- Being at the conference this week and spending time at Amazon headquarters took me back to the good old days at eBay -- I was blown away by how similar it felt. I was also struck with the realization that I now know more Amazon employees than I do eBay employees -- Most of my eBay contacts have moved on to other ventures.
- On eBay there is a lack of trust in management and the marketplace, but I don't get any of that from Amazon. The marketplace has no trust issues, management tells it like it is and it is clear this is their show.
- This is the impression I got about management: We have a plan; we are implementing it to the best of our ability; we are open to your suggestions, but we are going to run this business according to our plan. This approach works because they are providing value to sellers. As we've seen with eBay, it doesn't work when there is little value provided.
- Amazon executives tend to be pretty straightforward. Not a whole lot of time is spent saying "we hear you", but that isn't to say they don't listen.
- The hierarchy of needs at Amazon is clear: #1 Amazon Customers, #2 3P Sellers and #3 investors. Though 3P sellers are considered customers of Amazon, they are also held to some very high performance standards because they are there to serve Amazon's #1 priority; the Amazon customer.
- Amazon provides great customer service for their #1 priority (the customer) but they need work on serving the #2 priority (the seller). They realize they need some improvement in that area and were open to suggestions, but were honest about some of the challenges they face in scaling that kind of customer service.
- Amazon has lots of things that are not quite working on all cylinders, but it is clear they have a plan and will eventually get there. eBay says they have a plan but I have little faith they will get there.
- There are some very large sellers on Amazon. I thought I was big at Glacier Bay DVD but I would have been dwarfed by many of the sellers that sell on Amazon.
- Amazon will eventually sell everything available, but it may take years before they can roll out every category. eBay sellers who are anxiously awaiting the day when Amazon opens their category may be waiting for awhile. I realize this does not provide much comfort for those hanging on by the skin of their teeth but rolling out new categories can't be accomplished quickly on a huge platform like Amazon.
I'm looking forward to the future of ecommerce with Amazon as the leader, but make no mistake this is their game and they are in it to win. As long as they continue to provide value for buyers and sellers they will continue to grow and take more share of ecommerce.
Just my 12%