Study: Retailers should leverage cracks appearing in Amazon’s armor

Despite Amazon’s dominating impact on retail, retailers can win back shoppers by exploiting the online giant’s weaknesses.

Specifically, retail brands should begin focusing on “browsers,” free shipping and relevant messaging if they want to start stealing market share back from Amazon, according to “The Amazon Report: Consumers Share How Brands Can Win Them Back,” a report from multichannel behavioral marketing platform SmarterHQ.

According to data, 84% of buyers who had a specific goal in mind also demanded speedy, free shipping. Meanwhile, 82% of Amazon Prime users said without free two-day shipping, they would cancel their membership. That said, customers are likely purchasing a retail brand’s products on Amazon simply because they have better shipping options.

People are also using Amazon to shop for specific items. For example, 57% of buyers on Amazon are looking for a specific product, and 63% of all shoppers already know what they want before they start shopping. Potential customers aren’t browsing Amazon, and they are 25% more likely to purchase branded products from the e-commerce site.

Customers will also shop with a retail brand more often if they’re provided relevant messages based aggregated shopper data. In a retailer’s marketing messages, it’s important to include products their customers have engaged with and to suggest new ones based on their customers behaviors. If not, 47% of shoppers are moving from a brand’s website and straight to Amazon’s with their personalized product reminders and suggestions.

While customers may seem like die hard Amazon fans, only a few things really tickle their fancy. Between 37% to 57% of shoppers on Amazon are purchasing electronics, books, movies and leisure products like toys and hobby items. Luxury brands should find this especially comforting; people chose not to purchase products above $200 on Amazon, according to the study.

“Amazon’s dominance in retail has been the primary focus of retail executives, investors, and board members – yet, the solution to steal back both market share and consumers’ loyalty have evaded most traditional retail brands,” said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ.

“But consumers can be persuaded to ditch Amazon and shop in their store or on their web site. People aren’t going to Amazon to browse; rather, they have very specific items in mind. Free two-day shipping is very important to Amazon Prime members – so much, in fact, that they would cancel their membership if it wasn’t offered,” he added. “And consumers have a price threshold of $200 they’re not willing to cross when shopping on Amazon, a good sign for luxury brands. While Amazon is viewed as Goliath by the industry, there are certainly weaknesses that retail brands can exploit to help drive their bottom line.”