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Amazon’s 5 Industry Disrupting Tactics and How You Can Adopt Them, Too

There are many things that the richest man on Earth knows, but most importantly, Jeff Bezos knows business.

As the founder, chairman, CEO and president of Amazon, he has managed to create a $233 billion empire. In 2018, Amazon was listed as the largest internet company over other American corporations like Facebook, Netflix, and even Google. It’s no secret that Bezos has managed to find the right methods to shake up the industry and create lifelong buyers. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions using Amazon’s disrupting tactics that all businesses can modify to help increase customer loyalty and revenue.

1. Affiliate marketing programs & partnerships

Amazon created the Amazon Marketplace in the early 2000s as a way to compete with eBay’s model of allowing anyone to sell goods on their site. Using this e-commerce platform, users can gain access to Amazon’s customer base to reach a larger audience and make sales. These third-party sales account for around 31% of Amazon’s annual sales.

There are a few ways that entrepreneurs and business leaders can adopt this tactic. First, it’s important to identify the right partners and affiliates that make sense to their customers. Retailers should sell local artists’ work or products from small businesses in their shop. Local spaces could consider hosting speaking events or small concerts with local performers.

2. Create loyal customers through incentives

On average, Amazon Prime members spend $1,300/year on Amazon, while non-Prime members spend an average of $700/year. Why the significant jump? Incentives. Amazon’s customers can’t resist the free two-day shipping, free Amazon music and video content, and the many other benefits which come with the $99 yearly subscription deal. Further proof that customer loyalty programs are a valuable effort is the ever increasing 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers.

Additionally, Amazon has used its strategic purchase of Whole Foods Market to discount products for Prime members. Customers are able to order groceries to be picked up at their local Whole Foods, or have them delivered right to the front door. Loyalty programs are a great way to create repeat customers. It also gives better insight into what

customers are buying. A loyalty program may give customers free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advanced released products. Business owners can use a tier system to reward initial loyalty and encourage more purchases. Start by presenting customers with small rewards (minor discounts, free shipping, etc.) to introduce them into the program, gradually increasing the value of the rewards for more frequent consumers.

There are other ways to create a loyal client base if you are not a retail organization. Reward clients that have worked with you for a while by reducing their price or bundling the services that you offer. Again, you can partner with third-parties to offer complementary services that you may not be able to provide. Another big opportunity to build trust and client loyalty is to run referral programs through their network. If a client can refer someone else to your business, offer them a reduced rate or create a partnership with them.

3. Don’t be afraid to make it a deal

In addition to their offers to Prime members, Amazon also suggest bundling purchases so customers can save on shipping. For example, customers can get free shipping on book orders of over $25 or free shipping for bundling products over $35. This is how a single purchase can grow into a multiple item purchase.

Amazon has also managed to create a subscription service which automates how often customers receive frequently purchased products like toilet paper, dog food, and even protein powders. Depending on how frequently the customer likes to receive these products (every 2-weeks, 4-weeks, etc.) Amazon knocks off a percentage of the order cost.

Amazon Day, Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just some of the specific days of the year where Amazon offers exclusive discounts and rates on purchases. For the most part, these deals are offered to both Prime and non-Prime members, although, ultimately, those that are part of the loyalty program reap better benefits.

If you’re wondering how to use these for your business, consider holding time-limited sales or events. Create demand by offering incentives to your loyal customers. Reduce rates for clients or partners who want to bundle your services. If you’re holding a large speaking event, provide something extra for your attendees like complimentary breakfast or a take-home bag. Bonus points if you can offer them your services at a lower cost for attending.

4. Upsell like a pro

Amazon’s technology has always been at the forefront of utilizing data to create a customer experience. In business, knowing your audience and catering to their preferences. Amazon’s algorithm can determine what customers are likely to buy before they even realize they’re ready to buy it. Have you noticed that whenever you’re ready to purchase an item, lists of other recommended items are strategically displayed underneath? These suggestions are based on data indicating that previous consumers who purchased this specific product also tended to purchase items that complemented them well.

It should be at the forefront of every salesperson's mind - both in sales and in retail - to always find ways to upsell with services and products that make sense to the consumer. Truly knowing the benefit of add-ons can not only make your customers happy but can ultimately help you close larger sales.

5. Think: customer experience over everything

This leads us to customer experience. From the personalized emails to personal assistants in

your homes, Amazon is the king of customer experience. Connecting with your customers should be one of the most important things you learn in business. The more you can relate to them and cater to their needs, the more loyal they become. Some of the ways that Amazon has been able to assist and relate to their customers are:

  • PERSONAL: Sending automated personalized emails to customers. Additionally, they

    send triggered emails when a shopping cart has been abandoned, which in most cases,

    leads the consumer back to the site to complete the transaction.

  • EASY: Adjusting the checkout process to be as simple as 1-click. If the customer’s

    information is already in Amazon, they can skip adding to the car and go straight into confirming payment and address before placing the order.

  • INNOVATIVE: Introducing the Amazon Echo as a way to shop with just your voice. “Alexa, order cat food,” is a simple command that actually orders the product so no one even has to jump online.


How can business leaders customize their own experience? Know your customers. Use email marketing to segment them into lists by their specific interests. Not everyone needs all of the services or products that you have. Chances are there are specific parts of your business that work for select people - cater to each individual group to see a more successful response. Always be willing to accept feedback from your customers and clients. Even if it’s as simple as “offer better sales on Tuesday” or slightly more complex like, “add a search bar to your website” - do what you can to hear their concerns, ultimately making it easy to buy!

Tying it all together

Jeff Bezos has managed to become a billionaire by forward thinking and creating strategies that form lifelong customers. These tactics and the ability to be constantly thinking long term can help businesses dominate their industries.

IT’S TIME. GO GLOBAL. 

There is no better time than now to consider global expansion. Our years of experience entering global markets can ensure you have the research to support the decision, along with a strategy to successfully implement. For more information on our global business development services, contact us via email (hello@castusglobal.com) or submit a form on our contact page.

Photo from Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash

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