5 Things Innovative Companies Can Learn From Amazon

It is no secret that Amazon is a titan of industry. Given their tremendous success, they are quite obviously doing more than a few things right. While there are undoubtedly a myriad of different reasons that this company has become the giant that it now is, today we will be taking a look at five of the lessons that other companies can learn from Amazon.

1: Constantly Tries to Evolve and Improve

Part of the reason that Amazon experiences such constant and rapid growth is due to fact that they actively work on their own evolution. The company never has time to stagnate because it is always in the process of a change that promises great returns. From selling books to streaming music, television, and film, Amazon provides an eclectic assortment of offerings that ensure it is providing something for everyone.

While other companies focus on streamlined services that are in one way or another related to one another, the only thing that links of Amazon’s services together is the convenience at which they are accessed. As a result of their constant growth they have a potential demographic that includes virtually 100% of the population.

2: Separates Itself From Competition

The convenience that Amazon provides has always been an answer to consumer’s needs for easy straightforward shopping. It is that same approach of fulfilling their customer’s needs that have lead them to find success with their other products, such as the Kindle and the Echo.

While companies like Google have struggled stepping out of their comfort zone with products like “the Google Glass,” Amazon thrives by seriously considering what their customer base wants, and then finding the best way to deliver it to them.

Amazon accomplishes this in part due to what they refer to as a “two pizza rule.” While many companies focus all of their energy on their next idea, Amazon starts small and then continues to flush an idea out over time. In order to ensure that they can focus on several of these opportunities at a time they make sure that their creative teams are small enough to be fed by two pizzas.

As a result, Amazon is able to ensure that an idea is viable before they pour an excessive amount of company time and energy into it.

3: Not Scared to Enter New Industries

Not only is Amazon fearless in its online ventures, but it is also quite bold in the way in which it approaches its expansion into other industries. Amazon’s recent purchase of the Whole Foods grocery chain is an excellent example of their commitment to the pursuit of new industry.

Now, in a turn of events that may have been a shock when the company first started out twenty-two years ago, it is expected that Amazon will change the grocery store industry.

P.K. Kannan, Professor of Marketing Science at University of Maryland’s Online MBA program, highlighted Amazon’s expected impact in a recent Media Post article noting, “Now that Amazon will be able to send personalized marketing to Whole Foods customers, other major grocers are likely to jump to become much more customer-centric. For the customer, this will likely be a good thing;”

4: Sometimes Goes Against the Grain

While Amazon is well known for being a massive online store, they recently made news for departing from their tried and true business formula and opening up a brick and mortar location. The large, 4000 square foot store located in New York City features a large selection of books, and even benefits from research informed sections that are headed with phrases like “Books Kindle Readers Finish in 3 Days.”

Why does this matter? Because people still like brick and mortar. It may seem a little backwards in an age of online retail, (especially coming from the kings of online retail) but this is yet another example of Amazon knowing what people want. While 67% of people in the United States have made an online purchase in the past year, 90% of transactions nevertheless still take place in person.

By expanding into physical locations, Amazon is able to expand their customer base. For more information on the effectiveness of brick and mortar stores, click here.

5: They Put Their Customers First

At the end of the day, Amazon puts its customers first and that is always good for business. Be it through dedicated customer service, regular innovations, or their constant efforts to improve speed and efficiency, Amazon is always working towards giving the customer a better experience. Even now they are working on a done delivery service that will continue to change the way they do their shipping.

By Ryan Ayers

About the author

Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.

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