Manufacturers would do well to take notes from Amazon’s tactics to create transactional ease for customers this year…
Hey, what’s up? Danny Gonzales here with IndustrialSage. Hey, listen. Today we’re going to talk about a little bit more around transactional ease and that customer experience and being customer-obsessed.
So if you have been following IndustrialSage recently, we’ve launched with the Bright Ideas Series. It’s by Acuity Brands®, so Bright Ideas by Acuity Brands on IndustrialSage is very exciting. A lot of great topics that are coming out on a weekly basis. This was launched back in August, and so it’s been fantastic. So one of the episodes that was released, maybe a couple weeks ago was around transactional ease. So we had Acuity’s, some of their website team on. Another one, we had– I think the episode was called “Transactional Ease” with their CTO and other people. And they were talking about just really the importance of having website– not just website design, but just the overall sense of making it very easy for your customer to work with you, to be able to buy from you. And that’s such a big, big thing, especially now, with Covid times right now, it’s been, obviously, very challenging.
But this is really something that, ultimately, is something that really was super important before. There was a lot of conversation around being customer-obsessed, being customer-focused. and looking at how we sell all throughout, really that whole process. Whether that’s we have no idea who you are through we’re courting the relationship, and you’re a sales-qualified lead and we’re getting you to the sale to we’ve made the sale and, then, afterwards, how do we actually facilitate that, that post-sale close? And it moves into customer service, and then hopefully they buy more and more and more and more and really looking at how we help to make things a lot easier.
I know in that episode, specifically, that we were talking about looking at the user experience on websites. So looking at ecommerce is a really big thing for manufacturers right now, especially with COVID. It was a big deal, again, before, even bigger now because trade shows and in-person events, all these things, have been greatly reduced or completely eliminated or canceled. And so everyone’s been making this switch to how do we sell virtually? How do we create this experience? How do we make it easy for people? And so what we have to do is really get into the minds of our customer and get an understanding of what their pain is, what they’re going through, how can we make working with us very easy so it’s, man, that was awesome. It’s like a click of a button, and boom. Let’s eliminate the amount of clicks.
So one thing that I wanted to show, a little show and tell today. This is a catalog. It’s very exciting. I got this a couple weeks ago, or maybe a week or two ago. And this is from, believe it or not, Amazon. Now, I’m not sure if they’ve done this in previous years. I haven’t seen it. That doesn’t mean they haven’t done it, but this caught my eye, and I wanted to share with you what this is. This is, basically, a product catalog. You may think to yourself, “Hey, wait a minute. We’re talking– you just mentioned, Danny, about ecommerce and how companies need to make that pivot in the– ” Well, yeah, but there’s also a thing where, we’ve also got an interesting thing going on right now which, again, was happening before, but we’re seeing it now, is the digital channels have, there’s been a massive rush to it. How many virtual events have you seen? How many webinars? How many Zoom conferences? You’re probably going through Zoom fatigue like everybody else. But even before that, let’s think of email marketing and all these different things. Those channels were getting really clogged. And so brands really needed another way to be able to get in front of their audience and think about this transactional ease thing.
Think about the audience who Amazon is targeting. What this is, is this is a toy catalog for kids. I’ve got a couple kids, and let me tell you, here’s what happened– and I know you know, and you can guess exactly what happened when they saw this. We got this sent to our office because we buy Amazon stuff like everybody else. But also, at my house we got that as well. The second the kids found this, it was nuts. I mean, they were tearing through it, and they were marking up everything that they were going to get. And it was amazing; it was so exciting. They’re, “Mom, Dad, we’re marking up our list, and we’re going to show you what we want so we can go through it.” Wow, that’s a $400 thing. Okay, I don’t know about this. It’s exciting. And so I thought it was interesting because, again, to my knowledge, I don’t think that Amazon has done this in the past. Again, maybe they have; correct me. Anyone out there who’s watched this on social media, let me know when they started doing this because I’d be very curious.
But I think it’s interesting to go back to ecomm, from an ecomm standpoint that they’re delivering through direct mail. They sent this to our mailbox. And they understand the audience. The audience is kids. Well, the kids might not, probably don’t have access to Amazon, so how do we get in front of them? How do we create demand? Then, how do we make that sale? Genius. So I want to unpack what they’re doing in here. I think there’s a lot of lessons that we can learn, even when we’re selling B2B in here.
So I want to jump in. We’re doing the document cam, camera one over here, I’m going to grab my phone real quick, alright. This is going to be a little bit of fun show and tell. Okay, so here we go, catalog super exciting. Let’s open it up, alright. First thing we’ve got, transactional ease, make it easy for your customer. Look, we can write a list right here. We already know that we’re coming up with stuff. Let’s make a list so we can get it out to our, to Santa or parents so they can send it to Santa or whatever is going on there. We’ve got recipes here for hot cocoa because, you know, that makes sense. Alright, let’s go more– some fun games. Here we go; alright, cool. Here are the games, everything, alright, and toys. First thing that you will notice is that there are– well, there’s first of all, what jumped out at me, is there’s no prices on here. That was like, hey, how much is– all that stuff. That’s number one, which is interesting. Number two is that there’s very few words. Well, our audience, not all of them can read yet. Some of them can, but still, I thought it was– It’s all very visual. It’s very simple. And it’s all image-based.
