Amazon isn't great, the others are JUST worse

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Daniel Rebhorn
co-founder/managing partner diconium

Or: If Jeff Bezos does everything right, why shouldn't we?

In the retail sector, hardly a day passes without Amazon receiving a scolding. There's talk of "unfair conditions" or a "near-monopoly". Whoever complains has to clean up his own backyard. The failure of online competition is self-inflicted. The good news: There's plenty of room for improvement.

Do you make $ 44 million while you're sleeping? If so, you have a lot in common with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who earns $ 133 million a day and has total assets of around $ 100 billion. Ultimately, with tens of billions of revenues in the USA alone, Amazon is the most successful online platform in the world. In addition, the group is increasingly penetrating our everyday lives – for example with the voice assistant Alexa or the Kindle and fire devices. Don't worry if you're not blessed with this kind of success. Just unpack the slingshot and stand up to Goliath.

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Amazon isn't great; the others are just worse

Is Amazon using alien technology?

Is Amazon achieving something out of this world? Probably not. The online giant is just pairing commercial expertise with technical know-how. In other words, Amazon does what every retailer should be doing. Instead, everyone is blinded by the sun, unable to move. That's state of shock with consequences: While Amazon is occupying more and more niches, others are falling behind.  The online retailer is by no means error-free. From a user experience's point of view, the Amazon sales platform is a nerve-wracking place.

THE AMAZON USER EXPERIENCE? A FAILURE!

Let us have a look at the status quo: Amazon does something bad, the others do it even worse. Here are just a few of the shortcomings that you could eliminate to distinguish yourself.

  •  Have you ever tried looking for a product on Amazon? Then you may know the crazy price ranges sometimes given for the same article (Fruit of the Loom Men’s T-shirt: 2,08 to 70,79 Euro). When I search for a product, sometimes it comes up dozens of times - one result per provider.
  • Another inconsistency: The color selection, for example in fashion. Sometimes five t-shirts are displayed in five variants, then only one result with colour options in the product window. Or I look for a product name (so I know exactly what I want) and I get variations which I then have to compare again.
  • Also, the filter navigation on the left-hand side does not always show what you need right away. These damn filters! In the fictional books section you will find "Crime Novels & Thrillers", "Novels & Narratives", "Vampire Novels" (!) and "Horror" on the same level.
  • And then there's the major issue of reviews. In truth, they're a helpful, popular decision-making tool for every user. Unfortunately, it is estimated that one in five reviews is fake.

The list of shortcomings could be extended indefinitely – also in the areas of logistics and personalization. Why is Amazon getting away with it? Well, it's the one-eyed man amongst the blind. If it wasn't for this one exception...

Alibaba AND THE FORTY PERCENT

November 2017, China, Bargain Day (Single-Day). Online retailer Alibaba makes total sales of $ 25.3 billion ($) within 24 hours. This is 40 percent more than in the previous year, 256,000 transactions per second using the company's own electronic payment system Alipay. 90 percent of orders are placed via smartphone. Dare someone say that Amazon leaves no room for competition.

The example shows what it's all about: reaching shoppers where and how they like to buy. In this case via smartphone and with a barrier-free payment process. In other words, "lead through technology". This is exactly what spelled the end of mail-order retailers such as Neckermann and Co.. While the customers went online, the flagships stayed with well-tried processes. Catalog and phone were to mail order companies what the combustion engine was to the auto industry.  

DEVIL OR THE SHALLOW BLUE SEA 

You might think that the companies would have learned from it. Well, no! To date, customers should consider themselves lucky if they can shop on a website that is at least mobile-optimized. Let's not even talk about the customer journey. But everyone should know by now: Mobile comes first! Amazon itself looks bad when it comes to the mobile shopping experience. But again: If you have the choice between the devil and a shallow blue sea, you might go for a swim.

CHANGE TO THE FAST TRACK

Amazon is fallible. And: Now is the right moment to attack. Because new transport technologies (drones, self-driving cars) and the increasingly important artificial intelligence opens up new opportunities for everyone. Change to the fast track by consciously using data to reach your customers through tailored communications, automate fulfillment, and deliver products to any location on demand.

What's next?

 

Your contact at diconium

Daniel Rebhorn
co-founder/managing partner diconium