Amazon are successful! Why not just copy them?

If you’re in the web design/optimisation business, how often are you asked if you can build a site just like Amazon’s?

Maybe not every day but enough to have investigated how and why Amazon are as successful as they are and if there are any lessons to be learned.

To copy is the sincerest form of flattery!

Whereas that might be true to a point, it is where the point is and where it stops. And, there may not be any point at all!

Web evolution at work…'s first web siteIn an earlier post, regarding the success & evolution of Amazon, it was suggested that their success was a bit like evolution itself.

The Amazon site has never undergone a re-design but has evolved, undergoing changes by small and incremental steps, making small changes, testing these adaptations and adopting the most successful, to where we see it today.

Jared Spool of UIE is a respected industry commentator…

UIE (User Interface Engineering) is a leading research and consulting firm specialising in web site interface and product usability.

In the slideshow presentation below (linked below) he asks a similar question and analyses some of the ways Amazon has become the force it has. (It’s not short, 53min, but well worth the trouble as it is enlightening, informative and he has a easy and humerous take on it!)

Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon (presentation by Jared Spool, opens in new window on Slideshare)

The lessons to be learned

If there are any lessons that can be learned the main one is that you cannot simply transplant the Amazon approach on top of yours’.

You would need the same business model, technologies and infrastructure and the same commitment to change. And, even then it just might not work…

Target used some of the same technology for customer reviews but failed (the slideshow explains why)!

What next?

If you have watched the above all the way through you will have realised that Amazon’s business model can’t easily be copied and fully implemented but there valuable insights that can be applied to any ecommerce web site.

At WebMedia we understand these insights and can help you implement them in the most appropriate way on your own site to help improve your own customer’s online experience and lift your conversion rates.

All you have to do to get started is give us a call on 01506 517037.

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