9 Lessons from Amazon: Overall Growth Strategy That Can Shape Your eCommerce Business Going Forward

By Anna Yurovskikh July 4, 2021

Did you know that Amazon gets about 2.437 visitors every month?

It’s funny when you think that this is a company that started in a garage.

But how does an eCommerce business that started so small have such great success now?

It may not have been easy. But with innovation along with constant strategic analysis, you may easily achieve long-term growth.

Now, you can use the Amazon business model to get a head start on your eCommerce business goals.

1. The Charity Affiliate Program Can Bring Profit

As an entrepreneur, you might think that charity is only for the rich guys that have too much money to spare.

However, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Just look at Bill Gates. He keeps giving away but only seems to be getting richer. He must be doing something right.

Jeff Bezos followed the worldwide charity lead and set up the AmazonSmile Foundation.

This way, consumers can contribute to charity while they are searching for the right products.

For each purchase that anyone makes, Amazon donates 0.5% of that sum to charity, at no cost to the buyer.

As an example, if someone makes a $10,000 purchase on Amazon, $50 of that sum goes to charity.

It might not seem like much, but considering the number of clients, it is no wonder that Amazon eventually gave $215 million to charity by 2020.

Many may not see this as a big deal, but the strategy has shown to bring Amazon a bit of success.

With every affiliate program, Amazon has its partners doing promotions on its behalf. The charities are no exception to this.

Plus, the psychological benefits are great, as this is what the Charity Affiliate Program did for Amazon and its sellers:

  • It made their customers feel better about the stuff that they buy from Amazon
  • It makes customers see Amazon in a better light
  • It encourages more purchases in the future, as more money will go to charity

Tying philanthropy to your business is not that difficult. You just need to find the right medium.

For instance, you may partner with charities that use your product, or make donations to charities that will spread the word about you. Regardless, this will put you in a better light that will only improve your sales.

Recommended resource:

Top 16 Affiliate Programs For Beginners Paying a Lot More Money Than a Full-Time Job

2. Using “eCommerce Relevance-Raising” Can Improve Your Google AdWords Presence

Keywords make the Internet go round, and Amazon’s financial strategies reflect this as well.

This is precisely why Amazon has ads on more than 5.8 million Google AdWords PPC keywords.

To promote through that many keywords without having to write 5.8 million ads for each product, Amazon makes use of DKIs – or “Dynamic Keyword Insertion.”

This should make the keywords relevant for your product appear in the ad description and headline using a template ad.

A lot of SEO tactics and metrics analysis tools are used to get an idea of what keyword goes where.

A good example of that is Jungle Scout, a tool that offers consumer trend reports, allowing you to match your ads with the keyword.

Amazon may not do this for every product and ad, but they did create an algorithm that made mixing and matching easy.

Recommended resources:

Keyword Search Volume Tool: The Definitive Guide (Updated With Examples)

How to Rank Higher on Google and Improve Your Rankings

3. Selling a “Loss Leader” from the Front End May Bring Profit from the Back End

If a product is highly popular and in demand, it might make sense for you to sell it at a higher price, right? Well, not particularly.

At least, Amazon doesn’t do it that way. Look at Kindle, for example. Amazon itself confirmed that it makes no profit from the product.

Yet, how do they make even more profit if they sell their front product at a loss? That’s simple. Amazon sells the front end at a low price, only to reap profit from the back end.

Think about it this way: people buying a kindle will also need to buy eBooks. Therefore, they may not make money in the short term by selling the device.

Instead, they experience long term growth from products in the back end – i.e., the eBooks people buy to read on their kindle.

Recommended resources:

How to Sell Digital Products Online

How to Use Social Media to Increase Your Sales Online

4. Amazon Prime Can Add Recurring Revenue to Ecommerce Business

Among others, Amazon also gives you access to “Prime” for $99 a year (or $10.99 a month).

It offers Amazon users several perks such as free shipping, two-day express delivery, unlimited access to streaming services, and so on.

This might seem counterproductive, but let’s take free shipping for example.

One of the main reasons why people choose to buy from shops than online is because they do not want to pay for shipping.

So, if free shipping is made available for them, they are more likely to buy. The more they buy, the more recurring revenue Amazon gets.

Recommended resources:

The State of Digital Advertising in eCommerce Industry

How to Start an eCommerce Business: The 8-Point Steps

5. Using the Right Short Video Ads Can Help You Go Viral

Have you noticed how a lot of the products on Amazon have videos on them aside from the classic pictures?

Well, this is because 74% of the marketers claim that video brings a much better return on investment as compared to pictures.

You probably also noticed that the videos on Amazon are not very long. In fact, they are often no longer than 14 seconds, using a “show, but don’t tell” strategy.

