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Amazon's success in providing an appealing online retail experience is attributed to several key characteristics that prioritize customer convenience. These attributes have set industry standards and propelled Amazon to its dominant position in e-commerce, shaping customer expectations worldwide. Here are some characteristics that contribute to an Amazon-like online retail experience.
By employing customer self-serve tools, such as WISMO (Where Is My Order), order look-up cancelation or return, retailers can create a more efficient and convenient shopping experience, reducing the need for customer support interactions, and ultimately enhancing overall customer satisfaction.
Retailers utilize customer-assisted care to complement its self-serve options and further enhance the overall customer experience. While self-serve features empower customers to handle tasks independently, customer-assisted care steps in when customers need additional help or encounter complex issues.
The ability to have accurate and up-to-date information about product availability allows retailers to optimize their inventory, meet customer demands more efficiently and deliver a seamless shopping experience.
The set of rules and conventions for building and interacting with web services are called REST APIs. A REST API ecosystem excels at integrating pivotal Amazon-like features, enabling retailers to not only deliver an exceptional shopping experience to their customers but also equip them with potent tools to enhance operational efficiency. This facilitates the creation of an online retail environment that resonates with the principles of convenience, personalization and efficiency. By infusing the retail landscape with these Amazon-like features, retailers elevate their customer experience and enable it to compete with industry leaders.
Here are some benefits and examples of how REST APIs can be used to implement the previously mentioned key characteristics of the Amazon-like customer experience.
In the pursuit of crafting a shopping experience that is both streamlined and user-friendly, retailers can integrate order APIs into their e-commerce platform to enable customers to access functionality that enables them to seamlessly manage their orders independently. By empowering customers to navigate through tasks on their own, the reliance on customer support interactions is significantly diminished. This not only expedites the resolution process for customers but also affords retailers the opportunity to allocate their resources more efficiently, concentrating on addressing intricate and multifaceted customer concerns.
Some examples of customer self-serve include the management of WISMO inquiries, the cancellation of orders, initiation of returns and modification of refund preferences.
Efficiency and precision are key components of customer care. By integrating customer order data from the order management system (OMS) into a retailer’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, associates have access to essential order transaction details and customer charges; by directly retrieving invoices, the process is expedited and ensures seamless customer interactions. To reinforce this commitment to accuracy, customer care associates can effortlessly access a comprehensive list of credit memos. This aids in verifying that customers have received due credit for any cost differentials or expenses incurred.
To facilitate the seamless resolution of payment-related matters, a Payment Processing API allows associates to swiftly retrieve detailed invoice information for retry attempts. A tangible manifestation of this seamless integration can be seen through instances such as order management inquiries, the division of orders, management of order holds and resumptions, and inquiries regarding payments. This dedication to refining the customer experience is underscored through these examples, as they equip customer care associates with the tools and insights needed to uphold operational excellence while ensuring customer satisfaction.
With a real-time inventory API, stock availability (across product line and fulfillment nodes) can be accessed and presented on any associate- or customer-facing channel.
For example, sales associates can have the capability to promptly access real-time inventory information on different interfaces, like a point of sale (POS) system or in-store kiosk, empowering them to retrieve up-to-the-minute inventory data related to specific physical stores and provide that information to the customer. Retailers can also obtain real-time insights into the number of reserved units spread across various fulfillment networks. This valuable information can be fed to planning systems to enhance the accuracy of stock estimations and acts as a preventive measure against potential stockouts. Real-time inventory APIs also serve to present customers with true real-time inventory availability in physical locations, across multiple online channels, including the retailer’s own website, a marketplace or a third-party retailer. Lastly, the system also supports inquiries regarding allocated inventory, streamlining the process of managing stock availability.
Amazon's success in the online retail landscape has set the gold standard for customer convenience, personalization and efficiency. By infusing the retail landscape with these Amazon-like features and improving customer experience with REST APIs, retailers are well-equipped to thrive in the dynamic and competitive world of e-commerce.