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5 Lessons Small Businesses Owners Can Learn from Amazon

Brand Development

For three consecutive years, Amazon remains to be the world’s no. 1 most valuable brand, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic.  

This is a testament to how strong and resilient this brand is. In fact, Amazon was able to bounce back and regain its position within 15 weeks after the lockdown measures were lifted in March 2020.  

Amazing, right?

But, Amazon wasn’t as successful when it first started. Just like all the other startups, it had its own share of struggles and failures.  

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO said in 1999, just five years after launching Amazon.com:

"There's no guarantee that Amazon.com can be a successful company. What we're trying to do is very complicated"

By the sound of it, it seemed like the firm’s founder felt uncertain as to where the company was headed in the future.  

He also mentioned that he made billions of dollars worth of failures at Amazon.com.  

However, with all the trials the company has encountered in its 20+ years, it still has emerged as the most dominant company in the online retail world today.  

The good news for you is that Amazon can be your teacher; and just like Jeff Bezos, you too can be successful in your own right!

In this article, we will share with you the five most important lessons you can learn from Amazon, which you can use to improve and grow your business to success.  

What Are the 5 Lessons Small Business Owners Can Learn from Amazon?

Amazon has always been inspiring and has served as a model to many. Here are the business lessons you can learn from it:

Create Your Business Around Your Customers

Amazon is very good at listening to what its customers want, and with this, provides the ultimate online shopping experience every consumer desires.  

In 2005, when Amazon launched Prime, the company wanted to provide express shipping for its shoppers in exchange for a yearly subscription fee of $79.  


At first, many thought that the idea was bizarre and would end in failure, but Amazon was keen on making this business concept work.  

By listening to what their customers want and conducting experiments, they concluded that having reliable and fast shipping is important to make sure that they can compete successfully against in-store retailers.  

Now, Amazon has over 147 million members in the U.S. alone.  

What’s even amazing is that this subscription service has somehow driven Amazon shoppers to buy more and more frequently!

According to research conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Prime members spend an average of $1,500 a year, while non-members spend only an average of $ 625 a year. 73% of the members also said that they shop at Amazon at least two to three times a month.

If you can create a subscription system that would motivate your customers to buy more or avail of your services more often, then that would be a game-changer for you!

What Can You Learn from This?

Make it a point to really ask your customers for their input and make sure to listen and act upon their feedback!

If you’re having a hard time identifying what your customers need or want, here are some methods you should try out:  

  • Send an email asking for customer feedback. Ask your customers directly to know what they think about your products or services via email. Make sure to send it a week after their purchase.
  • Conduct customer interviews with those who are willing in exchange for a freebie or discount. This is a great way to motivate them to give you input about your offerings and what they think you should improve on.  
  • Ask your audience on social media. Instagram Stories offer poll, Q&A, and other survey stickers you can use to identify what your audience want. They’re easy to do and your followers will most likely respond to them.  
  • Map your customer journey and understand the different customer touchpoints. Ask your customers at each stage how you can further improve or streamline your processes to meet their needs or wants.  
  • Study your competitor by conducting a SWOT analysis. This will allow you to identify their strengths and weaknesses relative to yours. In a way, doing this gives you an idea of the possible areas that you lack in and need improvement and the areas you need to maintain.  

Once you know what your customers want and need, you can improve your business, processes, etc. to cater to what they want.  

Aim to Provide the Best Customer Experience You Can


Without a doubt, providing an excellent customer experience is one of the most compelling ways you can convince your customers to keep doing business with you.  

If your customers are happy and satisfied, there’s just no reason for them to look to your competitors and switch.  

So, how can you provide the best customer experience possible?

By meeting their needs and going beyond their expectations.

For example, when an Amazon customer reported that his PlayStation console got stolen from his front porch shortly after it was delivered, Amazon took the initiative to have a new one shipped within that day completely free of charge!  

The customer was so surprised and thrilled that it arrived just in time for Christmas.  

What Can You Learn from This?

By delivering more value than your customers expect, you’re sure to convert regular customers into brand advocates!

If giving away a free product is something you can’t afford, you can offer something else instead on their next purchase to compensate for the incident, like the following:

  • Discount
  • Free shipping
  • Freebies

You can also offer to help them out by reporting to the authorities or spreading the word about the incident so your other customers won’t experience the same incident.  

