Digital Transformation

The 7 keys for improving your brand’s CX on Amazon

By Travis Johnson | Global CEO

March 16, 2022 | 7 min read

In many ways, Amazon is a great buying environment, but not necessarily a great shopping environment. As part of The Drum’s Deep Dive into The New Customer Experience Economy, Podean’s Travis Johnson explains how you can boost your CX on Amazon right now.

When it comes to e-commerce, Amazon leads the pack. Which is kind of a weird considering that, if you ask anyone about Amazon, very few people will state they love shopping on Amazon. But millions and millions of people go to the website and buy things each and every day.

Instead, people will say they love the low prices, fast delivery, broad range, informative reviews and the many benefits of their Prime membership from music to movies to books and beyond.


/ Adobe Stock

But as far as being a great shopping experience, it really isn’t. Maybe that’s the point. It’s purposely not a shopping experience.

Shopping typically involves browsing, discovering new items, trying things on, testing things out, asking questions, having a conversation with a salesperson, then going to another store to do the same… and eventually choosing one item to purchase.

Amazon doesn’t want you to slow you down or give you the opportunity to go anywhere. It wants you to find what you want – quickly – then buy and get on with your day. It’s designed to be fast and frictionless, and that has no doubt led to its massive growth and dominance, but at its core it’s a ’buying’ experience, not a shopping experience.

This needs to evolve and both Amazon and brands play a role. After all, brands want people to find what they want but also discover new items. Similarly, Amazon wants people to buy more so it can make larger fees.

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Too many brands are lazy and put minimal effort into enhancing the consumer experience and then lamenting their loss of market share. So, what can brands do to stand out on Amazon?

1. Put effort into your content

Make sure your product listing shows clear and high-resolution images, lifestyle shots. Use the images to tell consumers more about your product via infographics and, of course, use video if you have it. Ensure your store is easily navigable and interactive and that your A+ content is informative and allows the customer to learn more about your company and complementary products. Don’t settle for just uploading different angles of the product and packaging. Better content equals higher conversions which equals higher sales which then equals happier customers.

2. Be mindful of which programs you’re part of

Amazon will tell you it has premium environments (and charge you an additional fee) but beware the different page designs for key categories such as ’luxury’ pages and its ’premium beauty’ ones. The reality is that these designs are worse than the standard ones and include less content to be indexed and bolster your rankings.

If you’re selling a $980 cardigan, you’d likely want to tell potential customers more than four words; ’100% viscose, imported, cardigan’. And if you’re in the premium beauty section, having your few sentences sit below the fold means consumers simply won’t learn why your product is great, versus other page formats that consumers are familiar with.

3. Realize the consumer experience doesn’t stop once they purchase

Monitor customer reviews and the questions they’re asking. If there are key themes, address them in your product page descriptions and make sure you answer the questions consumers are asking. If you are slow and let other customers answer them, they may be incorrect and damage your brand and reputation.

4. Always test and learn

There is no rule book that applies to every brand in every category. The most successful brands on Amazon engage in A/B testing and the platform is built to manage this. Testing different versions of content will help you optimize the consumer experience and lead to sales and loyalty.

5. Take control of your brand experience

Amazon doesn’t regulate who sells on the platform, so unauthorized third-party sellers are abundant. Brands need to monitor these sellers as they may sell counterfeit product, position the product poorly (bad images, bad descriptions, bad titles) and have bad customer service (slow delivery, poor communication on issues). Consumers don’t know who they’re buying from – they are focused on what they’re buying – so actively monitoring, managing and removing unscrupulous sellers is critical. Would Le Mer be happy that the image selling a $198 moisturizer by seller ’CXIA-CAO’ is blurry and the description references ’La Mar’ (misspelling)?

6. Build your fan base

Use Amazon ’Posts’ to generate free coverage and impressions that could lead to sales and also ensure your Amazon store is engaging and informational. The more ’followers’ you can amass, the more you can communicate with them and build their loyalty and lifetime sale value.

7. Prepare for what’s next

Due to scale, Amazon is a highly templated platform. Whether you’re a big or small brand, the product detail pages are essentially identical (except for point 2 above).

Other marketplaces, such as China’s Tmall, allow greater customization for brands to really reflect the brand essence. Amazon’s premium A+ is an indicator the company is allowing more flexibility for brands to tell their story, but curiously it is only offering this better consumer experience to bigger brands that commit to higher Amazon revenues. This will have to change and the brands that have great assets and creativity will be best placed to build better consumer experiences.

Too many brands treat Amazon as a static catalog and it’s anything but. The most successful brands constantly update and enhance the Amazon consumer experience. Amazon isn’t going to do it, so they – and their agencies – need to.

Travis Johnson is the global chief exec of Podean, a global marketplace marketing agency.

For more on The New Customer Experience Economy, check out The Drum’s latest Deep Dive.

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