Amazon is the clear leader in many markets. Its success provides insight and leadership to other businesses worldwide. No matter how large or small a business is, Amazon is a fixed beacon to watch. Today we will discuss growing eCommerce marketplaces.
While very few companies can match Amazon’s size and prowess, all of them can study the business juggernaut. There is plenty to focus on regarding Amazon’s influence, such as automation, warehousing, and even shipping strategies. However, one sector has led to Amazon’s domination: eCommerce.
Amazon continues to set many standards for what customers want and expect in their shopping experiences. By studying how Amazon has grown and expanded its eCommerce power, any business can find several tips and techniques to use.
While this list isn’t exhaustive, it focuses on some key points that keep Amazon at the top of the world’s eCommerce companies. Here are a few eCommerce techniques perfected by Amazon throughout its exponential growth.
Focus On Mobile-Friendly eCommerce
The majority of Americans shop from their phones. Since 2016, mobile commerce has grown from 52% to 73% of total eCommerce sales. That trend will only continue to grow.
As a business, if you’re not mobile-friendly, then you’re doing it wrong. Sure, the quaint charm of a mom-and-pop shop will support a solid local customer base. Still, there’s no reason to not take that mom-and-pop mobile. If you have a website or social media presence, that means you’re ready to become mobile-friendly.
The key features of a mobile-friendly eCommerce store include:
- Loading Must Be Fast And Responsive. Slow stores sell few products, and a buggy or glitching site will lead to frustration and abandoned carts.
- Easy Navigation Is Essential. Let the customers see what they want. Navigation is for the desktop. On a mobile device, customers want to get in, make a purchase, and go about their business.
- Remember The Screen Sizes. Devices are small, and screen space is at a premium. Don’t fill it up with frivolity; instead, focus on the products.
- Forget The Fluff. Drop any animation, pop-ups, or fancy fonts. Mobile sites should be easy to read and unobtrusive.
A mobile site doesn’t replace your existing eCommerce stores. It simply allows your stores to travel everywhere with your customers. A well-optimized mobile site is thus a strong foundation for eCommerce conversion expansion.
Machine Learning And A.I.: Not Only For the Super Companies
Amazon has surged in scope and scale through the use of A.I. (artificial intelligence) in its warehouses. Robots and other technology handle complex item sorting and transport at rapid speeds.
Likewise, it uses machine learning to track its customers’ shopping habits. This allows for personalized shopping selections and offers based on customer shopping history.
Machine learning software also enables Amazon to:
- Watch and predict market trends.
- Forecast shipping obstacles.
- Monitor inventory all over the world.
- Creating personalized product alerts based on past shopping habits.
- Enabling cross-device carryover. This includes abandoned cart messaging, personalized sale emails, and other re-marketing opportunities.
- Adjusting daily pricing based on traffic, sales, and other market trends.
- Personalizing search suggestions to help filter and direct customers to the goods they want to buy.
Aside from the initial installation and set-up, machine learning is almost hands-off. The software will “learn” various aspects of your business and customers, and the habits of both. Machine learning (ML) studies everything from sales to inventory, streamlining the entire process.
While the potential for profit from machine learning is undeniable, ML offers a lot of advancement for the human side of a sale. Growing eCommerce marketplaces using machine learning will be invaluable.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two of the leading engines behind improving web accessibility for the disabled. Web designers use both to create sites that match the customer. If a customer has a disability, then AI and ML combine to create a personalized, accessible website with extra assistance wherever needed. Specifically, an eCommerce site enhanced with AI-based tools and machine learning algorithms provides:
- Optimized graphical interfaces to help people with visual impairments. These can include enhancing font size, eliminating specific colors, or even adjusting font spacing.
- Allowing facial-recognition systems to access secured pages, such as payment pages, without having to type any information.
- Chatbots for personalized, live contact and assistance. Chatbots are machine learning systems communicating with the customer.
An accessible eCommerce site considers all humans. A good shop ensures that everyone can easily make a purchase. With AI and ML, making a sale has never been easier. Once deployed within an eCommerce site, the results will quickly follow.
Shipping Fulfillment Is Essential
When Amazon introduced two-day shipping, it was a game-changer. The same was true when one-day shipping came online. Lately, Amazon is providing same-day shipping of many goods to locations across the country. How do they do it?
First, they have thousands of warehouses and fulfillment centers. Currently, they have 319 million square feet of warehouse space. Only five states have no Amazon warehouses, but expansion plans were already announced for some of them. Such a colossal warehouse footprint allows Amazon to have inventory within a one- or two-day range of its customers.
Amazon has even started building warehouses in suburban neighborhoods. With a fulfillment center just down the block, shipping times will soon be a thing of the past.
Of course, Amazon has the funds for such an expansive warehouse system. Even smaller eCommerce brands, though, have many ideas to emulate. Same-day shipping is growing in popularity among younger shoppers even more so than free shipping. Fortunately, eCommerce stores have several options, such as:
- Working directly with major carriers with same-day shipping services. This option is usually expensive.
- Using a fulfillment service with an extensive network of warehouses. Fulfillment services combine shipments for expediency, passing the savings to the customer.
- Use micro-fulfillment centers or even stores throughout the country. You can buy the item from a department store to ensure it will reach your customer that day.
Next-day and same-day shipping will retain existing customers and win new ones. Remember, Amazon Prime and two-day shipping launched in 2005, and with same-day worth it to a large portion of shoppers, the importance of speedy shipping fulfillment is evident.
Final Thoughts On Growing eCommerce Marketplaces
While few can hope to match Amazon or its success, all should study the juggernaut. From shipping to machine learning, the retail giant often sways entire industries. Learning from their techniques thus provides valuable information for any eCommerce business owner.
Focus on achieving mobile-friendliness as soon as possible. Let AI and machine learning make your site more accessible and user-friendly. The customer wants to find the item as soon as possible, not browse the website. Same-day shipping will win new customers, and grow your business amongst your competitors. We hope all of these tips help you with learning how growing eCommerce marketplaces will benefit your overall eCommerce strategy.