The last 30 years have brought many challenges and opportunities for marketers thanks to the introduction of platforms and channels like email, CRM, search engines and social media, but could Amazon be the next big thing?
With over an estimated 90 million Prime subscribers in the US alone, Amazon has a significant, and highly engaged user base that reaches into the hundreds of millions (ignoring those who use Amazon without a Prime membership). Given that hundreds of millions of users can have products delivered next day for free in many cases, Amazon is the clear go to destination for everything from mouthwash to high end tech equipment. This makes it absolutely imperative that your products are listed across Amazon wherever possible.
Given that Prime members know that they can get products delivered next day for free, and in many cases at a lower price than from other online retailers, it is natural they gravitate towards Amazon as their first port of call when searching for products. There is also the fact that Amazon often ranks highly for generic terms across major search engines increasing their reach significantly. This volume is also supplemented by the fact that there is huge user intent when users search on Amazon as they are likely looking to make a purchase there and then.
It is widely expected that the next year or two will see a significant rise in the use of voice search, thanks in large part to digital personal assistants such as Siri, Google Home and of course Alexa, Amazon’s home assistant. Not only can Alexa help control aspects of our home life, but can also be used to carry out commands such as ordering an Uber, in addition to being used to make purchases from you guessed it, Amazon. If reports of over 20 million Alexa devices being sold are anywhere near true, then that is a huge potential market.
User Generated Content
The one area where Amazon truly excels beyond pretty much any other online retailer, and often even search engines is in its huge trove of user generated content. There aren’t many places where you can go to find quite as many comprehensive product reviews as on Amazon. Given falling trust in brands amongst consumer groups, these kind of powerful peer to peer recommendations are going to be absolutely vital in building trust with potential customers, and Amazon clearly has a lead on this front.
Although it is still a fairly insignificant aspect of Amazon’s business model, advertising is likely to begin to feature more prominently. Just think of the potential of being able to advertise your particular brand of batteries above everyone else to a customer base with such significant user intent, and with such volume. This combined with Amazon looking to make a push on publishers this year means that whilst they have someway to go to catch up with AdWords, there is every chance they will begin taking at least a notable slice of the online ad pie.