Run Marketing Automation the Amazon Way

Marketing automation like Amazon

You have spent countless hours in refining your eCommerce site and paid digital campaigns. The initial results are paying off. Your website is drawing steady traffic every day, and sales are gradually growing. Only you begin to wonder – how to take this progress to the next level, without continuing to shell out tens of thousands more marketing budget on paid ADs? Well, there is a solution that retail giant, Amazon, has perfected in the last two decades — Personalized Marketing Automation.

This article examines the key marketing automation practices that Amazon pioneered that made it the successful behemoth that it has become today. Furthermore, we show how you can actually implement these concepts to accelerate your shop’s growth without investing a fortune!

Marketing Automation Tactic #1: Personalizing Shopping Experience

One way the global retailer optimizes on conversion is by offering unique landing experiences for different visitors. For instance, notice how the page layout changes from an unknown and known visitor (someone who had signed in).

For the unknown visitor, Amazon has less information about her interests and preferences. Therefore, her homepage experience is designed to encourage exploration – highlighting interesting finds, best-seller categories and promoting the retailer’s Prime membership benefits.

Amazon for Unknown Visitors
Amazon for Unknown Visitors

Whereas for the known (or signed in) visitor, the homepage is much more tailored to the visitor’s interest areas. Based on visitor’s past purchases and browsing patterns, the landing page suggests products and categories that will most likely appeal to her interests. In this case, beauty & personal care, and kindle readings.

Amazon for Signed In Visitors
Amazon for Signed In Visitors

Also, notice the small details across the website that gives that special personal touch? Such as greeting the visitor by her name, one-click access to order or browsing history, and your very own store (Jane’s Amazon.com).

🔌 How to apply this tactic?

Use in-site personalization to tailor your visitor’s homepage experience. Start by greeting your known and unknown visitors differently. For the unknowns, you can use the dynamic pop-ups to highlight the best-sellers, latest additions or capture sign-ups. For the known visitors, messages can be a specific category recommendations or reminder of an outstanding offer that she has not yet redeemed.

Marketing Automation Tactic #2: Product Recommendations

Another powerful tactic that draws visitor conversions is similar product recommendations. Close to 35% of all sales are estimated to be generated by suggestions, underscoring the importance of the recommendation engine.

Recommendations can be shown on site, as visitors are browsing the products. This often comes in form as “Frequently Bought Together” or “Customers who viewed this item also viewed”. The prior promotes cross-selling, while the other provides more options by showcasing alternative products.

Amazon product suggestions
Amazon’s massive cross-sell recommendations.

The power of product recommendations can be extended to after the visitor left site, in forms of email campaigns. The following example, Amazon reaches to the visitor with recommendations that are relevant to her recent book search.

🔌 How to apply this tactic?

Set up browse or cart abandonment triggered emails for your visitors. Once the visitor has left the e-shop after browsing items or placing items in the cart, an email is triggered to continue engaging her with products that she is interested in.

Furthermore, you can include similar or recommended products based on the items viewed to increase the chances of cross or upselling. ContactPigeon uses a variety of data models, to make recommendations based on visitor behaviors.

Marketing Automation Tactic #3: Customer Reviews

Social proof in the form of product reviews is a fantastic tool for sales. Over 70% of consumers surveyed said they look at product reviews before making purchase decisions. 63% of them are more likely to buy from a site that has product reviews.

Amazon, with its extensive line of products, thrives on customer ratings and reviews to push its products. A product review often starts with a request, via email mostly. Notice the subtle and friendly way the company used to solicit a post-purchase review:

Post purchase review from Amazon
Post purchase review from Amazon

Adopting post-purchase reviews using marketing automation is an effortless way to encourage more customer feedback. Not only does this type of triggered email allows you to reconnect with your customers after purchase, it can be further enriched with product recommendations, new offers and other brand info. Moreover, it sends a signal that you value your customer feedback while giving you insights on ways you can further improve your business.

🔌 How to apply this tactic?

Use marketing automation to schedule a post-purchase review email to be sent several days after a customer makes an order. The review can feature one or more product to be rated, plus additional recommendations of similar items. The time period to send the review email will vary by product types. A good rule of thumb is 3-4 weeks post purchase to provide enough time for delivery and customer usage for a complete feedback.

Taking Lesson from the Best

In business, as in sports or art, a way of becoming better is by learning from the best. While Amazon continues to raise disruptive trends in the retail world, there are many insights we can gain by observing and taking what has succeeded. Afterall, these tactics have been proven and tested repeatedly over the years.

So give these 3 ideas a try! Let us know how we can help you add your own twist to these success recipes.


Also published on Medium.


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ContactPigeon is the ultimate analytics and marketing automation platform. We provide a solution to every marketer's problem: How to send the right message, at the right time.