Amazon Aims To Increase Customer Engagement With New ToolAdd bookmark
Amazon has permanently altered the eCommerce landscape; with the introduction of 2-day shipping, Prime became the ultimate convenience. The ‘Amazon Experience’ is synonymous with simplicity; it gave customers the freedom to order anything to their door, curating millions of unique products at competitive price points — making it almost impossible for customers to find a better or more efficient option. It inspired all companies to strive for rapid and seamless support, defining the brand as a leader in both the eCommerce and retail space.
However, while Amazon undoubtedly transformed the digital customer experience for the better, there are still some instances where a greater emphasis on convenience can lead to a detached and potentially impersonal reality.
But the eCommerce giant is now taking steps to change this perception with a new tool called ‘Manage Your Customer Engagement’.
The feature aims to increase engagement and drive brand loyalty by connecting sellers with customers. In allowing vendors to actively reach and expand their current following, Amazon hopes they can more effectively build their brand on the platform.
In its video announcement, the brand claims that the service will help customers feel more appreciated once sellers are able to share brand promotions, creating opportunities for repeat customers and increased retention.
Additionally, the service promotes new launch announcements, giving sellers greater product visibility in the crowded eCommerce environment.
A Departure From Amazon Ownership
The introduction of ‘Manage Your Customer Engagement’ represents a shift from Amazon’s historically strict command of its customer data.
A current seller noted that before this feature was announced the company saw all customers as greater ‘Amazon Customers’, taking ownership of each individual purchase. But this new tool gives smaller companies greater access to customers, increasing their personal presence on the platform.
This more direct approach will give customers a more personalized and intimate experience, as they form a more individual relationship with the sellers they frequent most. Additionally, it may alleviate the current cold, corporate stigma associated with the big box brand. By leveraging its sellers’ relationships and increasing opportunities for more meaningful interactions, Amazon benefits from a more human appeal.
Also, it places Amazon in a better position to promote the smaller businesses on its platform as a way to attract a more socially conscious consumer. Since the start of the pandemic, customers have made continuous efforts to shop at small and local businesses during difficult times. According to a recent survey, 1 in 5 customers were focused on supporting small businesses this past winter. Therefore, in emphasizing the authenticity and unique personality of these smaller sellers, Amazon can reduce consumer guilt and bolster its image as a more diverse and equitable platform.
What It Means For Customers and Merchants
While Amazon and its sellers clearly benefit from the greater marketing presence and increased customer interactions, some individuals may initially see this as a red flag in the loosening of its customer data restrictions.
However, customers can rest easy knowing that this is technically an opt-in service. Sellers are only given aggregate data, keeping users’ contact information private. Additionally, these campaigns will only be delivered to the seller’s current followers, making it the customer’s decision to follow and receive offerings.
This new service seems like a win-win, with customers gaining the heightened personalization and support that the platform seemingly lacks, and sellers finally receiving a bit more recognition in the overly crowded market. However, with services like Shopify offering eCommerce sellers comprehensive and flexible support in managing their online shops — this may not be enough to woo some underappreciated sellers.
Although sellers still benefit from the visibility and brand recognition Amazon offers them, the growth of eCommerce in the past year may also present opportunities for these smaller sellers to branch off. To support more meaningful relationships with its sellers and customers, Amazon may have more work to do in engaging and advocating for these dedicated small businesses.
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