What Will it Take to Compete With Amazon in 2017? [New Study]

By Tinuiti Team

33.8% of retail website visits during November and December 2016 were on Amazon, according to Internet Retailer. 

With all of the solid ecommerce websites out there, why are shoppers so loyal to Amazon?

We ran a survey in December 2016 featuring 1500 men and women to answer just that.

Access the full study here: Amazon Consumer Survey 2017

Short on time? We’ve listed some key findings from the study so you’ll know why almost 40% of shoppers start their product hunt on Amazon, and not on your site.

And hey, if you can’t beat Amazon–it might be time to join them: 

FREE GUIDE: Evaluating Amazon’s Vendor Premium Services

Price and Shipping are Still the Biggest Priorities for Amazon Shoppers

Not groundbreaking news–Amazon shoppers really do love low prices and Prime shipping.

convenience of shipping

Convenience of shipping was the top factor for ages 55-65+, while price was the most important to our younger group (ages 18-24).

Beyond the fact that the younger group probably doesn’t have lots of expendable cash, it’s also worth noting that they have grown up with the ability to order products online, and may have come to expect free or fast shipping.

Meaning their expectations are more Zappos-influenced even than their parents’.

It’s going to be even more important for online retailers to not just offer great prices, but also stellar shipping policies.

Side note–customers don’t just expect fast free shipping, but also forgiving return policies.

A 2016 survey from Shippo showed that most customers check your return policy even before they make a decision to buy your product:



Shipping and low prices are Amazon’s biggest levers.

Is it time to take another look at your shipping and return policy?

Shoppers Still Occasionally Compare Prices Off Amazon

That’s right–54% of shoppers looking for your product on Amazon might double check those prices on your site and other places such as Google Shopping.



If your products are not currently being sold on Amazon, you may be missing out on a segment of shoppers.

See the full Amazon Consumer Study

However, even if you choose to remain off Amazon, it’s important to make sure you optimize your site and you are taking advantage of other advertising channels such as Google Shopping.

Traditional Retail Holidays Might be Dead

According to our study, only about 20% of shoppers made purchases over Black Friday weekend.


Has online shopping killed Black Friday for everyone?


Or maybe the ability to shop online anytime, anywhere has simply opened up a new opportunity for brands and retailers to construct new holidays for themselves. 

Amazon Prime Day boosted customer orders by +50% on Amazon last year, while Black Friday mainly served to sell Dots and Echos.

Click to read: What Happened on Amazon During Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016?

And it’s a trend across the industry.

While more shoppers came out to shop in stores and online during Black Friday, they spent less in 2016 than they did in 2015.

It may be time to think about nixing that dusty retail calendar, and starting something fresh.

One brand has taken this to the extreme two years in a row, with an anti-Black Friday campaign called #optoutside:


In 2015 and 2016, REI shut down stores and paid the majority of employees to take the day off.

While not advised for everyone, it won them the Grand Prix prize at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2016, and it’s a great example of a brand not taking their retail promotional calendar too seriously.

Shoppers aren’t Brand Loyal, They’re Value-Focused

About 49% of shoppers claimed they would be willing to “occasionally” or even “frequently” try new products or brands on Amazon.


That’s really the allure of Amazon for new brands, too.

Private labelers and newly-launched brands have a big opportunity to succeed on Amazon as long as they check the right boxes.

That being said, there are still some shoppers that do prefer to purchase familiar brands and products–75% of those ages 65+ would “rarely” or “sometimes” purchase unknown brands.

But keep in mind that same age group strongly values the convenience of Amazon’s shipping policy, and we can speculate they’re likely to stick with Amazon if they can locate their familiar brands on the site.



Basically, brands need to have a cult following to keep their audience from migrating towards competitors on Amazon–and the truth is, most brands probably don’t.

Want to dive in deeper to the facts? Check out the full study.


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