It’s shaping up to be an e-commerce Christmas and we can all thank Amazon for that.
According to market research firm eMarketer, online sales this holiday season — defined as November and December — will hit $94.7 billion this year, or a record 10.7 percent of total projected holiday sales of $884.5 billion.
And of that $95 billion in cyber sales, Amazon is expected to claim more than a 25 percent chunk.
“Amazon continues to be powerful driver of e-commerce,” noted eMarketer retail analyst Yory Wurmser. “Last year, it accounted for over a quarter of online holiday sales [according to NetElixir]. It should be even higher this year, as Amazon’s revenue growth continues to outpace e-commerce growth as a whole.”
Indeed, a separate study commissioned by personalization platform provider BloomReach found that fully 55 percent of consumers now turn to Amazon first when searching for products online. That’s up 11 percent over last year, further cementing its lead over search engines (28 percent) and retailer websites (16 percent) as the go-to place for product searches.
But Amazon’s reach extends even further, BloomReach found: Approximately 9 out of 10 shoppers will check Amazon even if they find a product they want on another retailer’s site, with 78 percent doing so either often or always.
Comparison shopping also worked against Amazon, however, as 70 percent of consumers said they’ll consult another retailer before buying on Amazon. Of those though, only 52 percent said they always or often double-checked other retailers prior to purchase.
“Amazon continues to be the first destination when consumers want to find a product, driven largely by a perceived superior end-to-end experience,” said Bloom- Reach marketing chief Jason Seeba. “Online shopping is all about relevance and convenience, and comparison shopping has never been easier — especially with mobile growth.” Specifically:
*Fifty-three percent of respondents felt Amazon had the best site experience overall;
*One in three cited Amazon’s site experience as the main reason they choose Amazon over other retailers;
*More than 50 percent distinguished Amazon’s site search and product-filtering capabilities as superior;
*Forty-one percent reported a retailer’s bad site-search experience caused them to shop on Amazon; and
*Fifty percent have left a retailer’s site when they couldn’t find a product they knew a retailer carried.
Nevertheless, “Search engines still play an integral part of an e-commerce strategy,” Seeba added. “Just because consumers start on Amazon, that doesn’t mean they ultimately buy from Amazon.”
The BloomReach poll was conducted by Survata, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers over Labor Day weekend.