Is there any retailer that’s revolutionized the online shopping space as dramatically as Amazon?

Many retailers (naturally) view Amazon as their main competition and plan their business accordingly, but there is a far more effective approach: using Amazon as a guide in successful ecommerce. Independent retailers can borrow the strategies that are relevant, while simultaneously optimizing key facets of their business that make them different from Amazon.

Here are three online shopping techniques from Amazon that should be utilized by every etailer to provide consumers with an unbeatable shopping experience.

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1) Free shipping

According to a June 2014 report from UPS and comScore, 58% of shoppers abandon their cart because shipping costs made the total purchase more than expected. In other words, the number one reason why more than half of your consumers aren’t converting is based solely on the cost of shipping. It’s not always easy or cheap to offer free shipping to customers, but ultimately it can be a financially effective decision. A simple way to do this without losing profit is to pinpoint your average order value and average shipping costs, and offer free shipping on a minimum purchase amount that covers your average shipping cost and provides enough profit to increase your average order value. You can also combine strategies to reduce the cost of free shipping, like bundling or shipping in envelopes, too. 

2) Onsite product reviews

Extensive online product research has become a crucial part of the buying process for consumers: a whopping 88% of consumers reportedly research products online before purchasing. The online shopper’s attention span is short, and if they go off-site to search for product reviews, there’s a good chance they won’t return. Additionally, including product reviews on-site might be effective in attracting the customers of your competition.

3) Cross-selling related products

The cross-sell is a very important ecommerce strategy for increasing that all important average order value. Amazon is fantastic at this: each product for sale includes a “customers who bought this item also bought” section, a “customers who bought this also viewed” section, and a “frequently bought together” section. A shopper with a specific product need is unlikely to do a deep dive into your assortment after they’ve found what they’re looking for, but providing images of relevant products that might be of use to them isn’t just good business, it’s also helpful, especially if they’re trying to qualify for your (brand new) free shipping policy with a minimum purchase order. Banner

The Take Away

In order to be successful in the highly competitive retail industry, it’s imperative that independent retailers adopt some of the successful strategies utilized by top tier ecommerce sites like Amazon. Next I’ll write about ways you can make the most of your differences from Amazon to be successful in the retail space!

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