I don’t believe there is a single usability book out there that doesn’t have at least one reference to the Amazon website. The usability guys and gals working at the website have nailed it down. But what’s their secret? What do they have and others don’t.
How did they help Amazon to get to the amazing number of 76 000 000 unique customers since they launched. :)
Focusing on getting great content from the lunatics
If there is something to copy from Amazon that is to start focusing on getting great content on your website and… lunatics. Basically, having one will almost automatically lead to the other.
Why great content? Firstly because great content is what engages users. Content doesn’t just mean reviews of blog posts. Content can mean anything that adds value to the end user, from pictures to video, audio and text.
Who are the lunatics? Highly engaged users. I’ve been talking about them and how to focus on increasing their number. As a benchmark, Amazon has 1 lunatic for every 1300 purchasers. At a rate of 2% conversion rate that means 0.001%. At this rate Amazon gains around 1100 new lunatics each month.
By the way. The number of lunatics a company has it’s most probably its biggest asset. Love them back just as much as they love you.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out this great audio presentation about the Amazon strategy and its lunatics. First spotted this presentation on the UIE website.
Not only Amazon has lunatics though: Google, Starbucks, Apple and small&medium companies like Tom Tom or Kogi. All of them have one thing in common: their users refer to them as providing great content.
How many of your users think about you as providing great content? Have you ever tried to find out? Do you know how?