How would you improve Amazon? - Product Improvement
Amazon Product Manager Interview: Product Improvement - How would you improve Amazon?
How to Answer Product Improvement Questions?
Here is a step-by-step framework, you should follow while answering product improvement interview questions during the interview:
0. Pay close attention to the keywords in the question.
1. Describe the Product. (P)
2. Ask clarifying Questions to trim down the scope of the question. (Q)
3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
4. List the User Segments and select one segment to focus on. (U)
5. List and prioritize the Pain Points for that segment. (P)
6. List out your Solutions to solve those pain points. (S)
7. Evaluate all the solutions and prioritize them. (E)
8. Define Metrics to measure the performance of the solutions. (M)
9. At the end, Summarize your answer (S)
(PQ-GUP-SEMS) -> Mnemonic to help you remember the steps & their order.
Let’s get started with the solution (remember to follow the framework),
First, clarify with the interviewer which Amazon business you are referring to here. (e.g. Amazon e-commerce, AWS, Music, Prime Videos, etc.)
A) For the purpose of this question, assume the Amazon e-commerce platform.
Step 1: Describe the Product (P)
Once, you are clear with the question, start by explaining your understanding of the product. Cover the following things about the product,
What does the product do?
Who uses it?
How are they using it?
What pain point is it solving for the users?
Amazon is a comprehensive e-commerce platform that serves as a virtual marketplace, offering an extensive selection of products and services to customers across the globe. Through its website and mobile applications, Amazon enables users to browse, purchase, and sell a wide array of items, including electronics, apparel, books, household essentials, and more. Additionally, Amazon provides digital services such as streaming content, cloud computing, and AI-powered virtual assistant devices.
Amazon's mission is to improve the customer experience continually, provide a wide range of products and services, and drive customer satisfaction.
Amazon can be accessed from a desktop web, mobile web, and mobile app (Android, IOS).
Some of Amazon's major competitors include Walmart, Alibaba, eBay, Target, Best Buy, Google (through Google Shopping), Apple (through Apple Store), Shopify.
Amazon caters to a diverse user base, ranging from individual consumers to businesses of all sizes. Every day consumers leverage Amazon's platform to conveniently shop for products, compare prices, read customer reviews, and enjoy swift and reliable delivery to their doorstep. Furthermore, businesses, including small-scale sellers and established brands, utilize Amazon as a powerful e-commerce platform to reach a massive customer base, expand their online presence, and benefit from Amazon's fulfilment and logistics services.
How To Use
Users employ Amazon in various ways depending on their needs and preferences. As consumers, they can visit the Amazon website or mobile app, explore different categories, search for specific products, and read detailed product descriptions and customer reviews to make informed purchasing decisions. Customers can also take advantage of features like one-click ordering, personalized recommendations, and hassle-free returns to enhance their shopping experience. On the other hand, businesses utilize Amazon's Seller Central platform to set up their own virtual storefronts, manage inventory, track sales, and leverage marketing tools to reach and engage with customers effectively.
Pain Points it solves for its users:
Amazon solves several pain points for its users, which contributes to its widespread popularity and success. Here are some key pain points that Amazon addresses:
Convenience and Accessibility: With a few clicks or taps, users can access millions of items, compare prices, read product reviews, and make purchases without the need to visit physical stores or navigate through crowded shopping centres.
Extensive Product Selection: Users can find an incredible variety of products, including niche items that may not be readily available in local stores. This vast selection gives users the freedom to choose from multiple brands, sizes, colours, and price ranges, ensuring that they can find the exact product they need.
Competitive Pricing: Users can compare prices from different sellers and benefit from discounts, deals, and promotions.
Fast and Reliable Delivery: Amazon's efficient delivery system helps users receive their orders in a timely manner, reducing the frustration associated with long shipping times.
Customer Reviews and Ratings: Users can read reviews from other customers who have purchased and used the product, helping them make informed decisions and avoid potential disappointments.
Hassle-Free Returns and Refunds: Users can request returns or refunds for eligible items, and Amazon provides clear instructions and guidelines to streamline the process.
Step 2. Ask clarifying questions to narrow the scope. (Q)
Q) What is the goal of improvement here? Improve user engagement? Increase user retention? Increase revenue? Acquire more users and content? Improve the user experience on the App.
