To the chagrin of competing retailers, Amazon seems to be doing everything right, including one metric that a retailer needs the most: gaining consumers’ trust. As many as 95% of shoppers say “trustworthy” is a good word to describe the e-Commerce giant, according to research from Radial.
This high level of consumer trust puts added pressure on other retailers to offer exceptional customer service and keep their brand promises.
Much of the trust in Amazon comes not only from its exceptional customer service experience but also reviews from other shoppers. Nearly half of Amazon shoppers surveyed say “product reviews” are their most influential source when deciding whether to purchase an item, more than three times the next-highest option, “word of mouth.”
Retailers should still keep their heads up in this Amazon-dominated industry despite the tough competition, as shoppers will still find reasons to shop elsewhere. When shoppers decide not to shop Amazon, the alternatives are:
Shopping on another major retail web site (54%);
Opting for a physical store (27%); and
Turning to a brand’s direct web site (10%).
The primary motivator to shop somewhere other than Amazon tends to be price (44%), or a situation when the product is sold out on Amazon (26%).
As many as 58% of shopper say there are certain products they prefer to purchase directly from a retailer or brand rather than Amazon. Home products, tablets and technology accessories ranked highest among items customers chose to purchase directly from a retailer.
“E-Commerce is rapidly growing and the pie is getting bigger,” said Stefan Weitz, Chief Strategy Officer at Radial. “Now the challenge for retailers is how to position themselves to capture their fair share of that pie and be the go-to source for shoppers when Amazon does them wrong. This means retailers must perfect the post-checkout experience — cost management, intelligent order management, fulfillment flexibility and speed, anytime, anywhere service, customer-focused analytics and friction-free checkout.”
Positive Sentiments Dip Among Less Frequent Amazon Shoppers
There’s an opportunity for retailers to optimize these strategies by wooing consumers that don’t often shop on Amazon. While the most frequent Amazon shoppers cite Amazon as a customer-centric and ethical company, that sentiment decreases as shopping frequency goes down.
For example, while 70% of customers who shop weekly say “puts customers first” describes Amazon very well, that number drops to 35% among monthly shoppers and to 22% among those who shop only a few times a year.
Of the shoppers describing Amazon as an ethical company:
58% shop on Amazon weekly;
38% shop on Amazon monthly; and
27% shop on Amazon a few times a year.
In the same vein, all shoppers are more likely to agree than disagree that Amazon is more loyal to its bottom line than to its customers — 56% agree, or strongly agree.
The findings are based on data collected by a third-party research firm from 1,000 respondents. To be included in the study, respondents had to state that they use Amazon.com to purchase something at least once a year.