My Problem with Amazon

Everyone is saying Amazon will gobble up independent retailers. But Amazon isn’t perfect. There are too many vendors listing the same product on its platform, which creates a poor buyer experience.

Here is my story:

Here is the Amazon listing page: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=fever+tree+naturally+light+tonic+water&sprefix=fever+tree+%2Caps%2C198&crid=1EXDTAORECG8S

 

9 comment

9 Replies to “My Problem with Amazon”

  1. Yes, there will always be product detail pages on Amazon that are confusing. These confusing pages however, do not seem to be slowing the growth of Amazon as a channel for both Amazon vendors and Amazon sellers. Perhaps more helpful would be to highlight ways that brands can use Amazon’s effective tactics on their own sites.

    1. You’re right, Mark. In my opinion the single biggest thing amazon has going for it is that they’ve patiently stuck to their agenda for the last 20 years. And now 50% of shoppers start their search on Amazon. No individual brand can compete against that. But outside of that I see nothing on Amazon that’s super compelling.

      1. Not super compelling? I don’t think you grow to Amazon’s size without being super compelling! Here is a brief list of what I think is super compelling. Excuse me if I state the obvious:
        1. 1 – click shopping
        2. Low prices
        3. Saved (Multiple) addresses and (multiple) payment methods for super easy checkout
        4. Tons of reviews
        5. Guaranteed free 2-day shipping
        6. No hassle returns (sort-of)
        7. Huge selection
        8. Subscription services for many household items
        9. many ways to see products comparible to the one you want
        10. Trusted payment gateway

  2. What Amazon has been able to do in terms of back-end architecture like warehouse management and supplier network is herculean. Their shipping speed is directly tied to their warehouse architecture. What I find less compelling is the front end user experience on their site. For example, your direct to consumer site is more compelling than your Amazon page.

  3. I just did a test search for Fever Tree to see what other options there were for buying it that might be better.

    Fever Tree itself links to Jet, which only has one option and not the full line, and Reserve Bar, which doesn’t tell you how much it costs to ship without going multiple steps into the checkout process. I never figured it out because I didn’t want them to have my email address. Fever Tree also links to this page on Amazon, which is a little bit better at presenting the options:
    https://www.amazon.com/l/2591799011

    Although I agree with you in theory that the product page customer experience can be poor or confusing when you are shopping on Amazon, Amazon buyers have learned to deal with these quirks because they know that if they buy it from Amazon, they are really going to receive it. And if they buy it Prime, they won’t pay shipping and will generally get it in 2 days.

    Also, Amazon already has their shipping address and credit card, so they don’t have to risk typing it in to some site they’ve never heard of.

    And if it arrives wrong or broken or it sucks, Amazon will just refund your money or accept the return and move on.

    I was trying to buy standard Listerine recently on Amazon because I didn’t want to go to the store.

    I also ran into this exact same issue and didn’t make the purchase because it was too difficult to figure out which one was the lowest amount I could buy that was still a reasonable price.

    So yes, these problems do lead people to give up sometimes.

    But overall, I agree with Mark’s list of what makes it super compelling to buy from Amazon versus elsewhere.

    1. There have been a number of occasions on which I have abandoned a product page or listing page on Amazon because of how confusing things were. Amazon is definitely compelling to buy from (which is why I still use it), but they are certainly losing some users who end up confused or frustrated and leave the site. Why not find a way to better optimize for those users too?

      Amazon is great at what they do, but as Rishi said, they’re not perfect. I think they have a little room for improvement too.

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