Customer Experience Round-Up: March 2

As one of the largest retailers in the world, it’s no surprise that Amazon is regularly in the news. The company stands out not only for its innovation, but also for its customer-centric culture. Brands across all industries seek to follow in Amazon’s footsteps for growth and customer focus. This week brought three stories highlighting Amazon’s customer experience and influence in the retail space.

Amazon Blocks One Million Products On False Coronavirus Claims

Amazon marketplace sellers hoping to capitalize on global fear of the spread of coronavirus have met their match. In recent weeks, the company has blocked more than one million products from its site that inaccurately claimed to cure or prevent coronavirus. It has also blocked sellers who have raised their prices drastically on coronavirus-related products, such as hygiene masks and hand sanitizer. Some products saw prices more than triple as customers around the world looked for a way to fight the deadly disease.

Customers want to shop with companies that are transparent and honest. Even amid global health fears, Amazon is standing up for its customers to ensure they get honest products at fair prices. It can be tempting for companies to capitalize on trends and fears, but a customer-focused company always advocates for its customers, even during difficult times.

Amazon Opens First Cashier-less Grocery Store

First there was the cashier-less Amazon Go convenience store. Now the company is taking it to the next level with the first full grocery store without cashiers. The Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle is more than 10,000 square feet and uses the same scan and go technology as the original Amazon Go store. Shoppers simply scan an app to enter the store, and then sensors and cameras track what they take off the shelves and charge them after they leave the store. The technology has been updated for a larger store to accommodate for customers selecting fresh produce. Amazon hasn’t said if it will open more Amazon Go Grocery stores, but it could depend on the success of the first location.

The cashier-less model first started by Amazon Go convenience stores has been replicated by many other brands, so it was only a matter of time before it was tested on a full grocery store. If Amazon Go Grocery is successful, it could completely eliminate grocery store checkout lines. The chance of success is higher now that more customers are comfortable with the technology and some of the novelty has worn off. The convenience, however, will always be an exciting win for customers. 

Walmart Introduces Its Take On Amazon Prime

Over the past 15 years, Amazon has turned the retail world on its head and hurt other large retailers. Walmart is attempting to regain some market share by introducing Walmart+, a direct competitor to Amazon Prime. The program will be cheaper than Prime and likely include same-day delivery on grocery orders from Walmart stores across the country. Walmart+ will eventually include perks like text message ordering and Walmart pharmacy and gas station discounts. Walmart has been developing the program for the last 18 months and could launch testing as soon as March 2020.  

Amazon rules the U.S. ecommerce market, and Walmart is in a very distant second place. The company’s goal is to use Walmart+ to regain customers and momentum. Amazon Prime is well established for its fast shipping and other benefits, including a huge streaming library. To be successful, Walmart+ has to offer customers additional benefits or some kind of incentive to join the service. The lower price and fast grocery delivery could be enough to sway customers, or at least shake up the retail space.

Not every company needs to be Amazon, but everyone can learn from the retail giant. Standing up for customers, offering fresh services and disrupting industries helps Amazon stay on top and continue delivering great service to customers.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker and the author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here.

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