Study confirms Amazon's place as the leader in online shopping

David Murphy

Amazon’s influence on consumer shopping behaviors continues to accelerate, with data from a Future Shopper study released today by Salmon, showing that Amazon is the preferred starting point for online shopping for 51 per cent of consumers surveyed, and is also where 55 per cent of consumers complete the majority of their online purchases.

Independent research consultancy Censuswide surveyed 3,516 consumers aged between 18 and 64 who had shopped online at least once in the past month during April 2018, 2,016 from the UK and 1,500 from the US, on Salmon’s behalf.

The study also found that shoppers who don’t start their journey on Amazon or Google are more likely to shop on eBay (11 per cent); a retailer’s website (7 per cent); the brand’s own website (6 per cent) or social media sites (3 per cent).

It found too that Amazon capturing a significant share of online spending – 35 per cent in the UK and 52 per cent in the US. While 72 per cent of consumers are more likely to shop with retailers that are digitally innovative, up from 60 per cent in 2017, many retailers are still failing to meet these expectations. 72 per cent of consumers said that retailers should be more innovative in their use of digital technology to improve their overall shopping experience. Additionally, consumers named ‘price’ (64 per cent) and ‘free delivery’ (54 per cent) as key criteria influencing purchasing decisions.

Amazon’s delivery services – Prime and Prime Now – have also had an impact on delivery expectations, with 22 per cent of consumers now expecting same-day delivery and 43 per cent expecting delivery within 24 hours.

Voice Assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home continue to grow with 40 per cent of consumers currently using or having used this capability. Brands must be prepared to capitalize on this new shopping channel as 55 per cent of consumers are open to purchasing through voice-activated devices. However, 89 per cent said they’d like to see the product on a screen before a voice assistant orders it.

The use of Programmatic Commerce, which refers to the idea that IoT-connected devices can make purchasing decisions, is only going to increase, with 57 per cent of shoppers prepared to use this automated method, compared to 46 per cent in 2017 and only 10 per cent in 2016.

“While Amazon’s dominance of the online retail market is no secret, few could have predicted how it has become not only the starting point in the online shopping journey, but also the predominant channel for product purchase,” said Hugh Fletcher, global head of innovation and consultancy at Salmon. “It’s clear that Amazon has set the standard for consumer expectations with its focus on price, delivery and innovation.”

You can download a copy of the report here.