Commentary

78% Purchased from Amazon During Past Six Months

With so much being made of the nearly 5,000 brick-and-mortar store closures this year and Amazon’s ever-expanding presence, it’d be easy for merchants to assume that offline is dead and Amazon is the only path to retail success. Not so, according to a new BigCommerce omnichannel buying survey. Amazon, offline and other online channels influence each other more than ever, and while a whopping 78% of respondents made a purchase from Amazon over the past six months, 65% still made an in-store purchase within the same period. We can expect those trends and others, detailed below, to be reflected during the oncoming holiday shopping crush.

  • Even when consumers don’t ultimately make a purchase in the marketplace, Amazon does play a major role: 30% see a product there before buying from a brand’s website and 32% look up a product there prior to making a purchase in a physical retail store.
  • Consumers no longer view price as the main reason to shop on Amazon, with 28% noting convenience as the top deciding factor.
  • The pervasive influence of Amazon Prime’s convenience, and prices, is undeniable, as 47% of online shoppers are willing to hand their personal data over to a retailer in exchange for free shipping, while 46% are willing to do so for a product discount.
  • Expectations for convenience linger beyond checkout too, as more than half of shoppers anticipate returning one in every four purchases they make online. 

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The BigCommerce Study Reveals That Merchants Are Missing Omnichannel Opportunities

Global study of digital shoppers finds one in every three dollars of discretionary income is now spent online; digital channels influence nearly all offline purchase decisions

BigCommerce, the leading ecommerce platform for fast-growing and established brands, released its 2018 Omnichannel Buying Report, a new research study that examines survey responses of nearly 3,000 digital consumers to understand the role that online and offline channels play in customers’ purchase journey. 

The study concludes that convenience, selection and data privacy are top of mind for digital shoppers and further illustrates the global impact of Amazon’s marketplace, which more than 8% of respondents have purchased from in the past six months, as opposed to 65% who have purchased from a physical retail store.

According to the study, one of every three dollars of monthly discretionary income is now spent online, but the relationship between online and offline channels is far more nuanced. 39% of consumer respondents visited a brand’s website before making a purchase in a physical retail store, and 33% will attempt to price match the product online. 

Jimmy Duvall, chief product officer at BigCommerce, says “The retail industry has been throwing around the term ‘omnichannel’ for years, and while we’ve seen a handful of strong use cases, merchants are still struggling to create a true cross-channel experience that addresses the evolving behavior of their consumers. Our hope is that by providing merchants with a deeper context of how consumers are actually shopping today, we’re better equipping them with both the tools and the knowledge to create experiences that drive conversion and continued loyalty.”

The results of the study emphasize that brands can no longer afford a single-channel retail experience, and increasingly must make products available across multiple digital and offline channels where consumers are shopping. Key global findings from the report include:

  • The “Amazon Effect” is increasing in ecommerce. Four out of five consumers made a purchase on Amazon in the last six months, compared to only 65% that bought something in a physical store. Even more telling of Amazon’s impact in the retail ecosystem is the influence Amazon Prime’s fast and free shipping promise has had on ecommerce behavior. 18% of global respondents cite shipping costs as their least favorite aspect of online shopping, with another 15% of respondents citing waiting for the product to arrive.
  • The ability to convey value overcomes pricing hurdles, says the report. Respondents no longer see price as the primary reason to shop on Amazon, with 28% of consumers preferring the site’s convenience to its low prices. In addition, brands are doing a better job of using product imagery, descriptions, and customer reviews to convey a product’s value, which is encouraging customers to make more purchases on the brand’s website even if the product is available for less somewhere else. 
  • Today’s consumers expect data collection to be part of their online shopping experience. 70% of consumers would opt out of having their data collected if given the option, but Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z consumers indicated a willingness to share data with retailers if provided free shipping or product discounts in exchange.  
  • Businesses that have a physical store as well as an online one should look to product returns as a sales opportunity. More than half of shoppers expect to return approximately 25% of online purchases. While 50% of returns are sent via mail, 67% of consumers that choose to return in store also browse or shop in the store afterwards, illustrating the value of bricks-and-mortar retail stores in an omnichannel world.
  • 36% of global respondents admitted to buying a more expensive option when offered financing at checkout, and another 33% confirmed that, without financing, they would not have made the purchase.

BigCommerce is a cloud ecommerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses, says the report.

 

 

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