ChannelAdvisor Announces Results of New Survey on Consumer Shopping Behaviour

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ChannelAdvisor Corporation, a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable brands and retailers to increase global sales, unveiled new survey results that map out the current state of consumer shopping behaviour on a variety of different platforms and marketplaces. The survey, which was conducted among 500 consumers in the UK that have purchased an item from Amazon in the past three months, aims to provide brands with an up-to-date snapshot of consumers’ considerations when researching, discovering and purchasing new products.

According to the survey, Amazon stands out as the favourite platform for UK shoppers to find and discover new products, ranking higher than Google, Facebook, or the retailers’ own websites. However, not only is Amazon leading the way in product discovery, 84% of respondents confirm that they have purchased from brands they haven’t heard of before on the platform. This levels the playing field for e-commerce brands and demonstrates the race that household and newcomer brands are in to compete for sales and loyalty.

The British Retail Consortium reported that total retail sales fell by 0.1% in 2019, marking the first annual decline since 1995, largely driven by Brexit uncertainty. However, digital retained its status of top performer and sales continue to grow; figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that online accounted for 19% of December’s retail spending — with Amazon outperforming the UK retail market as it reported a 23% boost in sales, reaching £13.4bn in 2019.

Navigating this ever-changing e-commerce landscape, brands and retailers have been quick to jump on the back of Amazon’s growth as the leading platform for brand discovery. However, today’s research shows that it’s no longer enough to simply list products; there are many other elements to consider as part of a smart Amazon strategy, including reviews, visuals, and understanding nuances in certain demographics’ behaviour.

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Nowadays, shoppers have infinite options for researching products; however, the findings show a strong leaning towards Amazon:

  • 82% of survey respondents choose Amazon as one of their go-to platform for finding new products

  • Followed by Google at 68% and eBay at 49%

  • Retailers’ websites rank fourth with only 46% of respondents saying this is where they go first

It appears Amazon’s appeal sits most firmly with the older shopping demographic, with 91% of 65+ year-old survey respondents choosing Amazon as their go-to platform for new products. However, dropping down to the 56 to 65-year-old demographic, shoppers are more likely to look on retailers’ websites with 51% of survey respondents saying this is their first port of call.

Also key to product discovery is social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, especially with digital natives:

  • 22% of survey respondents use Facebook for researching new products, with just 16% using Instagram for this purpose, but the story is very different if we explore across the age groups

  • Social channels are still a go-to place for younger shoppers: 50% of survey respondents who are 18-25 years old said they’d go to Instagram first for product research, followed by Facebook for 43%

Advertising is more important than ever to drive sales

Amazon’s ad business reported $4.8 billion in revenue during the last quarter of 2019, a 41% increase year-on-year, positioning the site as one of the main platforms for advertising worldwide — but, what are the features that influence UK consumer behaviour the most?

Page position is revealed as a factor that has a strong influence on users, with 65% of survey respondents saying they purchase goods from the first page of Amazon. Women tend to base their decision on the first page results, with two-thirds buying from the first page, as opposed to men who are more likely to browse on further pages.

When it comes to advertising on Amazon, the survey shows that 66% of respondents have clicked on recommended products when shopping — making this feature an essential tool to influence prospective customers.

The survey also highlights the influence of social media advertising campaigns on shopping habits, particularly on Facebook, where 47% of consumers have bought products after seeing adverts. The highest influence peak on this channel is among people aged 26-35 at 75%.

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Features matter: A way to stand out from the crowd

Amazon is becoming an increasingly crowded and competitive space, so what influences customers when deciding to buy from one brand over another on Amazon?

  • 56% of respondents say reviews are the primary reason why they have bought from one brand over another — making this an important consideration for brands when looking to increase purchases

  • It is closely followed by detailed product descriptions at 54%

  • 37% of respondents are keen on obtaining coupons and promotions as a reward for their purchase

  • Visual assets also play a key role: 34% highlight the importance of pictures, and 16% mention the availability of a video as the main trigger to convert

Amazon recently reported over 150 million Prime members across the world. There is no doubt about the influence of Prime for brands trying to better connect with their audiences. In fact, 56% of survey respondents say they have applied the Amazon Prime filter when researching and purchasing products. Survey results show millennial shoppers (aged 25-36)  are the largest group leveraging Prime with 82% saying they use the feature. This positions Prime as a powerful tool for brands and retailers that are primarily focused on the millennial generation.

Jon Maury, EMEA Managing Director at ChannelAdvisor, commented: “Consumers’ online buying journey has changed dramatically as the digital landscape is in constant evolution. That is why understanding shoppers’ behaviour is so important for brands as a first step to develop their e-commerce strategy and ultimately grow their bottom line”.

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