So how do you actually find out the prices and all that good stuff? Well, two ways: one, see this little thing up here? This is a QR code, if you don’t know what this is. I’m sure you’ve seen it before. Here’s a cool thing about QR codes, and this is something that can be really valuable for everybody. You can open this; you need a QR code reader. Well, iPhones, for example– I’m not sure about Androids– but iPhones, I can just swipe up, go to my camera like I’m going to take a picture and then, guess what? I go there: boop! It creates a little link. Look what pops up– Amazon, dah-da. There we are; there’s the toy section. We love toys. Alright, that’s pretty cool. I bet you’re really collecting some data on that. There may be some retargeting. Alright, so that’s number one. You can go to that; it’s on the main page. But what if I wanted to know– this truck here is really cool. I want to know what this is. So what you’re going to do is inside the Amazon app, you are going to come up to the, you go to the camera, so let me go here. Here you go to the little camera icon, and there’s the truck. And then, guess what? I’m going to press Start. Ooh, look. There’s magic things going on. And bam, there’s the truck that we were just looking at, $120– really, $120? Can a kid ride in that? I guess they can. Free delivery, wow.
Okay, so pretty cool. What do you guys think about that? I think it’s pretty neat. So we’ve got a bunch of other toys and other cool things. That’s essentially– there’s some games and some different things in here, dolls and all kinds of fun things. So we can go back to the main camera. I’m done with the document cam. So that, essentially, is it, a little bit in a nutshell. Simple, but a couple really, really cool things and a couple applications that I see very, very concretely for you. It doesn’t matter what space that you’re in. But a couple different things is, think about, wow, they’re going to print. And it’s direct mail. A lot of people thought, well, direct mail’s dead, and all this stuff. Well, no, it isn’t. It’s just, everyone has shifted over to digital. And digital’s still, yes, it’s super important. It’s really, it’s the merging– see my IndustrialSage things, stickers. It’s merging these two technologies. We’ve got digital, and we’ve got traditional print. And this is still super relevant, but it’s really powerful when you bring these two together, and we’re starting to see a lot more of that. You’re starting to see a lot more omni-channel campaigns. And when you have a channel that gets very clogged, email, electronic mail has been very cluttered lately, for the last several years. Have you noticed, maybe your actual mail, the snail mail… I would bet you that you’ve probably experienced a lot of what I have, and others: where that’s actually gotten dramatically reduced. How much junk mail do you get? You get way more junk mail in your actual email versus your snail mail. So that’s a really interesting opportunity.
The other thing that I thought was very, very valuable and interesting that works really, really well for you is the idea of using QR codes and visual scanning apps to be able to take you to product information. Obviously the natural thought process is saying, well, if you’ve got, you’re a large distributor or you’re a manufacturer and you actually have a product catalog, that’s the natural thing is okay, how can we merge these two worlds together where I’ve got this here, and I need to be able to buy it. How could I interact with these two so that I could help make that faster versus let me look at this here; now that I’ve got to go on my phone. I’ve got to look up the web address, and then I’ve got to figure out– what’s the product name on here? No, we’re making it very, very quick. Couple little swipes and camera snapshots and boom, I’ve got– you’ve got me right where you want me. So I can get that product information, and I can make an informed decision based off there. So I think that is really, really cool.
Another really great use case I think is actually post-sales. So imagine where you’ve already sold– let’s say you’re an equipment manufacturer and you’ve got this big, multi-million- dollar, hundred thousand-dollar machine. And you go, and you sell it to whatever company. And you go install it, and you’ve got to do all this training. You’ve got to do all this stuff. Then, you leave, and then, what happens? You’ve got to turn the keys over and manuals and whatever to the plant ops and then, they take it over from there. Well, what happens when somebody else comes in? Maybe somebody is using this, and there is a lot of turnover in that role. Or maybe you have a lot of 1099 labor, contract labor that comes in and uses that, and you need to be able to onboard them a little bit better. Well, instead of saying, “Hey, here’s a manual,” what if maybe there was a manual with QR codes that could take you back to some of these training videos that you could learn on how to do that? Or what if there were frequently asked questions with issues, technical issues that might happen, whether it’s maintenance or just troubleshooting areas that are pretty frequent that you can create very, very easily and very quickly content to make them happy, to make that transactional ease even better so that they’re like, “Wow, this is awesome. They thought of me. This is very cool. It’s going to keep our downtime a lot lower.” I’m happy because we’re making it a lot easier.
So I just thought it was great. I wanted to share this magazine with you. If you haven’t gotten it and you have kids, and you do get it, quickly throw it away. No, I’m just playing. But yeah, great way, great thing. I love it. I thought it was super cool, so I wanted to add that on to the episode that we saw on transactional ease with Acuity on the Bright Ideas by Acuity Brands. Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Thank you so much for watching or listening. Like I mentioned, if you haven’t checked out the Bright Ideas by Acuity series, I highly recommend it. Check it out, especially if you work in any construction or industrial environments. They’ve got a lot of really cool solutions and stuff there and some great topics on that series as well. So, anyways, that’s all I’ve got for you, and I’ll be back next week with another episode on IndustrialSage.
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