Jared Spool – Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon

Great event!  Though most of the recommendations seem very simple and straightforward  – they are a treasure 😉

Amazon is successful:

  • Amazon.com – 8th the most visited site in the world
  • 2008 – 29% increase in sales
  • Foresee customer satisfaction is one of highest and going up

How do they do it??  Here are 4 treasures of the Amazon…

1. Engage through content

Amazon uses reviews… Reviews were posted in chronological order… disregarding usefulness.  Amazon added “was this review helpful to you?” (this question brought millions in revenue 😉  )

Because people like to view negative reviews… Amazon shows favorable and critical reviews.

However, emulating Amazon does not always work.  Sufficient traffic is needed to receive enough reviews.

  • Reviews 1 : 1,300 purchases
  • Right amount of reviews – about 20
  • Considering 2% conversion, 1,300,000 traffic is needed on the site to generate optimal number of reviews.

2. Not fearing new ideas

Amazon experiments and has a culture that accept failure.  However, Amazon just “leaves” some unsuccessful features; Amazon is not good in “killing” unsuccessful features – they are crowding user experience. Internal process is based on:  “easy in – hard out”

3. Eliminate tool time

…you don’t have to enter user name and password to view your account options…

Though one-click paradise was difficult to introduced because of credit-card companies concern, it was accomplished.  Amazon’s security consists of four layers; first layers are based on cookies.

“Tool time” (dealing with the tool) is opposite of time that the consumer is looking at the product.

Redesigns  usually increase tool time (everything is new). Amazon approaches redesigns carefully.

4. Business model

Amazon turns its inventory every 20 days (Best Buy – every 74 days). Amazon pays bills every 45 days and uses cash float as a business advantage.


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