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Amazon’s Cyber Monday Success Carries Lessons for BtoB Publishers

December 15, 2014

Cyber Monday, 2014, has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. Touted as the biggest, annual, online shopping event ever, it holds a lot of lessons for any business looking to engage and convert online customers.

This year saw many Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals extended throughout the week. That may have brought more folks out into the stores, but it also encouraged others to shop online and avoid the ensuing insanity.

According to IBM Digital Analytics, sales grew 8.5% in the 24-hour period of Cyber Monday, ensuring its standing as the biggest online shopping day of the year. Amazon took the lead with customers ordering 37 million items from the eCommerce giant—making that day the company’s busiest shopping day of the year, as well. What boosted their success?

  1. Mobile ResponsivenessMore than half of Amazon’s Cyber Monday customers shopped on mobile devices. Of course Amazon is (and must be) mobile responsive, but imagine if their mobile shopping experience wasn’t seamless? It is estimated that more than $20 billion in Amazon merchandise was purchased on smartphones or tablets this year. And, it’s theorized that a healthy portion of the purchasers were browsing show room aisles (or show-rooming) at competitors likeBest Buy. Amazon had a thin window for finalizing customer purchases, because what would stop those customers from turning around and just purchasing the available product from the brick and mortar store, if the cyber option was too slow or cumbersome?
  2. Security and Trust. Along with mobile responsiveness, Amazon leverages the most stellar qualities of eCommerce that include PCI Compliance. The retailer has built that level of trust and security out of necessity and it must hold through the nation’s biggest shopping days.
  3. Speed. Amazon made it no secret that they lead the pack in customer response times, by making it a point to track the speed of their new Mayday service for Kindle Fire HDX customers. Customers could access a live video chat with a customer service representative within 9 seconds. Amazon is masterful at tracking data from square one, so it can build interest and trust in new products, services and offerings from the get-go.
  4. Social Engagement. Social media mentions about Amazon came in only second to Walmart this year, but Amazon also engaged frequently on social media with an average of every 13 minutes. While purchases aren’t accelerating at a notable rate through social media, it is still a critical piece in building connections with consumers, and ultimately conversions.
  5. Creative Data Employment. It’s clear that Amazon employs its consumer data quite well, to make purchasing easier through auto-fill and to suggest other related products in context. But how else does it use data? To learn more about what customers are purchasing AND to tell consumers about our consumer culture. But, it presents it in a fun, quirky way that helps build the company’s personality, and hence engagement. For example, consider these Amazon fun facts:

“Customers ordered enough upright vacuums that “end-to-end, they would reach 15 times the depth of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point in Earth’s oceans.” 

And

Customers bought a volume of Nylabone Dinosaur Chew Toys equal to the height of 950 T-Rexes.”

You don’t need to be a BtoC company to reap the benefits of Amazon’s success. You just need to employ these tactics in concert with strong knowledge of your audience.