In 1999, Amazon was a small e-commerce retailer exclusively selling books online. In a 2017 article, Business Insider reported that 43% of all US online retail sales were made through Amazon. And in 2018, TechCrunch reported that Amazon’s share of the e-commerce market currently sits at 49%, accounting for 5% of all retail. Amazon set its sights on the beauty market and, in Q3 of 2017, Amazon became the largest online beauty retailer according to analysis company 1010data,
How did a start-up bookseller transform into a retail colossus? The company’s approach to social media platforms contributes greatly to its position in the market. International social media analytics firm Talkwalker identified five social media strategies that help Amazon maintain and grow its market share.
1. Simplifying the Customer Journey: Rather than trusting that the consumer will eventually end up on its platform, Amazon influences the consumer journey and provides them with a shortened path to product purchase. They know their target audience and the social channels where they spend the most time online. They identify the “Zero Moment of Truth,” when the excitement about a product or service they provide is at its highest, then they provide an easy path to purchase.
2. Community and Partnership: Amazon focuses on the customer experience. Amazon analyzes user-generated content to identify the brands that are often associated with their products and services. These are potential partners for joint offers or co-marketing initiatives. Amazon Prime is an example of how Amazon develops and deepens the customer experience.
3. Taking Care of Digital Window Displays: Amazon knows that social media pages are where consumers interact most with their brand. They are a crucial touchpoint. As an e-commerce pioneer, Amazon knows better than most that their customers are looking for information, sharing experiences, and asking questions—all online. It’s an opportunity to inspire customers to take the last step to product purchase.
4. Reviews and Influencer Marketing: Amazon’s review system can be compared to the current state of influencer marketing: brands and platforms are currently fighting the rise of fake content, followers, and engagement, and customers are left unsure as to who to trust. Nevertheless, Amazon strives for authenticity and ways to create memorable and shareable interactions that will incentivize influencers of all sizes to share their experience with their social circles, whether in the form of a product review or simply as a mention in a post.
5. Personalize: Amazon knows that their customers do not want to be presented with irrelevant information. Their product marketing strategies are predicated on being uniquely fitted to the person sitting in front of their screen. Amazon’s AI-driven technology enables them to provide customers with a uniquely personal experience based on past searches, browsing, and purchases.
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