Battle For Online Shoppers

The battle for online shoppers in the ecommerce and online grocery shopping space, shows “Amazon” to be almost always be the first company that comes to mind, says a whitepaper from Luth Research.

The behemoth company boasts 43% of the country’s online retail sales, and is a key player in the shift towards ecommerce groceries. Amazon is pursuing the latter heavily, and in August 2017 acquired popular grocer, Whole Foods. Shortly after that deal went through, more than 1,000 Whole Food products were added to Amazon’s online food sites like Prime Pantry and AmazonFresh. Even before the Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon’s ecommerce grocery platforms accounted for two-thirds of the U.S.’s online grocery shopping market.

The food and beverage sales industry is valued at more than $600 billion, and ecommerce grocery sales are projected to reach $18 billion annually by the end of 2018. To cash in on this market, and grow its share of the consumer online shopping industry, Amazon has been relentless in pursuing studying how its consumers shop. Adjusting its experiences with that data, is one of the strongest contributors added to Amazon’s $360 billion market cap, says the report.

While Amazon is the reigning king of the online shopping experience, they’re not the only ones that want to be on top. Ubiquitous for its presence in box store complexes around the country, Walmart has had an online shopping service since 2007. In June 2016, the company started testing last-mile grocery delivery using services such as Uber and Lyft. Since then, Walmart Grocery sales account for an impressive amount of the company’s overall online sales, contributing to just over one fourth of all ecommerce sales in the second quarter of 2017.

With the online grocery industry growing steadily, both retail competitors are looking for ways to edge out the other. As a result of that competition, it has been difficult to access consumer behavior data for Amazon and Walmart, as both retailers keep their big data close to their chest. This is challenging for brands and marketers who want to gain a better understanding of the online shopping habits of two of the country’s largest retail brands.

This whitepaper pulls back the curtain on the shopping data the ZQ Intelligence technology has gathered, in collaboration with consumer analytics company, PREDIQT. This data provides helpful insights into the competition between Amazon and Walmart, and allows brands and retailers to benefit from a bank of customer data and buying patterns.

Even though online retail allows for virtually unlimited reach in the American market, says the report, regional retail and demographic loyalties have translated to online shopping. Walmart exceeds Amazon by three percentage points for shoppers in the Southern U.S., while Amazon is more popular with shoppers in the Western part of the country.

Looking at demographics by age, Amazon has the largest share of millennial shoppers, but Walmart has a slight edge over Generation X shoppers. Amazon’s ownership of the millennial market is fairly substantial with Amazon having a four point lead over Walmart.

This information, as well as the geographic data mentioned earlier, indicates Amazon is more popular with a middle income, urban customer base. Walmart shoppers are those who live in more rural parts of the country and are more likely to hunt for a deal.

A trend favoring Amazon is its stronghold over mobile shoppers. The company has a much higher mobile shopper volume than Walmart, beating the latter by a 5% to 10% margin on every day of the week. Mobile buying patterns mirror those of all devices, with Wednesday and Thursday remaining the most popular shopping day.

Amazon shoppers are more loyal than Walmart customers. Nearly 60% of shoppers on Amazon view a single brand or product, while this figure is 45% for Walmart shoppers. Amazon customers are more likely to go online shopping with one specific product in mind, visit that product page, purchase the item, and end their computer session.

The Walmart online shopping experience, on the other hand, is a closer reflection of the way a customer may behave in a physical Walmart store, browsing different product types and brands as though strolling through virtual aisles.

Until now, retailers and their internal marketing teams have relied heavily on analysis of their own data, without much to compare it against. The ability to look at data for other online retailers, especially market leaders such as Amazon and Walmart, allows retailers of all sizes to better understand how they stack up to their competitors. With comparative knowledge of various retailers in the industry, marketing efforts can focus on what competitors are doing well, where there are gaps in marketing strategy, and opportunities for retailers to get a leg up on the competition.

ZQ Intelligence is Luth Research’s patent-pending, cross-platform digital behavior measurement system. Luth’s ZQ Intelligence provides an unprecedented level of visibility into consumer shopping behaviors across all digital channels. This gives marketers a fuller picture of their consumers’ digital lives; not only how consumers interact with a brand or retailer online, but also what they do before and after their shopping experience.

For more, please visit LuthResearch here.


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