Amazon can get away with this, but can you?

Yesterday, I wanted to buy something from Amazon.

It was my first time using, but I used and when I was living in France and Italy earlier this year, so I didn’t expect any problems.

But, this time, I got stumped.

You see, to allow me to log in, they sent a confirmation link to my mobile phone. But the phone I have registered with Amazon isn’t a smartphone.

So I couldn’t click the link. And, as there was no other way to send a confirmation – e.g. by email – I was at a dead end.

Now, you might be thinking, “It’s 2020, get with the times and get a smartphone, grandpa!”

And I might reply, “I have a smartphone, but I don’t use it as my main phone, kiddo…”

But that’s not the point.

The “everyone is just like us” fallacy

The point is that Amazon designed this process based on assumption, rather than fact.

I can just picture it: a bunch of 20-something guys saying, “We’ll just send a link to the customer’s smartphone and they can tap that link to confirm.”

It’s the “everyone is just like us” fallacy. 

“We use the latest technology, so everyone else uses the latest technology.”

But here’s the thing: walking around Berlin, I see a LOT of people who use old school phones. Maybe 10-15%.

So, adjusting for demographics, that might mean that 5% of users don’t use smartphones.

And that would be 5% of people for whom the confirmation process doesn’t work.

But it’s just 5%… so, who cares, right?

5% leak = 50% drop in profit

You see, depending on your overheads, a 5% drop in revenue can be a 25% or 50% drop in profit.

And those 5% leaks are everywhere.

For example, if you go into your analytics and check your conversion rates by browser, you might find browsers your website doesn’t work on.

Same with screen resolutions. 

Those are costing you money every day.

And, just as importantly, they’re restricting how much you can afford to spend to get traffic.

And, as I explain in The PPC Multiplier Method, dominating your market is about earning more per visitor than your competitors – and using that to out-bid them.

That’s hard to do when you’re leaking conversions.

My book is all about marketing leaks. (With some usability stuff.)

For usability leaks, I suggest you check out this video by Craig Sullivan,  which is about optimizing device experiences. Craig’s an expert on this – and has worked with some of the world’s biggest businesses.

Check it out here:

I’ll give you a warning: Craig, like me, is from Scotland. So there’s a lot of swearing. It’s also hilarious. And incredibly useful. 


All the best,

Steve Gibson

PS Once you do what Craig recommends – and fix those device usability issues, read The PPC Multiplier Method and fix your marketing leaks.

That’ll give you a double win.