It's the year 2018 and we've collectively watched Jeff Bezos' wealth grow by billions all year long. However, there's a new strategy poised to make his company even wealthier. Recently, Amazon announced it would be rolling out a new brick-and-mortar store called 4-Star.
Amazon is attempting to supplement the sales of its own products -- like the Amazon Echo, the Fire HD tablet, and others -- by selling curated items that have received high reviews from their users. While it's still unclear exactly how items make the cut, one thing is sure -- this plan is genius.
Here's how entrepreneurs can learn from this move.
1. Always be thinking about how your decisions today impact your decisions five years from now.
With Amazon's former retail store selling books, it seemed that the customer experience wasn't curated well enough for shoppers to have a unique experience. However, with this new approach, they are taking the suggested similar products that users are accustomed to seeing at their online store and bringing it to the SoHo neighborhood in New York City. Instead of combing through online reviews, the store will bring the best items to the customers!
How genius is that?
Jeff Bezos is the king of thinking five or 10 years ahead. He knew by making the rating system a prominent activity that this would lead to something as genius as this. This is important because it marks a giant step forward for Amazon, which is continually growing despite their success.
For me, I knew that spending a lot of time meeting new people and building trust with them, that eventually, something good would come from it. Now, a majority of my customers are from people I met five or six years ago! Your decisions today impact the decisions you can make five years from now.
2. Give your customers a voice early on.
Think this is just a clever ploy to get customers to buy more of Amazon's product line? Me too. However, I also think it goes deeper than that. Listening to the reviews of their customers is a big selling point in the age of online reviews being the lifeblood of businesses.
By curating the best, taken from thousands of reviews, Amazon is effectively giving consumers not what they want, but what they will enjoy.
As entrepreneurs and small business owners, it doesn't matter what you think the customer wants. What matters is what the customer actually think they want. See the difference? Even if you think they're crazy, let them be crazy.
You are there to service their needs, not yours.
3. Make it easy for your customers to buy what they need from you.
Everyone thinks they need that awesome power dock station that looks so cool on Amazon, until you unbox it to find out it is half the size it was supposed to be. So instead of giving customers what they think they want (which could end in a one-star review) they are giving them the best-selling products -- products they may not have searched for on their own.
In an age where micro brands and Instagram businesses pop up every day, this is an important concept. There are so many options, that choosing the best simply becomes a matter of whatever comes into your perception. Anyone who has ever wasted a lazy Saturday afternoon shopping online knows that what looked like a good purchase after a glass of wine, may not have been the most practical.
Do what Amazon does. Tell your customers what are the best selling packages. Tell them what most customers purchase. Limit their options and make it as easy as possible to buy from you.
Wading through options all at different price points and qualities is taxing mentally, and can lead to buyer remorse and even returns. Tell them what works the best for them. Trust me, they'll thank you for it later.