Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Best Ecommerce Website EVER: Amazon Brings Web 2.0 to Life

  • Okay, so it’s We’ve all shopped there. Even my 83-year-old father has a single click checkout PIN. Amazon, as we all know, owns a great deal of space in the e-commerce sector, expanding from books to DVDs and now, (blushing) sexual novelties. Don’t ask me the site search word. I didn’t go there.

    Here’s the thing. Jeff Bezos and the creative minds at Amazon have long employed what are now considered standard issue on ever pushcart site operating on a shoestring. But Amazon, with its far-horizon thinking, saw Web 2.0 long before the rest of the digital realm and integrated the basics of Web 2.0 when we were all dully clicking from one static, one-way site to another.

    Web 1.0
    The first incarnation of the web was pretty straightforward. It was static. It wasn’t very interactive (unless you made a purchase) and it was, for the most part, a one-way street. The site presented its products and you made your buying decision. Period.

    Today, with the deep penetration of DSL and cable into delivery of the web, site designers and webmasters can add a lot more. And Amazon is the perfect example of just how effective these new age principles work.

    Web 2.0
    Web 2.0 is all about engagement – engaging the site visitor. Let’s review how Amazon employs 2.0 tactics.

    Personalized search results
    First, dynamic web pages enable Amazon to personalize my Amazon home page based on my buying history. I receive recommendations generated by items previously bought. Oh, and I’m also greeted by name – all from the big, juicy d-base maintained by Amazon.

    Of course, you can by-pass the recommendations and employ simple dropdown menus to narrow your search.

    Visitor Interaction
    Nobody does it better.

    At Amazon, buyers are encouraged to leave reviews. Heck, if you buy a piece of junk, trash it on Amazon. You’ll feel better and total strangers will be better informed.

    Suggested Products
    If you buy a piece of electronics gear, Amazon will automatically up sell by providing a list of related items and other gear required to hook-in the gizmo – USB cables, e.g.

    Amazon provides:

    other items purchased by those who searched the item you’re considering



    free shipping and other useful information intended to keep the Amazon visitor on site longer. Even when you log off, the tireless hits you with one last list of suggestions worth your time.

    I even get a golden box filled with specials targeted especially at me – items on sale and on my list of reading interests.

    Easy Out
    I can save items in my wish list and return later to purchase them. And once I’ve determined my purchase, I can employ Amazon’s One-Click Checkout. Man, making it easy to buy with confidence boosts sales.

    Daily Specials
    There’s always something new on sale at Amazon. Changes daily so I’m tempted to return to see what’s new today – even if I’m not in a buying mood.

    Ease of use, changing content, easy navigation, personalized pages based on an active d-base that creates pages on the fly, one-click out the door – Amazon is doing it right when it comes to on-line commerce.

    And let me just say that I don’t work for Amazon, nor am I in any way affiliated with the company (unless Mr. Bezos would like to drop me a line), so this assessment of Amazon is based on personal experience and my experience with Web 2.0 features.

    Amazon has it all.

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