Going to the Edges: Amazon vs. Woot

Amazon sells everything that can be sold. It is the ultimate shopping site. Nothing beats it. Customer experience is awesome. Prices are good and shipping is quick. And if you are a merchant, you can even set up your own shop on Amazon. You can save stuff in your shopping cart, you can group shipments, you can change orders and you can create gift messages. And on top of that, Amazon knows what I like and lets me know when something new is coming out.

Woot.com is exactly the opposite. They sell one thing per day. When they run out, you are out of luck, come back tomorrow. The product descriptions are hysterically funny. Shipping is $5 for everything whether it is an LCD TV or an MP3 player. To buy something you click a giant orange button, choose either one, two or three of the item, and give them a credit card number. When they have an official Woot-off (leftovers), they don’t tell their customers about it. After several years of success, they have launched a site for selling one wine per week and a site for selling t-shirts created by the users.

Both Amazon and Woot make piles of money and both have amazing customer loyalty. Both are at opposite edges of the spectrum. Everyone else is somewhere wallowing in the middle.

Moral of the story: Find the edges and go there.