Case Study: How to Use Amazon’s Strategy for Your Business

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How fitting that the globe’s largest online store is named after the enormous South American river. With over $48 billion in revenues throughout 2012 alone, Amazon is a dynamic powerhouse that every brand should admire.

Now, you’d have to be nuttier than a fruitcake to think that Amazon achieved this mammoth success with ease. It required blood, sweat and tears – or at least two of the three – for Amazon to become the center of online retail that it is today.

Use the “Amazon Strategy” for Your Business

Fortunately, Amazon’s strategy to attain 250,000,000 monthly visitors isn’t exactly a secret. They’re known for “going all in” and aggressively defending their turf while expanding it. Brands hoping for similar Amazon-sized success should study the way the ecommerce site stays ahead of the curve, expands their territory, optimizes content and gives power to the consumer.

Amazon Creates the Trend

Before e-readers and tablets were mainstream, Amazon took a leap of faith and invested itself in this market. The risk clearly succeeded, as tablets are recognized as one of the fastest-growing new technologies. Instead of simply focusing on selling tablets and e-readers, Amazon developed the Kindle, which placed their own stamp in the growing marketplace. Amazon also created a niche for itself by promoting new, unknown authors.

Did you know that Amazon’s top 100 selling Kindle books were mostly self-published authors? E-readers continue to consume a wider range of content – and Amazon delivers. By staying ahead of the curve like they did with the Kindle, Amazon ensures its relevance and staying power as today’s new technologies become the standard.

Amazon Goes to Hollywood

Part of staying ahead of the curve means that Amazon will also travel into new territory. While an online retail site seems completely unrelated to Hollywood, news has broken that Amazon is investing in at least 30 original movies or television programs.

Instead of simply streaming video content, Amazon is experimenting in creating its own content. Amazon is using data from their sales and consumer base to predict what type of content will be a hit. Likewise, brands should continue to take calculated risks. Just as Amazon is investing in creating video content because they understand how it fits their platform, brands should consider their potential avenues as well.

Optimization Prime

Just like any online presence, Amazon focuses on content optimization to ensure that all of their listings appear nicely in SERPs (search engine result pages). They’ve refined their search system to only bring up the content that you’re looking for.

Furthermore, Amazon’s content is powerful because it doesn’t just appear on SERPs, it’s actually sent to you via email and relevant advertising throughout the Internet. Because Amazon tries to recommend products to consumers, they’ve included a “Fix this Recommendation” button in case one of their suggestions is off base. By doing this, Amazon continues to harness personal preferences to fine-tune their marketing efforts. Is your site optimized to use and gather relevant data?

Power to the Public

For the most part, Amazon doesn’t really sell that much. Most of their content and items come from “sellers.” Thus, the strength in Amazon’s brand is that it is based on user-generated content that can quickly adapt to user needs.

While not every brand can rely on user-generated content like Amazon, every business can afford to give more power to the consumer. For instance, consider adding product review options or testimonials.

4 Comments ▼

Amie Marse


Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money, a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

4 Reactions

  1. Great post, Amie.

    Amazon’s model is an amazing one.

    One thing I remember when I learned a bit more about it was how much they they planned ahead.

    And, they planned for something big.

    Jeff Bezos wanted to make sure that the user experience was always 1st class. To him that meant that the website always had to be up.

    He invested in server space and storage space in a huge way. He always made sure that Amazon.com had way more server space etc. than needed.

    A good lesson for those of us who are envisioning big things with our online properties.

    The Franchise King®

    • Anita Campbell

      Hi Joel,

      I can remember when Jeff Bezos was first considered a visionary, then went to being the butt of jokes for a while due to so many years of losses for Amazon. I wonder how many of those people are laughing now?

      Anita

  2. Amazon is one of the kings of content! They analyze so much data and fine tune all of their marketing communications to their clients. If we’re to take anything away from this it’s that we need to craft our content to our customers, and publish and send content often!

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