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Case Study: Amazon

Amazon: putting mobile and social to work

Amazon stands out in the IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Dimension Report for the performance of its mobile app, which boasts features that many leading retailers don’t. It is among the few retailers that enable shoppers to view product videos in its mobile app, which, unusually, has has a live chat feature. Amazon is also in the minority in sharing product reviews (25% of the Top500 do this) and daily deals (39%) in its app.

The retailer is also among the few that enables social proofing, so that shoppers can share products they are considering buying, or have bought, via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as by email.

These features recognise the growing importance of mobile in online commerce. The latest IMRG figures show that smartphones were the biggest channel for online spending between November and January 2019, with 40% of money spent online over that time spent via a phone. That puts the channel ahead of desktop and tablets.

Amazon is active across a range of social media channels. Its dedicated Twitter account has 1.6m followers and features content that promotes both products and services. In recent posts, or example, shoppers could find out more about the latest whereabouts of the Amazon Treasure Truck, how to apply gift cards to their account or how to return an item. Meanwhile, the @AmazonHelp Twitter account offers round-the-clock customer service support and help.

But it’s on Facebook that most Amazon customers follow the retailer in this country – the Amazon UK follower count stood at 5.7m at the time of writing. There, the retailer shares longer and more engaging stories, as well as those more useful and practical messages it shares via Twitter. One recent story featured the story of a retired couple who visited its fulfilment centre in Peterborough.

Fulfilment centre staff were among those answering readers’ comments on this story.

In the US, Amazon has worked with both Pinterest and Snapchat to enable shoppers to buy from it direct from the two social media sites. On Snapchat, shoppers can point the site camera at an item to have it recognise an item that they can then buy via the Amazon app. Meanwhile, its very active Pinterest boards feature a range of home and holiday deals.

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