If you are looking for brands in whose footsteps your small business should follow, you could do a lot worse than Google and Amazon. In fact, both companies have recently introduced some pretty ingenious new features that do one of the smartest things a brand can: embed your products and services into your customers’ lives.
In case you have not been scouring the internet this week, let’s recap what’s new with these two giants. First, Amazon introduced integration with the Twitter feed, which allows users to add linked items they see in their news feeds to their Amazon shopping carts without leaving Twitter, and visit Amazon to purchase them later on. Here’s how #AmazonCart works:
On the Google side, the company has expanded its Google Shopping Express service, already operating in San Francisco, to new neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles and New York City. Customers living in certain neighborhoods are now able to order from major retailers with locations nearby and receive their orders that very day. Oh, did we mention it’s free for the next six months?
These two innovations are likely to be big sources of customer acquisition for Google and Amazon. But customer acquisition is only part of the reason why these strategies have the potential to be so big. Anytime you can take your products or services and embed them in the way that people live their every day lives, you stand to reap big benefits.
When Amazon took a look at their audience – people who spend time and money online – they might have noticed a problem: a huge and ever-growing proportion of online shoppers are mobile users. And the experience of shopping on a mobile phone, especially on a site like Amazon, can be cumbersome at best. So they found a way to weave their service into the every day behavior of those people and offer them something that other businesses can’t. They offer a convenient shopping experience that fits their habits, not the other way around. Now when a potential customer is using Twitter and they see something they like, it’s a lot easier to use #AmazonCart right from their feed than to close their app and visit any other online retailer.
Now, nobody expects the small business owners of the world to compete on Twitter. But think about how Amazon and Google have identified a way that they can become part of their target customers’ every day lives, and how you could do the same for the people you hope to serve. Social media is a great resource here, since it’s becoming so widely adopted, and it’s far less expensive for small businesses than traditional forms of advertising.