You’re in a pinch.
You were supposed to buy a cake pan for a party this weekend.
Unfortunately, you forgot.
Now, it’s Wednesday and your week is packed. You don’t have time to get to the store on top of everything else going on.
You decide to order it online.
You need an online store that can give you options, is reasonably priced, and can guarantee a two-day delivery.
What store just came to mind?
In today’s special edition of Why We Buy, we’re analyzing a well-known company to see how they use buyer psychology principles in their business.
This week, we’re diving into Amazon.
Let’s get into it.
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A Look Inside Amazon 🤑
“I came across a startling statistic that web usage was growing at 2,300% a year. I decided to find a business plan that made sense in the context of that growth.”
That was Jeff Bezos in 1997.
Amazon had launched two years prior. They had one focus: sell books.
Today, Amazon has 300 million active customer accounts and 1.9 million selling partners. The company made $469.82 billion in 2021.
And they have one of the highest marketing budgets in the world.
In 2021, they spent $32.6 billion.
When you’re working with budgets that big, BIG results are expected.
Luckily for us, Amazon’s result-garnering strategies aren’t really a secret.
How Amazon Uses Buyer Psychology 🧠
If we could write a movie about Amazon’s success, we bet it’d follow one theme: obsess about the customer.
Rumour has it that Jeff Bezos reserves the head chair at their boardroom table for the metaphorical customer.
The chair sits empty but whenever someone on the team suggests making a change that customers wouldn’t like, Bezos points to the chair and say, “What would they think?”
Amazon is also famous for their experimentation culture. Amazon’s marketing team doesn’t guess what will work—they test, test, and test.
We can only imagine how many A/B tests Amazon has run over the past 27 years.
(We saw 3 variations of Amazon’s Become a Seller page while researching this Brainy Battles issue.)
Amazon’s insane is a result of their ruthless focus on the customer, their experimentation culture, and the team’s deep understanding of buyer psychology.
Here are a few Amazon-approved buyer psychology strategies to test:
Scarcity & Urgency
Amazon has worked hard to position itself in the buyer’s mind as the ecommerce store with the best prices. (They even sold diapers at a loss for years in an effort to dominate the online diaper market).
But on top of everyday good prices, Amazon sellers can use various deals to attract buyers. Limited time offers create urgency and encourage buyers to act now. And Amazon also shows buyers when stock is running low, tapping into Scarcity Bias and driving sales.
If you read our Amazon vs. Shopify Brainy Battles — you already know how well Amazon gets sellers on their bandwagon. By positioning themselves as the go-to retailer to sell products they make it feel like an easy decision to choose Amazon. They even make sure to point out how a range of sellers, from new startups to Fortune 500 companies find success on the platform.
Amazon offers 1-2 day delivery and special deals for their Prime members. Rather than forcing buyers to commit to a membership upfront, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial. They get people to make a small commitment and get their foot-in-the-door. Then Amazon showers new Prime members with benefits like their video streaming service and Amazon music.
It’s estimated that the average Prime member spends $1400/year on Amazon 😱
That’s a lot more than the average Amazon user, so Amazon uses clever techniques to retain Prime members. If a member considers cancelling their Prime membership, Amazon hits them with loss aversion messaging. As Phill Agnew shared on Nudge Podcast, showing members the exact amount of money they could lose by cancelling their member increases retention.
Make sure to take a quick scroll through Amazon’s product pages the next time you’re updating yours. Price anchoring is just one of a many buyer psychology principles that Amazon uses to drive sales. They always show the original price slashed out next to the sale price to show just how much buyers are saving when they buy today.
Amazon sits on the throne of social proof. If we had to choose one buyer psychology that embodies Amazon’s rise to the top — this is it. Their product pages are riddled with social proof, from star ratings, reviews, buyer questions, and user-generated content photos and videos. Amazon is less worried about doing the selling and more concerned with letting their customer’s voices be heard.
Thinking About Your Business 🤔
Amazon is a strategic company.
Its success didn’t come overnight. Nor was it just luck.
Amazon is a company that fought its way to domination. And with the right eye, you can see how they’re continuing that fight on a daily basis.
Add a little Amazon strategy to your brand by asking yourself these questions:
Q: How can you use scarcity or urgency to drive more sales?
Buyers are more likely to commit when there’s an incentive to do so. That said, use these tactics with integrity. Buyers know when they’re being fooled and once you lose trust it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
Q: How can you show your buyers that everybody else is using your product?
Create the feeling of FOMO by showing your buyers that your niche is eating up your products and loving the experience. A/B test your messaging using Convert to figure out which copy and imagery makes your buyers hop on the bandwagon.
Q: How can you use anchoring to make your product look like a good deal?
People don’t innately know what a “good” price is. They use comparisons to equate value. Use anchors to set expectations and position your product.
The Short of It 💥
Amazon spends a lot of money on marketing every year.
The amount of data they have to back their decisions is staggering.
And luckily for us, we don’t have to worry about the server bill.
We can just take notes based on the buyer psychology principles we can observe on Amazon’s landing pages and product pages — and tweak them to fit our brand and products.
Until next time, happy selling.
Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?
There are a few ways I can help:
- Get explosive clarity about what works with buyers by learning how to conduct 1:1 Clarity Calls (2000+ happy students)
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