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t’s ok to keep experimenting until you find what works for you. But there is an easier way — the Jeff Bezos way.

Let me clue you in…

Jeff Bezos is the man synonymous with Amazon. The man who managed to start a trillion-dollar company— Amazon, from the garage of his house. He is a non-conventional man who believes in carving out his path. With no fear of failure, Bezos is responsible for spearheading the evolution of e-commerce for the last 27 years.

Founded in 1994, Amazon started as this little online bookstore in a garage. It has grown to a trillion-dollar company making Bezos one of the richest people in the world.

If Amazon’s growth intrigues you, it’s time to stop looking at Amazon as a competitor. Change the lens to that of a learner and buckle up because you are about to get inspired.

But first…

How many leaders out there have you seen sharing the values that fuel their success publicly? Well, each year for the last two decades, Jeff Bezos has taken time off his busy schedule to pen down an open letter to Amazon shareholders expressing his ideologies and values.

It is these values and beliefs that have propelled his success in the e-commerce space.

Would you like your e-commerce business to move sales like Amazon does (or just a fraction of it) without spending a dollar in R&D? Here are some valuable lessons from Jeff Bezos.

Lesson #1: Build a Customer-Centric Business

It can get tempting to put all your energy into making shareholders happy at the expense of customers. That strategy, however, is not sustainable in the long run.

Remember, your customers will remain loyal to you until they find someone who will offer them something better than you do. Since your customers will give life and legs to your brand, why not invest in everything possible to keep them hooked?

How do you make your business more customer-centric?

Here are three answers:

Focus on offering the best customer experience

Design your product according to your customers’ preference

Allow customers to give feedback through customer reviews

Lesson #2: Base Your Business Decisions on Data instead of Your Gut Feeling

Getting ahead in your business will require you to take risks, and Bezos is all about taking the risk.

Innovation is risky. But instead of shying away from it, Bezos advises the need to keep experimenting and testing. Because in life, you will only regret the things you never tried.

Bezos likes to implement decisions fast. That’s because by experimenting, he knows that decisions made will be of high quality. If the decision does not deliver as expected, Bezos believes it should be possible to reverse it.

Lesson #3: Offer Your customers a Personalized Experience

Jeff Bezos believes that an online store should be able to figure out what a customer wants. In fact, in 1997, Bezos promised that Amazon would relentlessly focus on their customers. Your store should be “smart” enough to offer a tailored experience to every customer who enters the virtual door.

For him, just being customer-centric is not enough. Obsession with your customer is what you need. Since customers are never really satisfied, there is always room for innovation and consequently, better returns.

Following Bezos’s principle of a personalized experience, whenever a customer needs to shop on Amazon, features such as Recommended For You and Top Picks will make it easy to find his favorite items.

You can take advantage of the many online tools available to offer your customers a personalized experience too.

Lesson #4: Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

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Reviews are a cheap way to market your products and your brands. It always sounds more believable coming from the horse’s mouth — your existing customers.

Bezos is well aware of this and, surprisingly, loves the bad reviews. He believes bad reviews are from the most discontent customers. Such feedback would push Amazon to raise their standards to meet them and, in the process, meet the standards of other discontent customers around the world.

Bezos believes that through customer reviews, customers can help each other. And to make this more effective, Amazon offers its customers a platform where they can answer each other’s questions. That way, customers can make better purchase choices.

Customer reviews are your gold mine. Choose to use the feedback to take your online business to the next level.

Lesson #5: Invest in Customer Loyalty

Loyalty programs are usually offered for free, but not in Amazon’s case. Here you will have to pay to join.

That’s because Prime is Amazon’s loyalty program and people pay to enjoy this service.

The high cost of shipping is the number one cause of cart abandonment. Amazon decided to help deal with this pain point by offering free shipping for Prime members in addition to other valuable offers. That’s why customers find Amazon Prime valuable and are willing to pay.

You may not be in a position to stretch as far as Amazon in your offer, but by now you get the drift — there is value in maintaining a loyalty program.

Lesson #6: Innovate

Bezos believed that to remain relevant, you have to keep innovating. Innovating for your customers means placing yourself in their shoes to figure out exactly what they need, then building products and an experience to match it.

Sometimes your innovations will fail, and that’s ok. All you’ll have to do is reverse and innovate again.

Final Thoughts

“Start with the customer and work backward.”

That is Bezos’s famous quote. His belief here is, why come up with a product then start looking for customers while you can sell a solution to your existing customers.

Taking your e-commerce business to the next level can be daunting but Jeff Bezos’s success will inspire you to fuse a futuristic approach with a customer-centered business to guarantee your success in the e-commerce space.

6 Inspiring Lessons from Jeff Bezos’s Climb to the Peak of eCommerce
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