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If you know me from my work in e-commerce and web design, you may have already seen my article published on the big red jelly blog about the 5 things Amazon does to increase conversions. In that blog I touch on five of the metrics that Amazon uses and some of the scientific reasoning behind it… But I wanted to make sure I save the best for my followers here on my blog. So without any further ado here are the nine secrets of web design that Amazon uses to make you buy things.

1) Amazon Choice

Amazon Choice is the name Amazon gives to their best selling products. Popularity sells folks!

“Amazon Approved” is a nice little sticker that Amazon places on select Amazon products.

According to Amazon, “Amazon’s Choice highlights highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.”

Why does Amazon include this little tag?

Amazon includes this tag on products that fit a good keyword in your search. Much like how googles search engine products top recommended links, Amazon likes to offer recommendations for popular products.

Since e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon have a ‘disadvantage’ in that you don’t see the product before you buy it, Amazon knows it needs to do everything to help establish their sellers as trusted brands you can rely on.

How to use the Amazon Choice marketing technique in your e-commerce store

If you run an e-commerce business, it may surprise you that you can do something very similar with your store.

User reviews are a fantastic way to demonstrate your trustworthiness as a brand online and make it easier for new visitors to purchase from your website.

2) Subscribe and Save

You may be sick of subscriptions by not but they aren’t going away anytime soon. Companies like Netflix, Apple, Google and yes… Amazon… Use subscriptions to guarantee your purchase, even if it means they make less money.

Any savvy shopper on Amazon knows that any purchase you make frequently enough can be subscribed to for a discount.

the amazon subscribe and save option in checkout
Amazons subscribe and save program is offered on various products all over the Amazon marketplace.

Why does Amazon offer subscribe and save?

Amazon uses subscribe and save toake sure you keep using their marketplace without getting fatigued.

This concept of Buyer Fatigue has been well documented and discussed in the housing market but e-commerce stores are noticing buyer fatigue as well.

To combat buyer fatigue, Amazon wants to incentivize you to ‘spend without thinking’ or just let them handle it. This technique increases their monthly recurring revenue and keeps customers purchasing.

E-commerce stores can do something similar with a subscription service on platforms like Shopify and woocommerce on WordPress. If you offer a product that can be bought on a recurring basis, it might be worth looking into as a source of extra revenue you don’t have to work for.

3) Algorithmic Discounts and Pricing

Did you know that the price you pay Amazon might be different than what your neighbor pays for the same product at the same time?

That’s because Amazon incorporates an algorithmic pricing structure meant to maximize the dollar you will spend for a given product at any given time.

Although there is not much known currently about how the algorithm works or incentivizes purchases, Amazon benefits from having a lot of data on their customers and their purchasing habits.

That data creates the backbone of their pricing and recommendations. To learn how to create your own specific pricing model, it’s definitely worth taking a look at how user data influences purchase decisions and which price is best.

4) Email Marketing & Order Updates

What’s the best part of getting an Amazon package? Is it actually opening and using your purchase? Or the anticipation that it’s on its way…

Amazon knows the way to get you excited about your purchase is with frequent updates and tracking so you never have to guess where your new coffee maker is.

Combining that with an amazing sms and email marketing system that notified you when it’s close by, when it’s left the warehouse and when it’s on your doorstep, Amazon is able to get much better customer engagement and retain their customers longer than their competitors.

5) Perceived Benefits

By subscribing to Amazon prime, you get a lot of benefits. Most of which you probably won’t use. But services like Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Try Before You Buy all make it easier to justify your once a year subscription.

One way you can improve your customer retention by offering benefits to your customers they can’t find anywhere else.

Example ideas of Added Benefits you can add to your business

You may not have an entire cloud infrastructure at your disposal to use for free video and audiobooks, but any business with a bit of creativity can come up with extra benefits that come with purchasing from their store.

Here are some free ideas you can use in e-commerce or on your website to encourage higher user retention:

  • Customer only events to reward customers for their loyalty
  • Exclusive member rewards for repeat shoppers and bargain hunters
  • Community for people to join and share like-minded conversation.
  • Exclusive members only content for people that buy your products.


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