Amazon turns 20 this week and they’ve come a long way in two decades. Having began life as a modest book seller in the days of dial up internet connections, they are now one of the world’s most influential and powerful retail businesses. Their empire now spans almost every product imaginable and is often the first port of call for consumers looking for products online.
Achieving this status has been a long process, but there are a few key milestones which we believe have been central to their recent success.
Creating Their Own Delivery System
The first innovation is that they have developed their own delivery network, providing them with much greater control over this vitally important element of the online buying process. Consumers can now benefit from next day and even same day delivery on many items, making Amazon a leading choice for convenience. Amazon have less dependence on third party logistics companies than their competitors.
Developing Amazon Prime
Central to their delivery network has been the development of Amazon Prime - their flagship membership scheme.
For £79 per year, Amazon Prime members not only benefit from free express delivery on many items, but also access to video streaming, photo storage and the Kindle library.
Prime is a great way to cement customer loyalty. When customers have invested in their membership, they’re much more likely to use Amazon as a single source for a high proportion of their online shopping. After all, Amazon have a reputation for keen pricing and, with their rapid delivery network, can also offer arguably the most efficient and fastest delivery options too.
Amazon Prime Day
Building on the growth of Prime, Amazon now aim to take on their next challenge and have created their own day to take on the power of the festive Cyber Monday and Black Friday promotional days.
On 15th July, Amazon are launching Amazon Prime Day where they are promising some amazing deals on a wide range of products - all exclusive to Amazon Prime customers. So, what’s the likely outcome?
1. It will drive more Amazon Prime members - they’re continuing to offer a free trial to attract new subscribers ahead of Prime Day.
2. It will continue to support Amazon’s ambitions as the leading online shopping destination for general products - Prime helps to lock in customer loyalty and therefore increase market share in a fiercely competitive shopping arena.
3. It will further push the Amazon Prime brand - aligning them alongside Cyber Monday and Black Friday - as Prime Day no doubt will become an annual event, positioned in the summer and months away from the busy festive season.
Amazon’s strategy is bold and not without criticism. Whilst they have a strong following and reputation amongst customers (thanks to their often lowest price and excellent delivery), their business model has raised concerns around issues such as taxation and anti-competitive practices. These concerns will no doubt remain as Amazon continue to increase their influence and market share.
As eCommerce specialists, we will be watching Amazon Prime Day with close interest to see what impact it has on the eCommerce promotional calendar. We may even partake in a spot of bargain shopping, just for market research of course!
Let us know what you think of Amazon Prime Day by tweeting us @Statement.