Amazon is a company that’s built upon the idea of delivering the best products. Product-related roles are some of the most important jobs at the company. Therefore, the Amazon product manager job is not only high-priority but also pays well.
However, the full-time product management job comes with a lot of responsibilities. Amazon product manager jobs are in abundance, but getting hired is another challenge. Compared to other giants such as Google and Microsoft, Amazon has a much more thorough recruitment process. The process relies on Jeff Bezos’ hiring rules.
In this article, we’ll discuss Amazon product managers, their job description, and the roles and responsibilities they typically have.
What Does an Amazon Product Manager Do?
Amazon product managers need to be excellent planners and should have the ability to develop long-term plans. They work cross-functionally with other teams to set realistic goals. Once that’s done, they make sure those goals reach the finish line by keeping everyone focused.
Amazon product managers aren’t that different from other product managers. Their roles and responsibilities are typically the same, but the difference comes in the processes.
Furthermore, Amazon product managers have to work with technical product managers (TPM), senior product managers, program managers, product marketing managers, and other senior managers actively.
Along with the product team, they work on product development, the product roadmap, and set product requirements. At the same time, they work with product owners to figure out the right product features, product strategy, and make precise product decisions.
The company has a very document-driven culture that requires a lot of attention. As a result, Amazon product managers have excellent communication and documentation skills. Another major part of the PM role is the prioritization of tasks. Since the job often requires attention to multiple tasks at hand, principal product managers need to know what task to prioritize to ensure smooth operations.
Another major part of the job is to communicate and collaborate with all internal and external stakeholders actively. Sr. product managers often work with Amazon product managers to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Since positive customer experience is precious at the company, Amazon product managers often end up working backward. The philosophy helps them create and build products that are focused on customers.
Amazon Product Manager Job Description
Most product manager job descriptions rely on the professional development of a product manager. In other words, they’re usually generalized.
Amazon product managers need to have a basic understanding of how the works. For example, they need to know how Amazon Web Services (AWS) work in the United States. Furthermore, they also need to know about all Amazon-based products such as the Kindle.
Amazon offices can be found all over the United States. You can work at Amazon offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, New York, Seattle, and even Silicon Valley. No matter where the job is, the job description for Amazon product managers tends to be the same.
Here’s what a typical Amazon product manager job description looks like.
“Amazon is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce giants that thrives on innovation. This position will allow you to plan, handle, and manage Amazon’s digital products across an extensive logistical network.
You will be working cross-functionally with internal teams that include the account management, forward logistics, accounting, and sales/operations teams. You will also be working with retailers and external fulfillment providers to make sure everything is on track.
You may also be tasked with meeting retailers from time-to-time to make performance demands. Meanwhile, you’ll be making certain in-stock levels are sufficient for current products. Furthermore, you’ll also have to conduct analyses to figure out the pain points of products to ensure a better customer experience.
Ideally, you need to have five years of experience, a bachelor’s degree, and excellent leadership principles. You’ll have the option to develop flexible workweeks to have a better work/life balance.”
The Amazon product manager interview will help determine if the candidate is ready for the job. The interview process usually involves testing the candidate in different scenarios.
Roles and Responsibilities of an Amazon Product Manager
Amazon has many departments, products, and business practices. Many of them require Amazon product managers to play slightly different roles. However, their primary roles and responsibilities remain the same.
The only adjustments are due to varying products and processes.
Understanding and Using Analytics
Amazon product managers are encouraged and expected to have a strong analytical background. They usually work with analytics a lot.
The product managers have to make informed decisions that can have multi-million dollar repercussions. Therefore, a large part of their job is prioritization. However, prioritizing often requires a lot of data to make the right decision.
Product managers do their research and collect the team’s research and analyze it. That analysis helps them figure out how to prioritize products, features, and tasks.
Amazon is always working on new products and innovations. Meanwhile, they also work on current products and are continually updating them to ensure a positive customer experience.
That requires quick action, whether you’re launching a new product or just an update for a current product.
Amazon product managers should also be prepared to launch those updates and products quickly and efficiently at all times. It’s another reason why task prioritization is a considerable part of their jobs. It allows them to make sure they’re ready for all kinds of launches on time.
Amazon revolves around their customers; they have an extremely customer-centric work environment. Similarly, Amazon product managers have a duty to make sure all of their processes and products are customer-oriented.
Customer satisfaction is their one goal. As a result, Amazon product managers consistently work with product owners to make sure the right features make it into the final product.
The product managers have to make sure they collect user and customer research, analyze it, and share the findings with the teams. They also have to oversee the entire product process to make sure everything is taken in accordance to the customer's needs.
Communicating and Collaborating with Stakeholders
As an Amazon product manager, a large part of the job is to develop an efficient collaboration system. Product managers have to communicate with internal and external stakeholders regularly.
Internal stakeholders include product teams, product marketing teams, sales teams, finance teams, and other senior managers. External stakeholders include third-party associations, suppliers, retailers, and, most importantly, customers.
Amazon product managers hold countless meetings and discussions. The idea is to not only make sure everyone is on the same page but also to build synergy. Product managers make sure interdepartmental communication is smooth and efficient. They make sure the product team works well with the development team and the engineering team.
You can think of Amazon product managers as mediators in many scenarios. Ideally, communication and collaboration are done in-person. However, telecommunication tools are often used; therefore, Amazon product managers should also be aware of communication tools.
Conduct Market Research
All product managers have to conduct market research to learn about their products and the market. Amazon product managers usually conduct market research at every development stage.
The idea is to understand and learn how your product fits with the market. Furthermore, Amazon product managers also use market research to determine how the product would fit in new markets. This activity helps determine what changes need to be made in the product.
The product manager shares the market research and analysis with the product team and the product owner. They then try to adjust the product features and requirements accordingly.
Amazon product managers are single-handedly responsible for making sure the end-product is acceptable in the market. Since the entire is based on customer-centricity, Amazon product managers need to be extra vigilant during market research.
Becoming an Amazon Product Manager
Product manager jobs are getting more common as companies are becoming even more customer-oriented. However, this has made the jobs of product managers at major companies like Amazon more intense and demanding.
The good thing is that the job is very rewarding. You get to learn a lot, work on several projects, increase your product knowledge, and, most importantly, experience tremendous personal growth.
For recruiters, it’s much easier to find the ideal Amazon product manager because of the extensive training provided by the company. It doesn’t take long to apply previous experience and knowledge to the Amazon product manager job.
As a product professional, working as an Amazon product manager will be an instant growth spurt for you.
If you are new to product management and are looking to break into your first product role, we recommend taking our One Week PM course, where you will learn fundamentals of product management, launch your own product, and get on the fast track towards landing your first product job.