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Online Merchants Can Adopt Tactics Used by Amazon

Amazon.com’s growth stands out in ecommerce as the company grew beyond its bookselling model into selling virtually any kind of product, and there are things online merchants can do to emulate that success. Amazon works at selling and engages in plenty of tactics to help move product from its warehouses to consumers.

One such tactic stems from the otherwise under-the-radar activity of inventory management. As described in a recent whitepaper from Monetate on Amazon’s dominance, Amazon engages in some time-honored marketing strategy based on inventory levels.

They do this by creating urgency in their product listings, something which most Amazon visitors have likely seen without realizing its significance. Low stock on an item, as tracked by Amazon’s sophisticated systems, leads to visitors seeing messages like “Only 3 left in stock” when viewing a product listing.

Urgency is a long-time marketing tactic, one that people see and hear all the time. Phrases like “limited time offer” or “once they’re gone, they’re gone,” and sales tied to holiday weekends or one-time events, all use urgency to try and prompt a buying response.

The key here for ecommerce pros, in these days where inventory management systems are feature-rich and broadly available, is to consider whether they want to mimic Amazon’s tactic here. It seems Amazon would only be doing this if the concept has proved its value; if so, online sellers who can do this too should be interested in trying.

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Monetate describes four other tactics online merchants should consider adopting, as well as “Five Tactics You Can Implement that Amazon Doesn’t.”

You can register to download the whitepaper on the Monetate website.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.