A) It’s up to you. You are free to choose.
Q) What is the target audience for these improvements?
A) It’s up to you to decide.
Q) Are we focussing on any particular platform like desktop web/app or mobile web/app?
A) For now, you can just focus on the mobile App.
Q) For the improvement, are we focusing on a Global audience or a specific region?
A) We would be focusing on the Indian audience only.
Q) Why are we thinking about improvements now?
A) Some possible reasons why improvements for Amazon are under consideration are:
Evolving Customer Expectations: Customer expectations and preferences are constantly evolving. As technology advances and new trends emerge, customers seek enhanced experiences, faster delivery, improved personalization, and seamless interactions.
Market Competition: The e-commerce industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. To maintain a competitive edge, Amazon must invest in research and development, explore emerging technologies, and enhance its offerings to stay ahead of the competition.
Technological Advancements: The rapid pace of technological advancements provides opportunities for companies to leverage new tools, platforms, and algorithms.
Customer Feedback and User Experience: By actively listening to customer feedback, conducting surveys, and analyzing user behaviour, Amazon can gain insights into pain points, areas of dissatisfaction, and unmet needs.
Expansion into New Markets: Each new market may have unique customer preferences, cultural nuances, and regulatory requirements. To effectively cater to diverse markets, Amazon must adapt its services, localize content, and tailor its offerings to specific regions or customer segments.
Step 3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
Amazon's primary goal is to be the most customer-centric company in the world. The company is dedicated to delivering exceptional customer experiences through a wide selection of products, competitive pricing, convenient and reliable delivery, personalized recommendations, and outstanding customer service. Amazon strives to meet and exceed customer expectations, ensuring high levels of satisfaction. Amazon also aims to maintain its market leadership position by continually innovating, expanding its global presence, leveraging cutting-edge technologies, and driving long-term growth and profitability.
However, with the growth of other e-commerce platforms in different geographies like Flipkart, Myntra, Ajio, Nykaa, Walmart, Alibaba, eBay, Target, Shopify etc. Amazon is facing tough competition in keeping users engaged and retained on the platform.
Amazon is now a mature product, and I feel improvement in user retention is something that aligns very closely with the mission of Amazon. Also, an increase in user retention will eventually lead to an increase in revenue as well for Amazon.
Step 4. List the User Segments and choose one segment to focus on. (U)
Broadly, Amazon users can be divided into,
Individual Consumers: Amazon serves individual consumers of all ages, demographics, and interests. These users shop for a wide range of products, including electronics, clothing, home goods, books, and more.
Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs): Amazon provides a platform for SMBs to sell their products to a global customer base. These sellers range from individual entrepreneurs to small businesses, allowing them to reach a larger market and expand their online presence.
Content Creators: Amazon provides platforms for content creators, such as Kindle Direct Publishing for self-publishing authors and Amazon Video Direct for independent filmmakers. These platforms enable content creators to reach a global audience and monetize their work.
Out of the different user segments, I would be focusing on the Individuals Segment. The segment of individual customers on Amazon represents a diverse group of individuals who rely on the platform for their shopping needs. Here are some key points highlighting the significance of individuals on Amazon:
Varied Demographics: Individual customers on Amazon span various age groups, backgrounds, and locations, making it a platform accessible to a wide range of individuals.
Convenience Seekers: Many individual customers turn to Amazon for its convenience factor. They appreciate the ability to shop from the comfort of their homes, at any time of the day, without the need to visit physical stores.
Broad Product Selection: Amazon offers an extensive product range, catering to the diverse interests and preferences of individual customers.
Price Conscious: Individual customers often seek competitive pricing and value for their purchases. They leverage Amazon's platform to compare prices, read customer reviews, and find the best deals.
Tech-Savvy Shoppers: Individual customers on Amazon tend to be tech-savvy, comfortable with online shopping, and proficient in navigating digital platforms and mobile apps.
Impulse Buyers: Some individual customers enjoy the convenience and instant gratification of making impulse purchases on Amazon.
Understanding the needs, preferences, and behaviours of individual customers is essential for Amazon to improve its offerings continually, enhance the shopping experience, and maintain customer satisfaction.
Step 5. List and prioritize the Pain Points. (P)
Here are some common pain points that the Individual segment may encounter when using Amazon: