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Amazon Is Top Search Engine for Holiday Shoppers

Amazon
Amazon Is Top Search Engine for Holiday Shoppers

A third of online shoppers start their holiday shopping on Amazon, followed by Google, according to a survey by Episerver – and a majority of those shoppers turn to Amazon to compare its offerings with what they find on a brand or website.

The following key findings from the report outline consumer behaviors for the 2019 holiday season, according to a company spokesperson:

  • 32% of online shoppers start their holiday shopping on Amazon, followed by Google (18%) and a retailer’s website (17%).
  • 47% of online shoppers will buy few or none of their gifts via Amazon.
  • When it comes to apparel shopping, more consumers turn to a retailer’s website (43%) than Google (29%) or Amazon (30%).
  • 68% percent of online shoppers often or always compare what they find on a brand or website to what’s available on Amazon.
  • Traffic from social to ecommerce websites has doubled in the first half of 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018.

But the report also found 42% of online shoppers expect to purchase all or most of their gifts via Amazon this year.

The spokesperson for Episerver said there is some good news for retailers – “Amazon still lacks in areas including product education, inspirational content, how-to guides, and customer service, opening a window of opportunity for brands to fill the gap with tactics Amazon won’t invest in this season.”

Press release follows:

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Amazon is near its tipping point for holiday sales with 42% of online shoppers expecting to purchase all or most of their gifts via the marketplace this year according to Episerver, the customer-centric digital experience company. Despite Amazon’s status as a top destination for gift buying, survey data suggests its lacking in areas retailers can capitalize.

For its report “Holiday Online Shopping Trends 2019: Retailers Win with Customer Centricity,” Episerver surveyed more than 4,500 global online shoppers to learn about their holiday shopping habits and to identify best practices for retail marketers and merchandisers to earn customers’ attention and action.

For example, while a third (32%) of online shoppers start their holiday shopping on Amazon, followed by Google, not all product categories are created equal. More consumers turn to a retailer’s website first for apparel shopping (43%) than Amazon (30%) or Google (29%) due to more complete content via the brand versus a marketplace or search engine.

With apparel the category most often researched in-store (25 percent) before making a purchase online, it is clear retailers can provide richer online content to fill the content gap Amazon created. Retailers’ websites remain the single source of truth as a quarter of shoppers (26%) say they enjoy a brand or retailer’s site for its product information more so than any other shopping channel.

“It’s no secret Amazon is a leader in digital commerce, and its popularity continues to grow,” said Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at Episerver. “Despite priding itself on customer-obsession, Amazon still lacks in areas like product education, inspirational content and fanatical customer service. There’s incredible opportunity for retailers to differentiate by providing customer-centric digital experiences that mirror face-to-face interactions through gift-giving suggestions, personalized messaging and a human approach to the holidays.”

Retailers may have more time to prepare than they think as Episerver’s survey shows the highest number of shoppers (21 percent) start their holiday shopping December 1-15 versus any other period in Q4. Consumers are evidently not worried about shipping delays with a third (31 percent) of online shoppers expecting two-day shipping, year-round.

Other key findings from “Holiday Online Shopping Trends 2019: Retailers Win with Customer Centricity” include:

  • Sixty-eight percent of online shoppers often or always compare what they find on a brand or website to what’s available on Amazon.
  • Traffic from social to ecommerce websites has doubled in the first half of 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018, opening the door for retailers to tune up their social content where Amazon is less mature.
  • The majority of holiday shoppers (39%) prefer to do most of their shopping online but a third of online shoppers (31%) expect the ability to make purchases online and pick them up in store.

The “Holiday Online Shopping Trends 2019: Retailers Win with Customer Centricity” report explores the desires, behaviors and common trends of over 4,500 global online shoppers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Australia.

About Episerver
Episerver empowers businesses to scale through the most customer-centric approach to digital experiences. Its Customer-Centric Digital Experience Platform features best-in-class content management, robust commerce, and intuitive data and personalization solutions. The platform has consistently earned industry, analyst and media recognition for its vision, capabilities and customer commitment. Episerver’s 900+ partners and 700+ employees in offices around the globe are proud to help more than 8,000 customers enrich their customer lifetime value, increase revenue and grow their brands. Learn more at episerver.com.

SOURCE: Episerver Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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