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There has been much talk lately about the technological and logistical advancements that Amazon utilizes to improve its core business.  Among these are using robots to move products in its warehouses, experimenting with different methods of delivering products to customers including the use of drones, and adding distribution centers in multiple geographical locations.  However, all of these activities are done to achieve one key objective - focusing on the customer and making it easy for him/her to do business with Amazon.  I believe that this is the main reason for its success in the last few years.  


When Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, its main purpose was to sell books online.  It executed this task flawlessly and immediately started to expand to other media including DVD's (movies) and CD's (music).  As it grew, it was willing to listen to customers' suggestions and add products that made sense to deliver online IF it could do so more efficiently and effectively than other retailers/wholesalers.  By doing this, it eventually added electronics, health and beauty aid products and even groceries in certain locations where it made sense from a delivery standpoint.


Amazon also realized that emerging computing cloud services were in high demand by businesses.  Thus, it acquired the capabilities to offer AWS (Amazon Web Services).  Most people do not realize that AWS is not only a hosting/storage platform, but also a complete solution platform that offers media, analytics, machine learning, and business productivity solutions, among many others.  Amazon has accomplished this in response to business customer requests for some of these solutions and also by asking customers for feedback and by observing their usage patterns.


In the summer of 2017, Jeff Bezos decided to buy Whole Foods markets.  This is a high-priced grocer that has created a loyal following due to its relentless pursuit of high quality products.  Although its prices are higher than the competition, consumers are willing to pay the premium, since they trust the quality and the safety of the products it stocks.  Jeff was listening to these customers when he decided to buy it for $14 Billion.


One added benefit of buying this company is that it has given Amazon 400 physical locations nationwide where its customers can pick up Amazon-bought merchandise.  This was done in response to many customers' requests that they be given the option to pick up merchandise at physical locations rather than having it delivered.  Although most people in the United States live in houses, some live in apartment buildings and other locations (e.g., universities and colleges dormitories) where delivering packages is not safe nor feasible.


There are many more examples of Amazon's willingness to listen and to take action to respond to its customer's needs and demands.  Among these are: one-button shopping, suggested products based on browsing history, and Amazon Prime membership.  


This last service is worth highlighting.  By becoming a Prime member for the cost of $99.00 (soon to be $119), customers can enjoy next-day delivery for many products and membership to Amazon music and video, where they can access a wide selection of movies, songs, documentaries, and Amazon-produced content free of charge.


There are countless other examples that would take quite a few pages to enumerate and to describe.  Hopefully, these examples are enough to show that Amazon is not only willing to listen to its customers, but also to continuously improve and to take risks to ensure they remain 100% satisfied AND 100% loyal.


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Please do not hesitate to call me at 1 (617) 391-0347 or e-mail me at mariocastaneda@bluesailconsulting.com to talk about this or any other subject.  I always like to hear from clients and readers.  


Also, please don't forget to read my interview with BostonVoyager magazine.  To read it, click here.

 

Please contact us if you want to find out how we can help your organization to create a relentless culture of innovation and customer focus.

 

I look forward to seeing you again here in June!

 

Warm Regards,

 

​Mario

Mario's Corner - May 2018.  

Amazon's Main Key Reason for Its Success is Its Relentless Customer Focus.