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Online shoppers rely heavily on Amazon throughout the shopping process

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Online shoppers are relying heavily on Amazon throughout the shopping process, according to a report from Feedvisor. When respondents check prices before making a purchase, 82% use Amazon, and 79% use the e-tailer to check reviews before buying, according to the poll of 2,000 US shoppers who’ve bought a product on Amazon in the last two years.

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Moreover, when these consumers begin a search for a new product, 66% start on Amazon, and if they have a specific product in mind that they want to buy, the portion going to Amazon grows to 74%.

The e-tailer holds particular sway with Prime members, who engage with Amazon far more often than nonmembers. A staggering 88% of Prime members said that they make a purchase on Amazon once a month or more often. This is in contrast with non-Prime members, only 56% of whom said they buy products online from any e-tailer with that regularity.

This is excellent news for Amazon, especially given that the vast majority of Prime members anticipate maintaining their memberships: Over three-quarters (76%) say they’re very likely to remain members, and another 19% say they’re somewhat likely to do so.

Amazon’s position in e-commerce is extremely strong, but there are some ways competitors may be able to get some counterplay:

  • Emphasize pricing and shipping benefits. These factors are highly important to shoppers. More than four-fifths (82%) of respondents said that price is a very important factor when selecting a product, and the same percentage of Prime members said the same. This suggests that if competitors can find a way to outprice the e-commerce giant — which could be easier now that Amazon has ended a restrictive pricing requirement for sellers — they could steal attention from consumers for themselves. Additionally, a resounding 83% of Prime members said that free two-day shipping was their favorite Prime benefit, so if other retailers can come up with a similar offering, they’re likely to diminish the gravity of Prime to a degree.
  • Develop strong search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities. The second most popular resource consumers use in their product search process is a search engine such as Google: 20% start searches for new products with search engines, 36% use them to check prices, and 32% use them to check reviews. Therefore, if Amazon’s competitors can work to get their products to appear higher in search engine results than Amazon’s, they may stand a better chance of growing their exposure and making sales to shoppers who aren’t immediately using Amazon for their product research.
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