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Amazon and the Importance of Multi-Channel Consistency

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Amazon and the Importance of Multi-Channel ConsistencyIt's hard to overstate how influential Amazon is in the e-commerce arena. They've been a pioneer in almost every aspect of doing business online, and the latest customer experience report from eDigitalResearch proves that they are still at the top of their game. The report was crafted after an extensive survey of a number of top e-commerce retailers from around the world, and gives Amazon a 3 point lead in customer satisfaction over the runner-up, UK retail giant House of Fraser, who tied for second place with another retail titan, Marks & Spencer.
The report compared a number of different elements that create a satisfactory user experience, from product pages to navigation to checkout systems, each of which Amazon scored very highly on. The most interesting aspect to the survey, however, was that Amazon didn't top each specific category individually; their top overall score was derived from their being consistently highly placed in each category across in the three main marketing channels now used by retailers: web access on a desktop or laptop computer, mobile access from a smartphone or tablet, and the quality of their mobile application. While none of their satisfaction scores for any one of these channels topped 90%, their combined user experience was enough to push them well past the runner-ups into the top tier position.

The most highly praised aspect of the Amazon multi-channel system was the interconnectedness of each channel. When something was added to a shopping cart in the mobile app, it instantly appeared in the shopping cart for the mobile web browser, as well as the traditional web version of the Amazon site. When you combine that with Amazon's patented '1-click' ordering system which is almost tailor-made for mobile shopping, you can start to see why customers love them so much. Naturally, anything that makes it easier for customers to buy from you must be considered a success, and typing out long complex forms on a mobile phone is frustrating.

This highlights the incredible value that companies can gain from ensuring consistency across all their e-commerce channels. A satisfied customer is a happy customer, and happy customers begin to associate your brand with their happiness, ensuring that they'll be back for repeat business at the first opportunity. While it may seem like a heavy initial investment to ensure omni-channel consistency, the impact on your bottom line will take the sting out of it.
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