Amazon uses all the data it collects, both through advertising and transactions with customers in its business, to document a more personalized and effective customer experience.
So, why is it so successful (and will continue to succeed) even after the entry into force of the GDPR regulations? But because Amazon offers a phenomenal experience with the data that consumers entrust to it!
If we do not allow Amazon to exploit our data, we would have no history of our purchases, or wish list or personalized recommendations…
The impact of the refusal to pass on our information to Amazon is therefore very strong. This means that in exchange for a global permission to use our data, Amazon reserves the right to display advertisements and personalize our customer experience based on our data.
But it is difficult for brands that want to reclaim the customer experience to offer better than this exchange of value. And if they do not, they become dependent on Amazon (or any other entity offering a more attractive value exchange – like eBay and others).
So what can brands do to create an exchange of value that lives up to the incredible power of Amazon, to regain customers’ permission to use their data and deliver an individualized customer experience?
1. Understand that the customer experience is truly omni-channel
Overall, Amazon’s mobile app is limited; Amazon’s website remains the primary engine for engaging customers. Amazon does not excel at omni-channel experience.
On the other hand, most retail brands have a very good opportunity to capture data from the in-store experience and link it to the online experience to gain a complete view of their customers.
Unfortunately, many brands have fallen behind in this area. The problem is that different marketing teams hold different resources and use different channels. One team manages the mobile application, another is responsible for the website and another is the store experience, etc. These teams are generally disconnected, which does not allow them to coordinate these points of interaction and to imagine a coherent strategy to capture all points.
In addition, many brands use multiple technologies, in which each channel exists on a separate platform, which makes it difficult to create a consistent strategy. Yet, the best hope for brands to tackle the “Amazon effect” is to unify these channels and gain a truly comprehensive view of their customers.
2. Study the information of its customers and constantly learn from them
All the information about the behaviour of your customers can enrich your individualisation initiatives.
The world cannot be reduced to one-click shopping, but to multi-point interactions. That’s what Amazon does, but only in the Amazon ecosystem – although of course it’s done very well.
Amazon has the ability to reach you in different ways, but only in the Amazon ecosystem.
3. Create a contextual experience based on the entire customer profile
The use of “content” by Amazon is very transactional: “you bought or viewed this, so buy that”. However, brands can take a “sell to help” approach with their content.
Briefly, suppose that you are going on a hike soon and that you have done a search for “flatfoot hiking shoes “, that you have also visited a fashion website and provided your information on the brand’s website; a brand of hiking equipment could offer advice on arch support solutions and offer a test in the store, to promote its high-end line, etc.
It would therefore not only offer advertisements for hiking shoes for people with flat feet, but would target them through personalized advertising, based on customer data it has collected.
The experience is so much more attractive than the mere fact of receiving discounts for the purchase of more products.
4. Create a convincing exchange of value through individualization
The incredible convenience that Amazon offers as a reseller (and entertainment platform) means that the company has a huge advantage, as well as a huge database.
If brands fail to obtain similar consent, they may not only lose the opportunity to capture customer data, but also lose historical data – all in one denial.
For many companies, measuring Amazon’s convenience in exchange for data access will be a challenge.
To use the metaphor of a supermarket is like when brands pay a premium to be presented at the top of the gondola, to encourage more customers to buy their products.
When they engage with Amazon, under the conditions imposed by the company, brands must sell at low prices and pay to be visible at the top of the gondola at the time of Black Friday and other promotions.
However, if you find a way to offer real value to your customers with your content and your interactions with them, you will attract them more frequently to your department, and then present your products and services, to attract their attention.