Four Successful Online Business & What You Can Learn From Them


  1. 888 Poker
  2. Amazon
  3. Rackspace
  4. Majestic Wine

There are countless books, online guides and YouTube seminars telling you how to start a successful business in the modern era.

However, the best examples of how to make your online business success or how to avoid failure are already out there on the market in the form of your competitors.

Every established business on the planet has done things that have contributed to their success or their failure.

In this article, we’ll focus on four online businesses that have succeeded in their industry and see what we can learn from their approach.

These examples may provide you with useful tips for your own business, but at the very least they will highlight to you the way in which you can analyse your competitors to uncover the key to their success.

888 Poker: Prioritizing Quality

Online poker first really took off at the turn of the millennium with primitive online rooms originating in North America. Since then the industry has exploded in popularity, with hundreds of companies offering their services to poker enthusiasts.

888 were one of the first to companies to make a move into the online gambling industry, founded in 1997 by Isreali brothers Avi and Aaron Shaked, they focussed heavily on technological quality.

As a result, they have a well-deserved reputation of excellent quality amongst players.

What can we learn from this company?

Unlike their competitors, 888 have not overstretched themselves in term of offering customers every variant imaginable. Rather, they have committed themselves to providing their players with the very best gameplay and user experience available on the market.

As such, they’ve built up a reputation as a trusted place to play online poker. This trust and reputation for quality has helped the company to remain profitable and successful, which is no mean feat in such a saturated market.

Amazon: Prioritising Quantity

Happy woman shopping online at homeThe flip side to 888’s approach of quality over quantity is Amazon’s approach of quantity over everything else. Amazon was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, it is now worth an estimated $1.14 trillion, making Jeff Bezos the richest person on earth.

While starting your own online business and hoping to follow a similar approach is unrealistic, there are lessons that you can learn from Amazon.

What can we learn from this company?

With any online business that you start there will always be a ceiling or a limit to how far you can go in terms of growth.

If for example, you specialize in selling shoes in Philadelphia, you have to recognize that there are only a set number of shoe lovers in the State.

That’s where Amazon’s approach of quantity over everything else comes into play. As soon as you start to experience success with your online business, it’s important to look at further areas of growth to ensure continued, future success for your venture.

Analyse your customers as if you were an Amazon algorithm, think about what other products they may like and then consider branching out into these areas.

The more you can offer your customers, the less likely they will be to shop elsewhere so endeavor to make your online business a one-stop-shop for as many of their needs as possible.

Rackspace: Be Your Customers Biggest Fan

Rackspace was founded in 1998, it was founded by three Trinity University classmates. 

One of the oft-most complained about facets of any business nowadays is customer support. There are far too many companies that take a lax attitude to customer relationships and as a result, develop a bad name for themselves.

Rackspace, a cloud infrastructure company prides itself on its excellent customer support team who take the company’s ‘fanatical support’ approach very seriously.

One example of Rackspace’s dedication to customer support came when a client rang with a series of queries.

The process of helping the client was long and complicated, so a member of the customer support team ordered a pizza for the customer after noticing that it was well past lunchtime.

Not only did the client receive the help that they needed, but they were fed and happy and ended the call in a great mood.

What can we learn from this company?

Obviously, you don’t have to order a takeaway for every customer that rings you with a query, but you should take every step possible to ensure that your clients remember you for positive reasons rather than negative ones.

Majestic Wine: Engaging Customers

Photo Of Man Holding Wine BottleIn 1981 Majestic Wine was established as a high-street retailer of wine, spirits and beers. One of the key tenets of the company was a dedication to excellent customer service that would make visitors to their store feel happy and content.

Over the course of the next few decades the company continued to trade in this way, confident that their approach to customer service was second to none.

However, in the mid-2010s following a series of disappointing financial results the company was forced to reimagine how they viewed their approach to customer service.

They found that they were falling behind their competitors in terms of their online offering, so they implemented a system of ‘5-star feedback’. Every customer was asked to fill in a survey after purchasing from the chain and honestly rate their experience. 

In addition to this Majestic Wine customers were asked for suggestions as to how the company could improve its online offering.

After almost a year of collating feedback, Majestic made a number of changes to the online arm of their business based on these recommendations.

What can we learn from this company?

Feedback and implementing changes are important. “You asked for it, we did it” was the message delivered to customers when the changes were implemented.

As a result of these customer-inspired reforms, Majestic recovered from a financial slump to once again post encouraging revenues and profits.

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