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Selling products online is big business and one that’s only set to grow in the future. Because e-commerce is so successful and lucrative, it has also become fiercely competitive and dominated by large multinational corporations, making it harder than ever for new players to stand out.

Research has shown that Amazon is starting to take over from Google as the first port of call for consumers researching products. I recently read that according to US based organisation Power Reviews, 38% of shoppers now start their search on Amazon, beating the 35% who start on Google.

This intrigued me so I set out to find out what it is that Amazon offers that Google doesn’t, and more importantly, how marketing managers can incorporate some of these features into their own marketing to improve their websites and hopefully drive up their sales.

How does this relate to marketing managers?

Many marketing managers I work with are in the business of selling products online but they often struggle to compete with the hundreds of other businesses out there doing the same thing.

If the business you work for is in the business of selling anything, understanding what your customers value most is absolutely crucial if you want to market to them. Amazon clearly has the inside track on what online shoppers are really looking for and their insights can benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Four things Amazon does that Google doesn’t (but you can)

Even if you are not able to compete with giants like Amazon, you can still find a way to offer the same quality of experience to online shoppers and give them what they are looking for.

1. Reviews are cited as the number one reason for the popularity of Amazon among online shoppers. Genuine customer reviews build trust and credibility and they are a fantastic selling tool that you can implement on your own site. Amazon’s reviews have a reputation for being honest and genuine, and this is a major factor in their success.

2. Product information: Another reason for Amazon’s popularity is that is has all the information a customer needs right there at hand. From pricing to inventory, knowing how many are available and exactly what shipping will cost is reassuring. Make sure your website displays all this information upfront. This can be a great boost to your marketing and may help you move more product.

3. Dynamic content: Another feature where Amazon really stands out is that is creates personalised content for every user. The site’s homepage appears differently to everyone who visits it depending on what they have previously viewed and their purchasing history. Even if you don’t have the technical savvy of Amazon’s IT department it’s still worthwhile thinking about how you can use dynamic content across your site to create a more personal experience for your visitors.

4. Mobile: Increasing numbers of customers are buying from their mobile, but even more people are starting their search from their phone even if they get on their desktop computer to buy at a later stage. One way that Amazon really leads is that they are very visible on mobile. If there was ever a time to pay attention to mobile marketing it’s now.

When it comes to building your profile and enticing customers to your site, it is all about quality of experience. While your site probably won’t have all the bells and whistles of Amazon, if you can take some of their most successful features and incorporate them into your own marketing strategy you can keep your visitors happy and hopefully get the edge over the competition.

Do you go to Amazon to research products, or do you prefer Google?