Winning holiday shoppers from Amazon means offering low prices and free shipping

October 16, 2015 12:36 PM

Free shipping, low prices, and familiarity are going to be key factors when it comes to retailers winning shoppers’ online business this holiday season.

That’s according to a just-released study called “Hitting the High Notes” from market research firm The E-Tailing Group Inc., and commissioned by MarketLive Inc., a provider of e-commerce technology. The research firm surveyed 1,027 shoppers online in September. All the consumers surveyed own smartphones, have made at least four online purchases in the past year and spend more than $250 online annually.

These frequent online shoppers plan to buy more of their gifts via the web this holiday season. 50% plan to spend about the same as they did last year, 32% somewhat more, 13% significantly more, and 5% less. 

When asked what factors lead them to buy more from a retailer, 79% said price, 66% free shipping and 64% past experience with that merchant.

The study shows 28% of shoppers are planning on spending at least a quarter of their holiday budget on Amazon. But it also shows there are ways for other e-retailers to woo these consumers.

When asked what retailers have done in the past year that caused them to shift business away from Amazon, better prices (69%) top the list, followed by special offers or better promotions (51%), and on delivery times as fast or faster than Amazon’s (25%).

Other reasons for shifting purchases away from Amazon include:

  • Started a loyalty program 20%
  • More curated assortments 19%
  • More personalized shopping 17%
  • Elevated customer service 17%
  • Better mobile website experience 16%
  • Innovative use of social media 8%

Nearly 40% of the shoppers surveyed made six or more mobile purchases in the past year, while 31% made none. “This year we are seeing confident consumers who know how to use their smartphone to be an informed and efficient shopper across all available channels,” says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-Tailing Group.

When asked “Beyond credit card and security issues, what would cause you to give more of your budget to mobile?” respondents said:

  • Easier checkouts, 39%
  • Alternative payments, (e.g. PayPal, ApplePay) 34%
  • Full product selection, 33%
  • Clear and well-sized images, 32%
  • One-click checkout, 29%
  • Quicker connection speeds, 25%
  • Sufficient product information, 23%
  • Faster mobile searches, 22%

Prior to visiting a store this holiday season the following percentages of shoppers say they will check mobile devices weekly to find:

  • Sales and specials, 57%
  • Coupons and promotions, 57%
  • Look for competitive pricing at Amazon, 52%
  • Research products, 50%

63% of shoppers say they are likely or somewhat likely to use mobile phones while in a store to check Amazon prices, and the same percentage say they expect to use their phones to look for coupons to redeem in the store. 




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