Almost any business will say that they want to have satisfied customers, but Amazon’s CEO (Jeff Bezos) said, “We’re customer-obsessed”.
This drive is only part of why they’ve been so successful, but it’s one of the most essential aspects. Amazon acts on what they say by showing their customers they care with countless benefits. After seeing how it worked, and how happy their customers are, many large retailers (like Walmart) followed. So what has made Amazon the leader in E-commerce?
Focusing on the customer experience.
Amazon As An Innovator
25 years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to shop for anything online, but now online shopping is almost the standard. Quickly after Amazon launched in 1995, eBay was introduced. Then, Walmart, Target, and Home Depot launched their websites to sell products online. And they still are! Some companies, like Marshalls, have finally chosen to join the internet world, while new businesses view a website as vital to success. Amazon not only brought themselves success as the largest online retailer but lead the way for online shopping. They positively impacted customers as well as other companies. Something we all think of as normal and simplifies our lives, began mainly thanks to Amazon. Every other retailer has seen how Amazon has changed and marked the path, and now they are playing “catch-up”.
Do you remember when “free shipping” was announced? Amazon led the way in 2005 by being the first retailer to offer free shipping on a majority of products. This offer still stands, for Prime Members, and the price is more than reasonable at $119 per year or $12.99 per month. So many members, like myself, believe it’s worth it because of the additional included benefits:
- Unlimited photo storage
- Prime Music
- Prime Video
- Prime Wardrobe
Amazon even has benefits for non-members:
- Free shipping for orders of $25 or more on qualified items
- 5gb of free photo storage
When Amazon announced their new shipping policy, other retailers were wondering why. Amazon’s consistency to focus on the customer experience has helped them continually push the envelope. Since this impressive change occurred, every retailer has been trying to rise to their level and compete. Walmart followed closely after by offering free shipping for orders of $35 or more. Apple, Ray-Ban, and Keds are just a few more retailers that now offer free shipping with no minimum amount required -- a budget shopper’s favorite thing! Amazon accounts for approximately half of e-commerce and has lead the way with new and exciting improvements. Throughout the years, Amazon has focused on giving their customers the best experience with their products, and success has followed.
What will be the next advancement that Amazon will become a leading force for? One guess is augmented reality. Augmented reality brings more value to customers’ experiences and has meaningful benefits (like improving sales conversion and reducing returns), but none is as important as improving the customer experience. Amazon’s AR has room for improvement, which is good news for competitors. They’ve already brought augmented reality to their app, but other companies are one-upping them with app-less AR.
Showing your online customers what a product will look like true to size, in 3D, in their home, before purchasing is a massive advantage for them and you. They’ll be more happy with the product they buy, which translates to fewer returns for your business! Yes, Amazon has this functionality, but below we’ll walk you through some of the drawbacks of using it.
With Amazon’s AR, you can only view it if you have their app. It also doesn’t tell you that they offer AR for any of their products, so unless you knew to look beforehand, you wouldn’t know what you’re missing. There’s not an easy way to find which products are available to view in AR either; you just have to click on several to find the one item with that feature. Fortunately, all of these drawbacks can be fixed! Some businesses have figured out how to take advantage of this impactful technology, thereby leapfrogging Amazon and giving themselves an edge in the market.
Other competitors (such as Overstock, LEGO, and Ballard Designs) use Seek for a seamless transition to AR. To the right is an example of Ballard Designs. I did not have to download an app to see products in AR with Ballard Designs. Also, the products that offered the “View in my room” option clearly showed it, which was incredibly helpful. Lastly, the model itself was very realistic in comparison to Amazon’s.
So, How Can You Compete?
Amazon is falling behind a bit on one of the fastest growing components of E-commerce, presenting an opportunity for other brands to get ahead with augmented reality. AR can help you show your customers that you care about them by improving their experience. There are enough furniture companies offering AR now that customers can choose to only shop in places that offer this additional insight into how their products will fit into their lives.
It’s possible to develop a product better than Amazon’s. For example, Google did it! In 2005, Amazon introduced BlockView. This was basically a yellow book but on the internet. It included images of storefronts/restaurants and their listings, so you didn’t have to visit to find out what they offered. It was a sound idea but it didn’t work out. A year later, they abandoned the project and Google created Google Maps, with not only images of storefronts and listings, but also directions and reviews. Google saw where the gaps were and created a product that is still part of our everyday life today.
If you want your business to keep up with Amazon, start by getting ahead. They are part of the pack beginning to lead the way with augmented reality for E-commerce, but there’s parts they lack on that your business can act on. You can start now by improving customer experience with AR on your site that’s even better than Amazon’s, so why hold yourself back? AR transforms the customer experience and since Amazon is all about the customer, you don’t want to wait to see if Amazon is going to enhance their AR. Digi-Capital estimates that the AR market will grow to an estimated $90 billion by 2020. All signs point to Amazon being a large contributor to that amount. Like in the past, every other large retailer is sure to follow Amazon in their AR, making it the standard.
Seek’s Technology Can Help You Keep Up
To improve customer experience with your brand, consider implementing augmented reality now. Don’t hesistate! By giving your customers a more “hands-on” approach with your products, their experience will be improved, while leading to more purchases and fewer returns. Give your customers more confidence in your brand with the ability to view your products in AR, and watch the progress unfold.
Seek has created a scalable way for brands to bring AR to their websites. Because our augmented reality can be accessed directly on your website, customers who are shopping online will have a simple way to view your products in AR. Not having to download an app makes all the difference. It also allows all of your online customers to use augmented reality without the barriers associated with apps. 50% of cell phone users download an average of 1 app per month, so the odds of your company being that app are fairly slim. Ballard Designs (powered by Seek) is already ahead of Amazon because they chose to offer app-less AR on their website.
With Seek, because of our web-based technology, you have the opportunity to surpass other competitors, like Amazon, that still use an app. But regardless of how you utilize AR, it’s not just a thing of the future, it’s happening now, and if you’re not a part of this exciting advancement, you’ll be left in the dust. To learn more about how you can use augmented reality to take your business to the next level today, reach out to us at Seek and get a free demo tailored to you! Compete with Amazon now by getting ahead of the curve with app-less AR. You won’t regret it.