6 ways Amazon has changed consumer expectation

Ease of transaction and how buyers look for items have changed.

By NAA Staff

It is nearly impossible anymore to have a conversation about customer experience and not have Amazon’s name come up.

The online giant has transformed the way buyers (and sellers) approach purchase decisions, which has in turn forced businesses to modify their business models to meet changing expectations.

A recent article on mytotalretail.com explored six ways Amazon has changed the purchase journey. Those reasons included: checking Amazon first and last; shopping by voice; buying groceries online; buying clothing online; easy returns; and endless, searchable options.
Several, if not all, of those can apply to auctions and auction companies. Let’s explore a couple of them:

First and last – Consumers first check Amazon for a price and then come back last to buy it after comparing in other places. For auction companies, this behavior should underscore the idea that buyers and sellers are looking for specific items – and not specific auction companies – when they search online. The question then becomes: How are you marketing your events? Does your marketing highlight company first and items second? Is your online lot catalog built around the items’ keywords, or does it simply say, in essence, “we have a lot of stuff”?

Shopping by voice – Google Trends data suggests that use of Voice Search has increased 7x since 2010. With regard to Amazon, people now can simply order items through their Amazon home devices. That sounds scary for auction companies and other outlets, but what it should show you is how important it is to understand today’s consumer technology. Data exists and shows which words people use when ordering those products. This is important to remember when, again, setting lot descriptions. Use the words people are searching with when they speak. It eventually all refers to which files best fit those requests.

Buying groceries, clothes, online – Both perishable and non-perishable items are increasingly easy to have delivered or make available for quick carryout. Extrapolate that a bit and the real value to consumers is time. They don’t want or need to spend the time shopping in a store. That’s important to note when considering an auction. How does your auction planning account for your buyers’ time?

Ease of returns – Amazon has changed the game for everyone in this arena. The entire process has been simplified down to a couple of clicks, and consumers use it regularly, without fear. Because they are more confident in the entire experience, buyers in turn are more likely to search and find that perfect item – even if it takes one or two returns to get there. In that light, what does your return policy and procedure look like? Is it as buyer-friendly as it can possibly be?

Endless aisles – Amazon’s extensive network of partnerships allows for the same item to be presented from multiple places, all in one place. This level of selection means consumers don’t have to waste time in multiple stores – or even on multiple websites – to price compare. Giving consumers this capability greatly lessens the chance they leave the site before purchasing.

For auction professionals, this may seem like an unanswerable challenge considering it’s not like you can create inventory in a given sale. However, this is a great place to be creative. Be creative in showing why the asset you have is special/unique/etc. You get to tell an asset’s story far better than an Amazon ever will.