Modern Retail

Four ways to deliver an Amazon-style experience to customers

Amazon may well have the reputation as the one to beat when it comes to customer experience, but they shouldn’t be viewed as an insurmountable challenge. Independent retailers with ambitions for growth have an opportunity to quash the notion that ‘only Amazon can do that’ if they really want to. Small teams can deliver big results and experiences that match that of Amazon, but it’s critical to understand what’s achievable and how to go about implementing these strategies.

Tap into tech that will make a difference

Communicating effectively with customers doesn’t need a massive cheque book. Nor should you feel pressure to jump on the hype around a new piece of technology just because others have. With the right tools, smaller brands can deliver hyper-personalisation and targeted, behaviourally based messages that Amazon has become known for, and create an experience that is relevant and contextual to that customer, their behaviour and the world around them. Working with partners with expertise in what engages a shopper can help critically analyse the tech and tools available to ensure that any investment is going to have a positive impact.

Make people feel special

Don’t be afraid to show customers you care! As we know, one of the main reason’s shoppers are opting for independent retailers over larger ones is due to the preferential treatment they receive, which makes them feel valued. Whether engaging with customer in store or online, make it personal. This should be the case throughout the entire journey, from the way you address them through to the follow up communications they receive after making a purchase.

You wouldn’t address customers en masse in a shop, so always keep this in mind and resist the urge to communicate with your online customers in this way. Whether shoppers are engaging with you for the first time or returning to make their eighth purchase, tailor the experience to their behaviour and needs.

Strive for convenience and usefulness

A large part of Amazon’s success comes down the role that the brand has carved out within consumers’ lives. It is synonymous with convenience and speed, which let’s face it, counts for a huge amount in today’s busy world. There is an opportunity to match this and serve a real purpose in the lives of consumers today if you understand what is achievable and technologies available to help you do so. Find ways to demonstrate usefulness to a consumer, whether that be through flexible delivery options, the expertise and advice you impart when giving recommendations or the reliability and quality of products you offer. Done well, you will not only mark yourself out as a convenient option, but also serve to build trust with your customer, making them more likely to return.

Flaunt your agility

Maintaining pace with the ever-evolving demands and expectations of shoppers is a challenge, but critical to show an understanding of the customer. Where larger brands have tried to challenge the Amazon giants, they often fail to meet the mark because they lack the agility of smaller retailers. As an independent, you have the scale and flexibility to adapt swiftly to changing situations, so don’t be afraid to quickly demonstrate this to the customer. This agility is the envy of many larger retailers as it goes hand-in-hand with providing a useful and relevant experience to customers that if done correctly, will soon make your brand their first port of call.

Komal Helyer

With over 14 years of email and digital experience, Komal brings to Pure360 a deep understanding of marketing strategy, marketers' needs and how that translates into use of marketing technology. She leads the Pure360 marketing team focussing on market positioning, market growth strategies and customer lifecycle marketing for brands in the retail and ecommerce space.

Komal has worked with some of the world’s leading brands including Screwfix, Carphone Warehouse, Black & Decker, helping them get the best results from their email and digital marketing.