Amazon Review – Online shopping experience

Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce platform and has a 30% market share of the Indian e-commerce market. The growth can be attributed to the rising rate of smartphone adoption, rapidly growing middle class, the growing influence of the younger population, and increased penetration of e-commerce players.

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The following article provides a review of how Amazon works, the product catalogs at Amazon, the different services available, and the overall customer journey experience on the platform.

Product Categories on Amazon

The website acts as a one-stop-shop for all your product needs, right from expensive electronics, laptops, and accessories to groceries. The convenience of having the items delivered to your door and the quick turnaround time means that users prefer using Amazon over their local supermarkets, even for daily essentials.

The following are the broad categories of products available on the Amazon website:

  1. Mobiles and computers: Amazon covers a large number of products in this category with products such as OnePlus mobile phones sold exclusively on the platform. It is often priced much cheaper than what’s available in local stores.
  2. Household electronics (TV, Fridge, washing machine, etc.) and furniture: For this category, Amazon delivers the product at the required address and also lets you fix up a time for installation and demo. While the respective company does the installation, you can choose a suitable time during checkout.
  3. Fashion: Amazon sells a wide variety of clothing brands across different sizes and age groups. As part of the product definition, they also provide you a size-chart to ensure that users get the right fit.
  4. Groceries and Essentials: This category set has gained traction since the COVID-19 pandemic through which Amazon provides you fresh groceries and daily essentials, effectively bringing the local supermarket to your fingertips.
  5. Books and e-books: The website also offers you the option to get a paperback or send the e-book version of books to your Kindle or any other reading device.
  6. Other categories: This includes sports/fitness products, art/collectibles, bike/car apparel, etc.
  7. Additional services:
    1. Gift cards: Option to gift a voucher of a certain value, redeemable across the Amazon website (usually valid for one year).
    1. Bill payments: Through Amazon Pay, users can pay their utility and phone bills on the Amazon website.
    1. Travel tickets: Amazon also lets you book flight and rail tickets through their platform.
    1. Prime video and music: The content wing of Amazon provides you access to audio and video streaming services across regional and global languages. Prime members also have the option for 1-day or 2-day deliveries for their products.

General Customer Experience and User Journey

Product selection: Across various categories of products mentioned above, Amazon does a great job of detailing out as much information as possible on each product. Products often come with images provided by the seller and a list of FAQs answered by the seller. These FAQs equip users with information that is otherwise not provided in the product description.

Products also come with detailed specifications, as you would find at the box of any purchased goods. Amazon also lets you compare the product with specifications of similar products priced around the same range. This information is powerful, helping the user make the right choice without consulting too many different websites.

Each product on Amazon comes with ratings and reviews from verified purchases, which help guide users, providing them much-needed inputs before going ahead for the purchase. Reviews that are found to be helpful are ‘upvoted’ by other buyers who had a similar experience, further authenticating the user feedback.

Users also provide pictures and videos of the actual product they have received, which can be very helpful. You can compare those against images available in the listing as well as validate a product’s “look and feel.”

Order journey: Users can select any product they wish to purchase and add them to the cart. Users also have the option to take them directly to the checkout pages if they do not want to buy any other item. This is very useful for users who know exactly what they want and just want to make a quick purchase.

At the time of checkout, users can double-check orders they want to purchase and make changes to their cart before heading to the payment section. Amazon provides a plethora of payment options from saved cards, wallets, UPI payments to cash on delivery. The payment can also be made across EMIs for specific cards and banks.

Users can also use gift cards they have at this part of the journey. The entire payment process is seamless since the previously used options are already available for use and save users time since they don’t have to re-enter all the details.

Post-sale services:

Replacement and cancellations: Amazon has a seamless replacement and cancellation process. For most goods, if a product is defective (or even if it is not what you wanted), users can easily raise a return request on the website or the app, and the product will be picked up from the same delivery location at a suitable time.

For such cases, Amazon offers users either the option for a replacement product (if available in stock) or a refund which will be credited via the same payment mode within 7 days. For electronics, however, refunds are not available once a product has been delivered.

Online and offline support teams: Amazon provides ample support to its customers through online (website and application) and offline customer care services. This can be used for all kinds of customer requirements right from the change of address to cancellations to complicated customer grievances.

Amazon’s customer-first approach is evident in the efficiency of working towards resolving any customer issues.

Recommendation engine: Once you have purchased a product, Amazon’s efficient recommendation engine helps users with other related products that can further enhance the users’ experience. It’s beneficial for someone who has recently bought a product and is looking for similar/supplementary products to boost their usage.

The Bottom Line

The wide variety of options available on the platform, the ease of use and navigation, and the efficient and prompt customer service makes Amazon a user’s first choice for any of their requirements. The additional features, such as Amazon Prime and sitewide sales, further enhance the appeal of this successful e-commerce giant in India.

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