Amazon & Customer Experience

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Amazon Prime is considered one of the most successful loyalty programs in retail history. While many believe the success of Amazon Prime revolves around free shipping, it is really the removal of friction and focus on #customerexperience that sets it apart. Banking can learn from Amazon Prime.

While most casual observers would think that the increased loyalty is about free shipping, it is really about changing consumer behavior through reduced friction.

Prime was intended to impact purchasing behavior, not just offer faster shipping. They were the first to realize the increased importance of saving time.

Through the years, Amazon has collected massive amounts of insights on their Prime customers. Unprecedented knowledge about their customer drives all investment decisions at Amazon. Reducing friction and improving the consumer experience is also what is behind the recent decision to acquire Whole Foods.

Amazon is notorious for allowing short-term financials to suffer, as they did with Prime, to support the long term behavioral impact of becoming the go-to preference of shoppers. The changing of shopping behavior is so powerful that Amazon will be cashing in on this behavioral modification for decades. Amazon uses the same perspective regarding #innovation … willing to take moderate risks for longer-term benefit to the customer and company.

A strong customer experience will lead to more shoppers, which will in turn bring more sellers. More sellers will lower costs and prices through competition while bolstering selection for customers. Lower prices and more selection will bring in more customers and the cycle repeats itself. As the cycle increases momentum, there is massive amount of customer insight being collected, analyzed and acted upon for improved recommendations and behavior modification.

Instead of collecting data for great internal reports, Amazon applies all of the learning (in real time) to enhance the customer experience and increase loyalty!!!

With a focus on changing consumer behavior through simplicity and the removal of friction, Amazon launched the Echo with its AI – Alexa, in 2014.Echo is projected to control roughly 70% of this market in 2017. “Although Google’s and Microsoft’s respective AI-infused voice assistants are more technologically advanced, Alexa’s developing technology and capabilities position it well to overtake competitors

Voice-First technologies will soon be part of every successful organization’s customer experience ecosystem. And, while Alexa and other voice devices today are used to answer questions, they will soon be able to provide proactive contextual recommendations … in retail and in banking.

Amazon Prime proves that loyalty does not have to be about a point system, coupons, discounts, branded credit cards or any other manufactured definition of loyalty. Instead, loyalty is about changing consumer behavior and consumer perception that will move shopper preferences towards your brand. In an increasingly digital world, where clicks and taps drive purchase decisions, removing friction and simplifying the purchase process will increase loyalty.

Amazon is setting the bar for customer expectations beyond the retail industry. The banking industry can learn from Amazon Prime. Or, it can allow Amazon and other large tech companies to leverage their exceptional customer experience layer to provide many of the banking services legacy organizations provide today.