Amazon continues to set the bar for ecommerce efficiency and overall experience. I have been telling clients and audiences this for some years but I had an experience this week that shows they are still on top.
I bought three books from Amazon yesterday, which get free 2 day shipping from my Amazon Prime membership. They showed up today. I could immediately access status reports on the orders and even change or cancel them before the products had shipped (although that didn’t take long!). Great experience, exceeding my expectations all the way around.
I also bought two small bags from REI for organizing all the gear that goes with my laptop and other electronic doodads. I selected regular ground shipping since I don’t need these in a hurry. My e-mail from REI confirming the order says I can access the status of my orders after 48 hours have passed. I have no idea when they might arrive. It was such a let down from my experience with Amazon.
The lesson, my friends, is to go through your own ecommerce process, including fulfillment. How do you measure up? Do your customers know exactly what status their order is in, when it ships and when it will arrive? I guarantee you are being compared to the Amazon experience by many of your online customers.
Amazon is redesigning.
And even more amazing, they have live and responsive customer support! I have to admit that I often assume the big sites like Amazon won’t have real people available to solve your problems. Well, wrong. I recently discovered I had two Amazon accounts – one was Prime, one was not – and I had added gift certificates and made an order to the one that wasn’t Prime (so I was charged shipping of >$20 which I never pay with Prime). I submitted my phone number on the customer support page…and was expecting a message saying I’d hear back after it was too late (the items shipped and charged). Wrong again. I got a phone call within seconds and the issue resolved within minutes. Gift certificate credit now moved and the other account closed so I don’t make the mistake again. Amazon rocks.
I saw that. I even had the new look show up for me for a couple days before it rotated out again. They are testing it very thoroughly.
Are you familiar with their latest- CreateSpace?
CreateSpace publishes all kinds of stuff for you budding authors, musicians, and new media producers using a radical business model. You pay nothing for project setup of your books, audio CDs, DVDs, Blue-Ray media and digital video downloads, enabling one to offer your works to millions of customers worldwide and to determine the prices of your products yourself.
longtail for the masses.
I hadn’t seen that before, Peter. Looks promising! Very similar to Lulu.com except for digital products.