Here is how these can benefit your digital marketing strategy:

  • They are short, so they won’t take too much of a viewer’s time
  • They show a real-life product and application
  • They are often very funny (if done right)

For example, the Amazon Echo video ad only has 13 seconds, but it shows exactly what you can do – while keeping it funny. There are two sections in the ad.

In the first section, a guy is looking for (possibly) a ring in the drain and saying “Alexa, where is the nearest store?” In the second, a guy is putting a large bowl on the wall, saying “Alexa, Wikipedia wolf spider” in a panicked voice.

In just a few seconds, they showed you exactly why you need that product and how you can use it.

You don’t even need to work too hard on the video. Just film a few scenes and put them together with a video editor.

If the viewers find it interesting and it pulls out a chuckle from them, the video should go viral – and that exposure will certainly increase your sales.

6. The Right Page Conversion Elements Can Increase Product Page Conversion Rate

Amazon uses several product page conversion elements to get the visitor to buy, breaking down into the following:

  • Social proof
  • Scarcity and urgency
  • 1-click buying buttons
  • Cross-selling and upselling
  • Smart bars

When people see these options, they are more likely to place an order.

Recommended resources:

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7 Sending Out the Right Email after a Sale Can Bring More Revenue

Even if you are an eCommerce business owner, you probably did your fair share on Amazon as well, before you decided to go on your own.

And if you used the platform, you probably noticed that Amazon likes sending emails – like, a lot.

Some people in eCommerce might not want to send too many emails, because “what if the recipient gets annoyed?” Still, these emails make around a little over 4% of Amazon’s monthly traffic.

All those emails lead to some 100 million visits to the website – a lot of them generating more sales.

Here are the main types of emails that Amazon sends for its marketing strategy.

With tools such as MailChimp or Hubspot Email Marketing, you may easily put together such emails yourself.

Email No. 1: Congratulations on Your First Order!

This mail is usually sent within 24 hours after one order has been made.

The purpose of this email is quite simple: it aims to build trust with the buyers, to ease their mind that the collaboration between you two has already started.

In that email, you must tell them what other steps they may take next.

Email No. 2: Your Order Has Been Confirmed

This email may seem like it has a strictly informational goal. It’s more than that.  First, it brings the mind of the buyer at ease.

Your order was looked at, and it was confirmed that they can ship it to you. You are that closer to getting your product.

Secondly, this email is a marketing strategy in disguise. In the email, you can see a link to the order details.

Beneath those details, there are other widgets such as “Customer that bought x (your product) also bought y (other connected products).

Email No. 3: Your Order Has Been Shipped

This one has the same purpose as the confirmation email: to get the buyers back on the website. In the email, Amazon gives its clients a call-to-action and a link where they can track the package.

Once they go on the website, aside from package tracking, Amazon also shows them similar products that they may buy.

Email No. 4: Review Your Purchase

Unlike other eCommerce platforms, Amazon does not send an email requesting a review right away.

Instead, they wait a couple of weeks until after the package was received – just to make sure that the client had enough time to use it.

The goal is not only to get the shoppers back to Amazon (and perhaps make another purchase) but also to improve trust with other customers.

Email No. 5: Sales Event

The last type of email that can shape your eCommerce business is the sales event kind. Amazon is pretty “shameless” when it comes to sending these emails.

So, on the days leading to an event, it might feel like you are getting constantly bombarded.

For example, there might be an event where everything you get has free shipping. Or certain categories of products might get a discount.

This email plan very often gets them a lot of leads, especially when the “last chance” email applies.

Recommended resources:

Moosend Review: Is This Email Marketing Software Worth The Money?

How To Make a Great Welcome Email Series You Can Steal And Use Right Away

8. Using the “Pop-Up Shop” Strategy Can Bring You Closer to the Buyers

Amazon also taught us that even if your business is solely online, you can still sell products exactly where your customer is.

For example, if you sell clothes, people are more likely to buy them if they can see the product.

This is why Amazon set up the “Pop—Up Shop.” An alternative for the expansion of their business and raise awareness, pop-up shops allowed Amazon to boost their sales and increase revenue.

Seeing the product led to a stronger desire to buy. It also made returns easy, which made even skeptical users more likely to buy.

9. FBA Policy Helped the Platform Grow Even More

Last but not least, the Fulfillment by Amazon policies is for people using web services to make money as a side hustle

 With this program, sellers can sit back and count the money they make on Amazon.

It might seem like a lot of hard work – but in truth, this helped Amazon.

The easier they made it for the sellers, the easier it became for them to form international contracts. Sellers kept using the platform and Amazon kept growing.

Conclusion

In the end, the story of Amazon is proof that every eCommerce business can succeed.

You just need to use the right business model along with the proper tools. With time and determination, you may even become the next Jeff Bezos.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Anna Yurovskikh

Anna is a Content Manager at Movavi, an international software company making friendly and powerful video-editing tools. Anna is an expert in digital business growth and a fan of good SEO. In her free time she enjoys painting and hiking.

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