A Dozen Secrets to running your ecommerce business like Amazon: #6. Multiple Revenue Streams

“Ebooks had to happen. Infrastructure web services had to happen…. A few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work. Bold bets — Amazon Web Services, Kindle, Amazon Prime, our third-party seller business — all of those things are examples of bold bets that did work, and they pay for a lot of experiments.” – Jeff Bezos

tip6-multiple revenue streams

Amazon makes money in lots of different ways, not just from selling products. In fact, that is why their prices are often so low. They make money from ads, products like Kindle, Echo, and FireTV, ebooks and other digital files like music and movies, third-party sellers, payment processing, cloud services, Amazon Prime subscriptions, cross-selling, etc. Significantly, Amazon looks to make money when people use their products rather than when they buy their products, which creates even more income diversity.

There are “gurus” out there that tell you to keep your site simple with a single call to action – don’t confuse the customer they say, tell them exactly what you want them to do next. Well, that isn’t how Amazon has become successful – they have lots of calls to action on every page, and you should too. If you think your page should only have one call to action, ask yourself if the gurus that told you to do this are as successful as Amazon – if not, then copy the successful model instead. Think of as many different ways as you can to monetize your site, not just selling products. For example, my website www.CyberBaseTradingPost.com uses the following ways to monetize the site:

  • Google AdSense
  • Online store
  • Paid directory listings
  • Classified ads
  • Monthly subscription / certificate maker program
  • Amazon affiliate links

Almost any business can (and should) create a membership or continuity program. As mentioned above, Cyberbase Trading Post offers a monthly subscription program to the premium certificates (classic certificates are still free). WebStores Ltd. offers a membership program that includes tutorials and software downloads. Membership programs like Amazon Prime make it easy to bundle services, such as streaming videos, free shipping, streaming music, photo storage, Kindle lending library, and more. Think of the types of services your company offers that can be bundled into a membership program.