Why Amazon is in Prime Position on Customer Experience
For some time now, Salmon has cited Amazon as the best in the business - any business - when it comes to re-thinking customer experiences. Unlike most organisations that sit on their data and ignore their friction points, Amazon’s customer service and margin focus drives it towards streamlining customer experiences - one-click checkout, Prime, Prime Now, and voice ordering, to name just a few examples. The Amazon Go concept is the physical manifestation of this streamlining, which has been its modus operandi for years. Amazon has rightly identified that customers still want to have a physical experience, but they want it to be quick, easy and convenient - just like they want their online experiences to be. Getting rid of the checkout is removing one of the major friction points in physical grocery shopping. Another example of this is its bookstores, which bring its learnings from online - reviews, comments and recommendations - into a physical environment to help shape stock and influence purchase, and it is, indeed, possible that this will occur in the world of electricals too.
All of these learnings and this approach is not sector specific. We have witnessed Amazon grow from selling books, to electricals, to almost everything, and seen it turn itself from a retailer into a manufacturer and service provider (AWS). When it comes to the question, therefore, of whether Amazon will expand its learnings from its Amazon Go concept into other retail industries, the answer, based on past form, is a resounding yes. This expansion into new verticals has been called “aggressive horizontal expansion” but could just as easily be called "giving the customer what they want, when they want, and how they want", and no-one is better at this than Amazon.
So, what does the future hold? Amazon has expertly and strategically built a business model across channels and industries which provides the infrastructure (online shop, delivery capability, hosting etc.) that many organisations rely on to operate their ecommerce operations. So it’s not too big a stretch to imagine that its ultimate aim will be to white label its Amazon Go concept and sell this to retailers. This will force retailers to use the Amazon infrastructure to survive and to give customers the experience they want, and further cement Amazon as an indispensable element of the retail world. Alternatively, could we see the big hitters (Tesco, Walmart et al.) fight back with a solution of their own? It seems unlikely when so many are only just integrating “innovations”, such as self-scan.
Once again, Amazon’s ability to strategically plan for the future, address friction points, and define consumer expectations will undoubtedly revolutionise grocery, electrical, and the wider retail environment.
Find out more about how Salmon can enhance your business' customer experience by channelling Amazon best practice.