Consumer Behaviors on Amazon: What Matters to Shoppers Throughout Their Buying Journeys
The retail industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past decade, largely due to the disruptive force commonly referred to as the “Amazon Effect.” By the end of 2019, Amazon is projected to see its share of the total U.S. e-commerce market reach 52.4 percent, up from 48 percent in 2018, and is responsible for more than 5 percent of all combined U.S. offline and online sales, according to eMarketer.
Staying at the forefront of constant shifts in demographics, attitudes and consumer preferences, as well as pioneering advancements in technology, Amazon understands the emerging expectations and needs of its customers. It's this maniacal focus on consumer experience that continues to propel Amazon forward and shape the dynamic nature of not only the marketplace itself, but the greater e-commerce ecosystem.
As a result, the challenge increases for retailers and brands competing against Amazon. Amazon's continual expansion, dynamic nature, and growing complexity requires retailers and brands to constantly evaluate and implement new ways to differentiate themselves amidst an increasingly saturated market, and ultimately deliver on the expectations of today’s connected consumers.
To help retailers and brands better understand these expectations, Feedvisor polled 2,000 U.S. consumers who have shopped on Amazon during the last two years about their online behaviors and browsing habits. The consumers were surveyed on shopping frequency and motivations, preferences across product search and purchasing, perceptions of Amazon ads and private labels, Prime membership status, and more.
The findings ultimately reinforce that Amazon is extending its reach to dominate all stages of the consumer purchase journey. With 66 percent of consumers stating they begin their product search on Amazon, and 89 percent more likely to purchase products from Amazon over other e-commerce sites. Amazon is encroaching on Google’s position as the search leader, as well as on retailers’ and brands’ websites.
Furthermore, once consumers search for a product on Amazon, nearly half (44 percent) don't go past the second page of search results. This reinforces the importance of optimized content and strategic product advertising — both within the Amazon marketplace and across Amazon’s programmatic DSP network — for retailers and brands selling on Amazon.
This is complemented by consumers actively seeking and expecting to find the brands they know and love on Amazon. An overwhelming 100 percent of consumers who buy on Amazon daily at least occasionally go to Amazon in search of products from specific brands. There's also a growing openness to trying Amazon's private-label brands. While there's an expectation of more and more brands selling on Amazon, there's also significant consumer concern over counterfeits in the market, as cited by nearly half (48 percent) of consumers surveyed.
Finally, while the majority of consumers still largely purchase on desktop (65 percent), mobile commerce continues to increase in share. In addition, there's a growing penetration of and experimentation with voice-activated devices (VADs) and the Internet of Things (IoT) for purchasing.
All told, the e-commerce landscape is complex and ever-changing, and retailers and brands need to take proactive measures to position Amazon at the center of their e-commerce plans. They need to leverage tools, data and expertise to advertise strategically to protect their brand and drive acquisition; incorporate SEO-rich content to gain healthy search rankings; earn positive reviews; experiment with new technologies such as VADs; price competitively and dynamically; and better understand the consumer they desire and the competition they face, which is a more expansive set than via traditional channels.
Dani Nadel is president and chief operating officer at Feedvisor, an “AI-first” optimization and intelligence platform for large sellers and brands on Amazon.