Commentary

Personalized Relevancy Is Retailers' Edge On Amazon

According to a new survey conducted by Signal, the Amazon threat is real for retailers this holiday season, with 42% of US consumers reporting that the big online retailer will be their primary holiday gift destination. While total 2016 retail holiday season sales are predicted to increase just 1.8% over last year, ecommerce sales are anticipated to increase 13.3%, meaning that retailers must up the digital ante when planning for this critical time of year, says the report.

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The primary way holiday shoppers browse for gifts is on a desktop/laptop (36%), but:

  • The most frequent way consumers purchase gifts is in-stores (33%)
  • 1 in 5 consumers primarily browse via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets)
  • 8% use smartphones
  • 7% use tablets as their primary way to make holiday purchases

Of those surveyed 42% say that Amazon is the main retailer where they purchase gifts, but 40% say it’s not. Consumers like Amazon…

  • Because it is easy (50%)
  • Because they are Prime members (36%)
  • Because they like the product reviews and recommendations (29%)

43% of the respondents say that digital advertising on a website or in a mobile app somewhat influences their holiday gift buying. Consumers appreciate the information that can be found in digital ads. One-third of respondents said that ads help them get discounts or deals, and 27% said that ads provide them with new gift ideas. But, 48% of people surveyed said that digital ads are annoying, says the report.

Mike Sands, CEO, Signal, says “…the retail environment is complicated with mega-competitors like Amazon and demanding consumers… but retailers don’t have to be Amazon… as 40% of consumers say they primarily shop elsewhere for holiday gifts… (retailers can) use the wealth of knowledge available in first-party data to understand their customers… gaining the edge… to design personalized experiences… (for) shoppers… “

To provide the best holiday shopping experiences the report recommends retailers consider the following steps in their holiday strategies:

  • Consumers don’t think in channels, says the report. Findings show that people consistently shop across desktop, mobile, and in stores as it suits their needs. Consumers want the convenience of buying from home and the assurance of handling the product in a store. Buying online/pick up in store, free shipping and easy returns addresses these needs
  • 46% of consumers surveyed said that relevant deals and discounts will motivate them to buy this holiday season. First-party data will help retailers understand what actions are appropriate to provide relevant assistance to a shopper in real-time

Concluding, the report emphasizes that Amazon is not unbeatable, as consumers are split on whether or not it’s their primary destination for holiday shopping. Retailers can raise the stakes by leveraging their extensive customer data from all channels and touchpoints to best Amazon with more intelligent and relevant suggestions, including using their locations as distributed, flexible warehouses for pick up and returns, both of which offer cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

For additional information from Signal, please visit here.

 

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