Customer obsession is at the core of Amazon’s DNA.
“Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company...” - Amazon
And it works! Their obsession has won them tons of customer loyalty. Studies have found that 79.8% of Amazon customers say the reason they buy products from Amazon is for fast-and-free shipping while another 40% say it’s due to their easy return process, and just under 20% say it’s mostly due to their delivery tracking.
Amazon may be the pioneer and pace setter for customer centric service levels, but the same principals remain true across any channel that you sell on. Fast-and-free shipping on Target.com or Walmart.com will convert more customers. Great customer service on The Home Depot or Lowes orders will build brand loyalty.
So, how do you take the experience Amazon provides to customers and apply that to all the other channels you sell on?
In this article, we’re going to be addressing why achieving a ‘Prime-level’ customer experience across channels is beneficial to brands and what you can do to acquire it.
Why Prime Eligibility Makes or Breaks Amazon Sellers
Amazon is up-front about what benefits sellers get out of acquiring a Prime badge, as they should since keeping up with the requirements isn’t an easy task. Outside of increased brand loyalty and customer service, here are a few other key benefits to becoming Prime-eligible:
- Increased Visibility: Prime products are featured more prominently and often get ranking priority over non-prime products which leads to attracting a larger customer base. This is usually due to the offerings of Prime itself. If you can provide speed and reliability, then Amazon puts your products over others.
- Buy Box Preference: Again, providing faster and cheaper (or even free) delivery options allows you almost guaranteed wins in the Buy Box, boosting sales opportunities and pushing you ahead of the competitors.
- Improved Conversion Rates: Prime status tends to lead to higher conversion rates since many customers prefer the convenience of Prime. Amazon itself even boasts that on average, sellers see a 20–25% increase in sales when using their FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) or alternative Prime-eligible programs.
What Makes Prime a Great User Experience?
Amazon, and in-turn Prime, is the industry leader in customer experience with an impressive 98% retention rate, but let's break down what makes it so good and why people stay:
- FREE same-day or next-day shipping
- Automated returns and refunds
- Quick and easy customer service
- Brand trust
Achieving Prime-Level Experience on Omni-channel
Some brands allow the challenges of a high-level, omni-channel customer experience offering limit the attention giving to non-Amazon sales channels.
They find themselves asking “aren’t people just going to go to Amazon anyways? So, what’s the big deal?”
Margeaux Oswald, Spreetail Director of Channels Marketplace, gives her thoughts:
“Brand continuity isn't just about pictures and titles; it’s offering the same experience with your brand everywhere you're represented online and meeting your customer where they're already shopping (groceries on Walmart.com or the loyal Target RedCard holder). You don't want the customer to ever leave your listing once they land on that PDP (product description page), you want them to keep moving down the conversion funnel. Otherwise, you risk them landing on a competitor's listings when they comparison shop.”
It's clear just how big of an impact Prime can make on your bottom-line on the Amazon marketplace, but how do you get those conversion and brand-building positive effects cross-channel?
It’s all about being present and creating cohesion to beat out competitors no matter what marketplace your customers choose to visit.
Here’s how to do it:
- Walmart: Remember, before Amazon, Walmart ruled retail. They currently have a monthly ecommerce audience of over 120 million loyal customers. Their Prime alternative, Walmart+, helps ensure you’re meeting those customers where they are with what they need. Through this program, you can offer free next-day delivery, return item pick-up from home, and participate in Walmart deals to take part in Black Friday promotions and product launches. This isn’t just about being present on their marketplace as sellers within this platform who offer these advantages also have the chance to become a part of WFS (Walmart Fulfillment Services) and can expect to see higher search rankings and Buy Box wins, creating an average of 50% more sales.
- Target: Target Plus acts as a curated selection of products from third-party sellers on Target.com, designed to complement their current assortment. Since this marketplace is currently invite-only, becoming a part of this program creates an automatic sense of trust and credibility with online buyers. This means expectations are sky high when it comes to delivery and customer service, including free 2-day shipping and in-store return policies. Through this curation program Target works to uphold numerous quality requirements to ensure customers are getting the best possible experience and have access to quality brands and products.
Multi-channel Prime Level SLAs
As you can see, there are different offerings and different requirements for every marketplace that need to be implemented to ensure you stay on “Prime-level.” But we’re sure that isn’t news to you. What might be added information, though, is that rather than going about this one-by-one and figuring out a mountain of logistics, there is a way you can accomplish the Prime experience on every channel through one simple solution. Enter service level agreements.
Amazon multi-channel fulfillment offers SLAs (service level agreements) that let them take over the fulfillment responsibilities within their marketplace and others. This means no matter where your products are listed, they can generate the same Prime benefits for any of your buyers.
Or, instead of having to rely on Amazon, you can find a solution that does it all for you while also fostering a collaborative relationship. Partnering with a trusted ecommerce accelerator is easier than trying to figure out how to manage these different programs on your own or paying the fees that come along with Prime fulfillment offerings. So, don’t. Let someone else take care of it, while also providing guidance in other aspects that you may not have realized you needed.
Through Spreetail’s marketplace expansion services we launch and manage your products across our 12 different online marketplaces keeping in mind unique requirements and variables to ensure your customers get a unified experience no matter where they find you. This includes leveraging our marketplace relationships to offer Prime-like benefits on every platform you decide to join as well as automatic Prime eligibility without all the hassle. You can check out this Hape, children’s toys manufacturer, success story to see how we make it all possible and get a glimpse inside what we could do to elevate your online presence.