Amazon is the retail phenomenon which started in a garage and now, nearly a quarter of a century later, new research from Mintel reveals that almost nine in ten (86%) Brits are Amazon users/shoppers.
Highlighting the ongoing popularity of the retail giant, according to Mintel, more Amazon shoppers have increased their shopping (21%) with the retailer than decreased it (13%) over the past year.
Overall, most (70%) Amazon customers shop with the retailer at least once a month, while just under a fifth (17%) use the retailer on a weekly basis.
In terms of what’s in the basket, hardcopy media (books, DVDs or video games) remains Amazon’s most popular purchases. This is followed by fashion/jewellery (30%), electricals (30%), and toys (20%).
Inherent trust in this retail giant is confirmed by the fact that as many as half of Amazon users assume that the e-retailer has the cheapest prices, while six in ten say they are loyal to the company. What is more, 70% of Amazon shoppers say it is the first retailer they go to when shopping online.
Discussing this data on the consumer relationship with Amazon, Mintel associate director of retail, Nick Carroll, remarks: “Amazon is a phenomenon of 21st century retail. In a little over 20 years, it has grown to be a retailer that nearly all consumers use. It has achieved this through a relentless focus on customer-facing investment and innovation. Amazon started selling books, but now holds a significant share in almost all retail categories, helped by the incubation of thousands of independent sellers through its Marketplace scheme. The retail giant has expanded far past the bounds of normal retail operations into media streaming, consumer electronics and cloud computing. Amazon has built a platform that customers are both happy to use, and pay for the privilege of doing so via its various subscription services.”
Stats on how many Brits have access to Amazon Prime reveal that speedy delivery at no extra cost is one of the perks to shopping with the online giant, particularly for younger consumers. According to Mintel research, 63% of 16-24s and 52% of 25-34s have access to the retail giant’s membership service.
Furthermore, those who do have Amazon Prime are more likely to purchase across all product ranges.
But what do Amazon users feel about the retailer’s impact on the high street?
Well, almost half of Amazon users believe the e-tailer is responsible for physical stores closing.
Consumers trust Amazon will have the products at the best price, with three quarters (75%) of Amazon shoppers admitting they check the prices of products they see in-store on Amazon before making a purchase. As such, and as suspected by the market, physical retailers are probably being used as showrooms, as 70% of Amazon shoppers say they research products elsewhere but then buy via the site.
But while many acknowledge the negative impact of Amazon on the high street, some 40% of Amazon users believe it supports independent retailers and 29% believe that shopping via Amazon Smile is a good way to give to charity.
“Amazon’s growth has no doubt wounded rivals, but it is not the ‘high street’ killer that it is often painted out to be,” argues Caroll at Mintel. “It has certainly led on, and to a degree enforced, many trends that have come to define 21st century retail, however it is not all conquering at present. Indeed, even if the retailer accounted for roughly 50% of the online market held by online-only retailers, it would only account for around 9% of all UK retail sales. And despite the popularity of online retailing as a whole, the vast majority of all retail sales (82%) in the UK still come through physical stores. This leaves much room for its own growth but equally for rivals to fight back.”