How to Soften the Blow of Amazon Comparison Shopping
Throw a rock in any direction and you won’t just hit an attorney or an accountant, you’ll likely hit someone price checking on Amazon.com. When we asked 4,500 consumers around the world about their online shopping habits, nearly seven out of 10 of them said they often or always compare what they find on a retailer’s site to Amazon.
Before you throw a rock at them, consider your own shopping behavior. After all, you check Amazon too, don’t you? Don’t you?
We’re all checking to see if Amazon has what we’re looking for at the lowest price that can be delivered in less than two days and without us remembering sign-in credentials or entering in a credit card number. To succeed, retailers must realize they may not change consumer habits, but they can complement them with compelling reasons to stay longer, search less and socialize more.
SITE: Give Them What They Expect and Then Some
Retailers must meet the table stakes of free shipping, easy returns, wide assortments and competitive pricing. To keep Amazon at bay, retailers must do more, such as provide educational content, buying guides and personalized recommendations, all wrapped in an authentic brand tone that the consumer agrees with. Since our data indicates, for the second year in a row, that only 17 percent of consumers go to a brand’s website for the first time to make a purchase, retailers can lead with relevant, educational content and experiences that allow them to build relationships with shoppers and become part of their everyday realities. Retailers such as REI have executed this well for years, imbuing their purpose and mission into their retail messaging, in addition to providing top-notch online shopping experiences.
SEARCH: Address the Copy and Paste
Consumers will copy and paste product names from a retailer’s website directly into Amazon’s search bar or into Google and find an Amazon listing. It’s called spearfishing, and it’s how consumers shop Amazon’s gigantic product catalog. In fact, 28 percent of Amazon’s billions of monthly sessions come from search engines.
To combat this behavior, retailers must increase digital marketing effectiveness on Google. This includes optimizing your website, and product pages in particular, for search engines, as well as making better use of paid advertising to target the best purchase intent keywords. If consumers see a fully optimized retail page on Google too, the brand may benefit from recency bias rather than consumers clicking through to Amazon.
SOCIAL: Follow the Engagement
Not only do 15 percent of shoppers consider “social media content from other shoppers” a must-have website feature, according to our survey, but 52 percent of shoppers who use social media have also clicked on an influencer’s post. Furthermore, nearly a third of those shoppers (31 percent) have gone on to make a direct purchase from the post.
Creating authentic human connections with consumers on social media regarding topics they care about is a must. NAKD is a great example of a digital-native startup that connects social engagement to social shopping. With nearly 2 million followers on Instagram (300,000 more than Amazon), NAKD sets fashion trends and celebrates the best looks with posts such as the one below, which leads to inspired buying sessions on NAKD.com (run on the Episerver platform).
Retailers need to respect Amazon without admitting defeat. There are plenty of opportunities on search, social and their websites to engage and win customer loyalty.