Jean-Baptiste Thomas, Director UK Total Consumer Electronics, Amazon
Maintaining a culture of customer centricity
Jean-Baptiste Thomas, UK Total Consumer Electronics Director, Amazon, says that everything the internet giant does is driven by the customer and what they want. We asked him about the role customers have in shaping strategies and the focus on providing great customer experiences.
We recognise that even when business is great, our customers constantly want more. The better we are at delivering a great customer experience, the higher their expectations become, and we always strive to meet if not exceed these expectations. We are constantly looking for ways to drive innovation.
To achieve this, we focus on long-term thinking and development that will enhance and simplify the shopping process. We are cognisant that what worked yesterday to please our customers might not work today, so we listen to them and use the feedback and data we gather to try and anticipate their needs and wants rather than resting on our laurels.
How will voice commerce change the way of shopping?
We believe that shopping by voice is here to stay and will become bigger over time. It is still very early days in the story of our customers shopping by voice, but it has already made an impact on how they can use smart devices to simplify everyday tasks – particularly for reordering things like paper towels or nappies. We regularly hear from customers that they love the convenience of being able to take care of shopping when they have their hands busy in the kitchen, through the simple ability to use their voice. We are confident that Alexa’s capabilities in the area of voice shopping will continue to grow, ensuring that voice shopping becomes integrated into all aspects of the customer shopping experience.
WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING FOR WAYS TO DRIVE INNOVATION
How important is Black Friday/ Cyber Monday for Amazon?
Amazon is proud to have brought this shopping tradition to the UK in 2010 and since its introduction here, we have seen customer interest in our Black Friday Sale go from strength-to-strength. It has become a shopping tradition, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and is now one of the most important and highly-anticipated times of year in the UK shopping calendar.
Our customers have come to rely on the substantial savings we offer and each year we work to surpass their expectations. We had more offers than ever before helping customers to save millions of pounds on tens of thousands on electronics, must-have toys, games, fashion, jewellery, beauty, home goods and more.
What is the biggest challenge facing Amazon?
At Amazon, we have a saying that every day is Day One, because it means we can continue to innovate and experiment with new ideas to personalise the online shopping experience and keep our customers captivated by the services and products that we have to offer.
SHOPPING BY VOICE IS HERE TO STAY AND WILL BECOME BIGGER OVER TIME
The biggest challenge Amazon has is ensuring that the company maintains a Day One culture. If we failed to do so it would be tantamount to the company reaching a state of stasis, which is then followed by irrelevance and ultimately our demise. Every day presents a new chance to improve on the lessons we learned from yesterday, which simply means that we must prioritise fresh ideas and ways of thinking that prevent us from becoming comfortable or relying upon the status quo.
How important is Europe for Amazon?
Europe continues to be an important long-term component of Amazon’s growth story. Since 2010, we have invested €27 bn into customer innovation including Alexa, Prime Air, Prime Video, AWS and machine learning to power our retail sites. We have 25 development centres that employ 5,500 skilled inventors across Europe, which help us remain at the forefront of bringing tomorrow’s inventions to our customers today.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE AMAZON HAS IS ENSURING THAT IT MAINTAINS A DAY ONE CULTURE.