What is the Amazon Effect?
The Amazon Effect is the universal shift of the consumers’ expectations of how businesses should operate and deliver the consumers’ experience.
Amazon has transformed the standard that businesses are now held to. The online ecommerce store makes searching and finding products efficient and comprehensive. Amazon’s extremely popular “Prime” subscription offers further perks thus contributing to the consumer’s amplified expectations. For example, Amazon has essentially eliminated the need to browse through aisles in the store, instead it is replaced with a quick search from the couch. The checkout process is streamlined through stored credit card information, a clear purchase review, and even an option for 1-Click Ordering for an incredibly quick transaction. And of course, Amazon’s extremely fast shipping and free returns ensure the items appear at your doorstep with no time wasted.
In summary, Amazon makes the consumers’ purchasing process unbelievably quick and easy. A standard that not only Amazon upholds for its customers, but an expectation customers’ now anticipate from other businesses.
How Amazon Impacts the B2B Industry
1. Everything is Online
Buy your groceries? Check. Purchase that new tool you need? Check. Still in your pajamas? Check.
Customer’s dependence on the digital world continues to escalate subsequently encompassing the need to purchase goods and services online. Therefore, it is not enough to simply have a business website but to have an online presence that can effectively compete in your industry and be on-trend with the other websites your consumers interact with.
2. Easy to Navigate
Amazon ensures that the searching and selecting process is not only straightforward but also extensive. You can easily search products by departments, compare similar products, or read reviews all from the same platform. Your website not only needs to look modern, it needs to specifically function to your customers’ needs and your business’ operations. A customer should be able to quickly navigate your website to find the products and answers they are looking for.
3. Speedy Quick
It is all about speed. A customer will not just wait around for something to load or a question to be answered, they will simply move on to the next thing. Amazon guarantees instant gratification from the beginning to the end of the buying process, and your business should too. From quick loading speeds to accessible customer service to efficient delivery time, speed is an non-negotiable expectation.
4. Ongoing Involvement
Amazon allows continual tracking throughout the entire process. The customer wants to know where, how, and when at any and all points of their decision, transaction, and delivery process. By providing transparency for each step of the customer’s journey allows them to feel in control and confident with the process.
What Your Business Should Do
1. Personalize Your Brand
While Amazon is convenient, it is not personal. Yes, it provides suggested products based on your buying behavior and a convenient Shopping List tool, it does not create a brand that is personal and emotional to the consumer. Yet in comparison, your business is personal. It has a story and a mission that can connect to the user and build a relationship with their clients.
2. Control the User Experience
Going off the previous point, the design and functionality of your website needs to reflect the actions and goals of your B2B business. More specifically, you need to develop your website based on your targeted audience, for example, what engages them, common reasons why they visited your site, and how you can guide their visit to benefit your business.
3. Optimize for Mobile
The world has gone mobile. People are constantly using the convenience of their phone to search and visit websites, therefore since the audience is on mobile, your website needs to appear and respond properly as well.
4. Dedicated Marketing and SEO Strategy
Last, with the world literally at the consumer’s fingertips, you need to make sure your business is being found on search engines and is reaching the correct audience. By implementing SEO best practices across your website, it allows search engines to recognize your site and rank it higher on the results page. The higher your site is on SERPs (search engine results pages), the more likely a potential lead will see, click, and visit the website.
In addition, a focused marketing plan enables your business to reach the targeted audience on the platforms they are active on, with the message that is engaging, and the tactics to convert them.
Amazon is an inescapable presence in the B2B industry as they have and continue to shift the business and digital buying process. As more businesses grasp and incorporate these universal expectations of search, speed, navigation, etc., the higher the demand your B2B business will be to meet these criteria. By following the four recommendations above, it jumpstarts your business’ presence in the evolving B2B industry.