Amazon lacks loyalty among younger generation, report finds

A new study has found that Amazon’s race to dominate eCommerce could be facing challenges, as younger consumers report less satisfaction with the retail giant than older generations. 

The latest Future Shopper report from Wunderman Thompson Commerce takes an in-depth look at the current commerce landscape through the lens of the modern shopping journey and it found that while Amazon attracts more than a third of all online retail spend internationally (36 per cent), 16 to 24-year olds are less likely than older shoppers to believe the marketplace provides the best experience when it comes to access to brands, easy returns and customer service. Almost one in five (18 per cent) Gen Z consumers also said they were swayed by brand ethics when making a purchase decision, a factor which would see them choose another retailer over Amazon.

For brands and retailers, the study revealed a key challenge in the online shopping journey. While consumers are relatively platform-agnostic when it comes to finding inspiration for purchases, this behaviour changes when they search for products. Over half of consumers said they turn to Google and other search engines for inspiration or ideas for products to buy, while 33 per cent said the same for brand websites. However, when it comes to actively searching for individual products to buy online, 56 per cent of consumers go directly to Amazon to start their search.

Although the statistics reflect Amazon’s increasing dominance, there were certain factors that shoppers said would influence their decision to shop elsewhere. For consumers to choose other retailers and brands over Amazon, they look for the following key attributes:

  • Cheaper pricing (61 per cent)
  • More attractive loyalty programmes (26 per cent)
  • More convenient delivery options (23 per cent)
  • A better, more specialised product range (18 per cent).

 Consumers are also still craving an in-store experience; almost half say they prefer to shop with a brand that has a physical store.

Neil Stewart, Global CEO, Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “Brands and retailers continue to grapple with the challenge of how to exist alongside Amazon. While the retail giant may be a competitor, it is also a platform that can give brands and retailers enormous scope to reach millions of consumers globally. The most important thing is that they find a way to partner with Amazon but still own the relationship with the customer; now and into the future.”

The Future Shopper report also found that in the entertainment, technology and home and garden products categories, Amazon is the preferred way to buy items.

Mr Stewart continued: “Expectations are set incredibly high by the speed, ease and convenience of the Amazon Prime service, but retailers need to find the areas where Amazon falls down in the eyes of consumers. Focus on “What Amazon Cannot Do” (WACD) and this is where your company can compete. The future of retail is up for grabs for the companies that can tap into what customers will want from their shopping experience in five, 10 and 15 years’ time.”

Over 15,000 consumers who shop online across the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium and the Netherlands were surveyed for this report.