operated across India prior to 2013 and even their international experience doesn’t play a role because the Indian market is distinguishably different from the others. It was difficult for them to conquer the market by just hosting a website and marketing it similar to what Flipkart did.
For Flipkart, it was a revolutionary movement as it changed the way we shop. But, for Amazon, it would just be a competitor in the sector if not for its unique plan of action.
With the goal to provide the best consumer experience to the digital consumers, Amazon started with a 3-phased plan that included:
b.Enhancing the existing customer experience
What did Amazon do to improvise?
Prior to starting off, Amazon took its time to study and understand the Indian E-commerce sector. It made sure to understand how the existing players operate and connect to their customers.
It silently studied country brands like Flipkart, SnapDeal, HomeTown18 and Indiatimes and used it as its kickstart leverage.
For instance, Amazon studied the products which the consumers comfortably purchased via the digital market and made sure that they catered to only those products in their first weeks of launch.
Now, does it stop here?
Well, all of us do know that learning is an eternal process and so it was for Amazon too.
To further understand the market, Amazon followed the method of understanding the problems and rolling out patches to it to enhance their end-customer experience.
Meaning, Amazon started to focus on the minor attention to details which the other brands missed. Though minor, these attentive details would drastically enhance the customer experience.
b.Enhancing the existing customer experience
For instance, all of us are aware of how Flipkart introduced the feature for Cash On Delivery. But, Amazon streamlined it.
Amazon streamlined it by allowing you to choose between cash on Delivery and Card on Delivery.
And speaking of delivery, Flipkart offered delivery based on their convenience. Meaning, you could order a product and you’d receive an estimated delivery date.
And similar was the case with Amazon too. But, what made it unique was the fact that Amazon offered personalized delivery dates.
For example, you are looking to order a product on Flipkart and it projects an estimated delivery date of 3 days from the date of purchase. And, it would be your choice to order it.
But, consider the same case with Amazon, it leveraged the use of projecting a delivery date based on consumers’ needs. It knows that when a consumer would be eagerly waiting for the product. So, to make it simple for them, it would project 3 delivery dates instead of 1 wherein one of them would be the fastest delivery date and would deliver the product to you on the very next day at a minimum delivery fee of around 30-100/-.
Thus, making it easier for the consumer to get the product on his/her choice of the delivery date. From the business perspective, all they did was to ask consumers if they were willing to pay an extra amount to get the product earlier.
But, when we speak from the perspective of an average consumer, the only point they’d notice is the flexibility and comfort provided by Amazon in every step of the process.
To sum it up, Amazon and Flipkart are both e-commerce brands but their different perspectives of understanding a consumer are the reason behind Amazon conquering the market in a better way.
Flipkart provides you with the products and builds an experience around it. But, Amazon works to provide a better consumer/customer experience and centres its products around it.
c. Marketing and OutReach Operations
Now that Amazon established itself, it became easier for the competing brands to understand their strategy and adapt them for their brands too.
So, to reach out to the consumers better, they introduced the prime-membership for their consumers. It started off as a one-time delivery fee which allowed you to buy any prime-verified product on Amazon at the earliest possible delivery date with ease and even offered priority-based return/replacement policies.
And even though it seems quite normal of a business strategy, what mattered the most is the way Amazon marketed it. Instead of asking people to pay their entire delivery fee upfront, Amazon marketed it in a way where it provided the customers with a pedestal of value. Thus, increasing the brand recall value for starters.
And, it made sure that their customers felt the value of shopping with Amazon. It incorporated the simple human value of respecting their customers.
To top this experience up, Amazon rolled out their consumer-centric prime video and music experience which allowed them to market their inhouse products such as Alexa, EchoDot & EchoShow.
And, speaking of prime, the consumers are aware of the PrimeNow service which offers to deliver certain products within two hours. And the way Amazon marketed it was by giving a pedestal to local distributors and connecting them to their digital consumer.
In short, Amazon’s way of marketing is about connecting to people and empathising to their situations to provide a better experience. As we stressed earlier, Amazon works to provide a better consumer/customer experience and centres its products around it.