Consumerism Driving Customer Retention

Years before it was the world’s biggest online retailer of books, Amazon.com was “an idea floating through the New York City offices of one of the most unusual firms on Wall Street: D.E. Shaw & Co.” (Stone, 17). Jeff Bezos, entrepreneur and David E. Shaw, financial analyst, with backgrounds heavy in computer science, were able to predict the vision of Amazon.com. At this time, the Internet had just taken off and thousands of households were just discovering it’s beauty. Financial professionals & analytics, were able to determine that “The Everything Store,” as Amazon is referred to now, would be a household name in the turn of the century. The world watched as the preliminary tools of the first computer scientists evolved into complicated applications like Amazon, that were able to make consumerism quick and easy.

consumerism

Amazon took off in Seattle after “Bezos’ parents invested $100,000, in Amazon.” (Stone, 33). On 1995, much of the preliminary work in stocking Amazon’s “shelves” was done by ordinary people. (Stone, 38). In the basement, in Seattle, many supporters packed many boxes of “esoteric” items, well into the night. Setting up Amazon took a lot of dirty work, but soon, Amazon.com plunged into the Internet, like a new animal that was reborn into the wilderness. (Stone, 43). There was an air of excitement post release. Everyone at the new company worked super hard to keep Amazon afloat. (Stone, 49). Jeff Bezos’ and David Shaw’s internet startup became 150 employees. Bezos was a great leader. Customers flocked to the site over the 1999 holidays after Amazon made national headlines. Amazon’s story was a story of supply and demand. It was a story of understanding consumerism (Stone, 94).

During that year, Amazon worked hard to keep up with holiday orders, and Bezos pulling crazy antics to fulfill out-of-stock orders, like raiding toy stores in third-world countries. Employees made sacrifices to work at distribution centers across the country. (Stone, 95). Amazon was “frugal to the bone”. The bombing of the twin towers didn’t phase Amazon, but pushed it further on it’s trek. (Stone, 127).

Amazon pushed onward like a marathoner, with its operations. In the next decade, Amazon expanded for several reasons: supply and demand, free-shipping and next-day shipping, and Amazon Prime, which paralleled Netflix,  Amazon was one major example in technology’s history, of how a new internet startup was able to retain customers. Amazon was there for it’s customers in the times that they most needed it, it worked endlessly to stay alive often at the cost’s of it’s workers.

5 Ways to Increase Customer Retention, which Can Be Summerized from “The Everything Store,” by Brad Stone.

  1. Understand Your Customer, Understand The Market, Understand How Consumerism Works

2. Be at the Right Place at the Right Time

3. Always Make Sure Your Shelves are Stocked During the Holiday

4. Perservere

5. Be a Leader, but be Fair to Your Employees

Amazon is a story of a tech company that took advantage of the Internet “bubble” in 95’ and ran with the idea of e-commerce on the web. It exploited the lower-class in America showering the world with a glittery picture of Internet startup fame, and the people who put there blood into making it a reality today were the lower-class in America.

Today Amazon boasts it gives individuals a “great opportunity to work at Amazon,” to no wit’s end.

The tech company struggled with financial hardship in it’s early years, but is now successful because of Jeff Bezos’s business spirit, and his uncanny ability to fulfill holiday orders in any way possible. Shaw and Bezos, working together, were able to see the vision of Amazon.com as financially possible, and achievable with the uproar of the Internet and the average household computer, especially after the turn of the century.

Decades later and overwhelmed with stock, Amazon and it’s employees are growing weary. Because of the high consumer demand, huge Amazon warehouses have opened. The leadership and skill of Amazon’s leaders is evident by it’s net capital today, and customers are greedily flocking to the site.

consumerism, consumerism, consumerism…

But when does mass consumerism end?

Are we really in the midst of a spiritual awakening, or will America paint it’s own dreary picture in the next decade, grey like Seattle, where Amazon’s journey began?

 

References

Brad Stone. The Everything Store. Hachette Book Group, 2014.

Reviews Online

Today’s technology and internet allow opportunity for businesses to build their reputation so that the world will know about their customers’ experiences. Almost all of consumers trust online reviews to help them make their buying decisions when it comes to local business (“Build Your Business Reputation, 2017).

reviews

The BBB, Better Business Bureau’s rankings are considered trustworthy, yet nationally recognized businesses are falling into fraudulent advertising that scams the weak, business people desperate for a good rating at any cost (Rhee & Ross, 2010).  The BBB gives criteria for business owners to follow “Overview of BBB Rating”. This list of criteria is said to determine what makes a good business or not, and the BBB claims that consumers can complain about unfairness, but the BBB is really doing an injustice to consumers, because it is they are committing fraud, and handing out A’s to business owners that are willing to pay for their reputation.

Now in 2017, technology-savvy consumers are everywhere and the mass population is more educated. People are chatting, sharing feelings and posting opinions to social media.

reviews      reviews

Positive reviews are extremely influential in gaining consumer’s trust since, “90% of consumers read online reviews, and 88% of them trust online reviews when considering a business” (McCormick, 2016). According to research, what they read online about a product or service is just as important to consumers as the recommendations given to the them by their family (“Advertising and Marketing Blog”).

Yelp, a relatively new application, which is popular with mobile users, has “13 million reviews. Hundreds of thousands of local businesses are adding their own photos, descriptions, etc,” and these are primary sources of how consumers feel about a particular item, or business, in general (Barone, 2010). This information gives an accurate account of how users feel about a product or service.

Online, people are allowed to be free, unafraid of widespread censorship by others’ opinions, and write their true, often passionate thoughts. This helps American consumerism because, uncannily, and unlike the crude, and slapstick “Better” Business Bureau, which is considered a pedestal for businesses to hang their business’s credibility, social media applications that provide review services, have the power weed out desperate business owners, and save consumer’s time, money, and mental energy. Business reputation is earned over time, not bought.

Co-work in NYC, and in the meanwhile stay fueled with more of the latest of the latest news about emerging technology markets!

 

References

“Advertising and Marketing Blog” MDG, http://www.mdgadvertising.com/blog/how-much-do-consumers-buy-into-online-reviews/. Accessed 23 2017

Barone, Lisa. “The Mystery Of Yelp’s Overwhelming Success, Solved” Business Insider, 5 Oct. 2010, http://www.businessinsider.com/the-mystery-of-yelps-overwhelming-success-solved-2010-10

“Build Your Business Reputation: The Power of Online Reviews.” Proceed Innovation, 19 June, 2017, http://www.proceedinnovative.com/blog/build-business-reputation-online-reviews/

“How to Build a Better Review Marketing Strategy.” RevLocal, 22 Sept. 2017, https://www.revlocal.com/blog-reviews-and-reputation-management/how-to-build-a-better-review-marketing-strategy

“Overview of BBB Rating” BBB, https://www.bbb.org/council/overview-of-bbb-grade

McCormick, Kristen. “The Power of Online Customer Reviews.” 30 Aug. 2016, https://thrivehive.com/power-online-customer-reviews/

Rhee, Joseph and Ross, Brian. “Terror Group Gets ‘A’ Rating From Better Business Bureau”ABC News, 12 Nov. 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/business-bureau-best-ratings-many-buy/story?id=12123843