Another example is Amazon’s Mayday Button, which provides on-device tech support 24/7, all year round, for free! So, if you’re experiencing any problems with your tablet, you’re one click away from getting help.  

However, Amazon discontinued this. Then again, you can always use the idea of creating video tutorials, hacks, tips, and support for your products, and making them easily accessible to your customers.  

The point is, you want to provide value to your customers by making their lives easier.

Invest in Relationship Building

Invest in your relationships, not just with your customers, but also with your employees, suppliers, and courier.  

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program that provides sellers across the world affordable and easy access to Amazon’s existing logistics resources.  

It allows businesses to use Amazon warehouses for storing, packing and shipping their products, which makes running an e-commerce business easier. Because of this, millions of sellers worldwide use FBA.  

By helping businesses become more competitive on its platform and developing a good relationship with them, Amazon is also making itself a better marketplace in the process.  

What Can You Learn from This?

Develop a good relationship with your suppliers, manufacturers, couriers, or your logistics in general, so you can gain access to preferential pricing, special terms, dedicated service, and many more.  

Remember, having a supply chain that’s efficient, cost-effective, and productive can make a huge difference in making sure that your items never go out of stock, your products are delivered on time, and that you and your customers are happy and satisfied.  

Here are the foundations necessary to build a strong relationship with your suppliers: :

  • Communicate with your suppliers regularly. Make sure they know if there’s anything that makes you happy or unhappy in your relationship. For example, they weren’t able to deliver your products on the date agreed. Let them know you’re not okay with it, but at the same time make sure to ask why there was a delay. They might’ve encountered something unavoidable, which caused the delay. Then, together, both of you can come up with a solution to guarantee it never happens again.
  • Respect your suppliers by showing your appreciation and willingness to consider their opinions and needs with regards to how your relationship can work in ways in which can maximize the interest of both your interest.
  • Be open and honest with each other about your goals and intentions so both of you can come to an understanding and reach an agreement.
  • Be flexible to make your relationship a success. Not all suppliers are the same so learning to listen, adapt, and embrace innovations.  
  • Be fair with your suppliers by making sure that you honor everything in your contract, paying them fairly, and making sure that both of you can benefit from your relationship.  

Don't Stop Looking for New Market Opportunities


Over the years, Amazon.com became so much more than just a website selling books. Today, Amazon sells more than 353 million products. Plus, the company expanded to Amazon Prime, Kindle, Amazon Payments, Amazon Studios, Amazon Game Studios, Amazon Luna, AmazonFresh, Amazon Supply, Amazon Drive, and so many other products and services.  

What Can You Learn from This?

You can make this happen for your business too! What you need to do is never stop looking for ways to improve your business and new opportunities to expand.  

Here are the different ways you can identify opportunities in the market:

  • Always ask your customers how you can serve them better and improve your business. Think about asking them questions like:
  • Where did you first learn about us?
  • Why did you choose to buy our products or services?
  • Are there any complementary products or services you think we need to start offering?
  • What features do you like about products and how can we further improve them?
  • Is there anything you don’t like about our products or services?
  • Do you think our competitors are better than us? In what way?
  • Speak to customers or prospects you’ve lost and ask them what made them switch to a competitor.
  • Do a competitor analysis and ask yourself the following questions:
  • What are they offering that you’re not?
  • Who are their suppliers and partners?
  • What is their value proposition?
  • Who are they targeting?
  • How are they reaching out to their target audience?
  • Conduct market research to determine how customers perceive you, who will likely do business with you, and who are underserved.
  • Explore other opportunities by expanding your offering with relevant products and services.
  • Invest in business development.

Be Patient

Great success doesn’t happen overnight. Amazon continued to do business even if it was already expecting that it wouldn’t make any profit for the first five years of operation.  

Jeff Bezos also shared:

“We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.” 

What Can You Learn from This?

Don’t get discouraged if your sales aren’t as strong as you predicted them to be. Find out why that is, and make the necessary changes to achieve your goal.  

It’s also important to quickly pivot and adapt to any changes in consumer behavior quickly to make sure your business stays on top of the competition, just like Amazon.  


You may not have Amazon’s logistics resources to move things quickly for your business, but you can use the five lessons we shared with you above to improve and help your business grow.  

Another thing you want to keep in mind is to take advantage of digital marketing to promote your business and get more customers.  

At Digital Resource, we can get you the leads you need to start growing your business. Contact us today to know more!


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