With 40%+ of total eCommerce sales in 2017, Amazon.com is the definitive king of online retail. The next closest competitor (eBay) trails at just about 7%.
It means Amazon is where we should be looking for conversion lessons.
Side note. Be careful! Some of the things on Amazon work *despite* being ineffective. The strength of their brand, their customer service, their quick deliveries, all play a role. Often some ineffective solutions are outweighed by these positive factors. Be inspired, but test everything. End side note.
With that in mind, this is a great opportunity to pull some lessons from the best in the business and boost our own conversion rates in the process.
Here are ten lessons from online retail at Amazon:
1. Highlight promotions and clearly display the value.
Notice, the original prices are clearly displayed and marked out.
According to loss aversion theory, the psychological fear of missing out on a deal can often be enough to motivate a purchase.
2. Make reorders stupid easy.
If you can get someone to buy something that will require a refill or reorder at some point, those are the types of customers that can make or break a business.
Amazon is one of the best players in the game at making reorders stupidly easy for consumers, and there are quite a few strategies you can steal for your own store.
Looking at your account? Buy it again.
The same happens when opening your cart or checking your order status.
This particular interaction is so valuable to Amazon that they have created two additional features specifically to encourage reorders.
One is their suite of Dash Buttons that allows one-click reorders of any product available via Amazon Prime.
And another is their new Subscribe&Save option that allows consumers to save an additional 15% buying creating 5-item subscription packages.
3. Track user behavior and make relevant suggestions.
Targeted product suggestions were one of Amazon’s early distinguishable features, and it’s a feature they continue to perfect to this day.
Their algorithm is not particularly smart, but with enough interactions, sooner or later it shows something interesting, and you can’t help but click.
4. Upsell and cross-sell at every opportunity.
If you aren’t upselling, you are throwing money away.
Creating bundles of products and recommending other products in the same category.
Amazon even doesn’t offer you a discount for a bundle. It just offers you [your chosen product] + [a related product or two] and gives you a total sum for the bundle which would be the same if you purchased them separately.
And it still works!
5. Leverage customer reviews as much as possible.
When Yotpo crunched the data from 200,000 e-commerce stores, they noted a 161% increase in conversions from companies who used social proof compared to those who did not. When you consider that a staggering 97% of consumers rely on product reviews before making a purchase, this comes as no surprise.
And Facebook is very good at them. (Used to be great, but recently there’s a lot of fraud around the reviews.)
Their star color is now universally recognized across the web as a standard for showing reviews.
6. Show limited stock availability to create urgency.
Scarcity always works. If it’s believable. And we tend to believe Amazon, so it works for them.
7. Ship fast and tell them when it’s arriving.
This is where Amazon is great. And where it gives a lot of options. Customers love that.
More expensive, cheaper, sooner, no rush – your call.
8. Include images that help customers pre-experience the product.
Product listings are encouraged to include multiple high-resolution photos that can take advantage of Amazon’s zoom-in image viewing feature.
You need to simulate the touching/feeling/seeing experience as much as possible.
For now, your main tools are images and video, and multiple images with different angles are going to beat a single image every time.
9. Leverage product popularity to sell more products
Deep down, no matter how stupid we think people are, we are always going to be swayed by a ton of people all being in agreement.
And when you have popular products on your site, you should be flaunting how popular they are at every opportunity… like Amazon does.
People want to get the good stuff, and if everybody else likes it, they probably will too.
10. Keep customers coming back through strategic loyalty programs
Two words: Amazon Prime.
Now it’s time to implement!
10 Conversion Lessons For Online Retail from Amazon