Why people buy from Amazon and what it means for brands

By Toni Kallio | 16 July 2019

People love Amazon. Nine out of ten consumers are more likely to buy products from Amazon than other e-commerce sites*. This is massive. But why are people so thrilled about Amazon?

Consumers all over the world have more money and possibilities to shop online than ever before. Alongside money, especially for Amazon visitors it is also typical to have a constant and serious shopping intention. On the other hand, what they don’t have is time, anticipation and resistance for disappointments. Whether consumers want to seek and find new inspirational ideas or purchase the specific product decided beforehand, they want the purchase process to be effortless and cheap.

No doubt Amazon knows it and this is where Amazon stands out. Amazon has always wanted to remove friction. Therefore Amazon’s customer experience simply is the best in the online retail world.

When asking online shoppers which is the most important attribute to buy on Amazon rather than on other platforms, half of the people chose one of these three reasons: free shipping (23 %), the broadest selection (19 %) and the best prices (17 %)**. Of course Amazon’s objective is to dominate these attributes, and it certainly does. Even so, checking those boxes isn’t enough to create a world-leading e-commerce platform. Free shipping, incomprehensibly extensive product selection and online retail’s most competitive prices are all laying on fully baked website usability and seamless shopping experience.

The capability to close the sale on latter phases of shopping journey is Amazon’s main strength. Brands need to make sure that their presence on Amazon is purchasing friendly. Brands also need to understand how the typical customer behaviour on Amazon is and ensure that their Amazon presence meets the requirements of potential customers. Next, let’s dive deeper to shopping behaviour on Amazon with three different examples.

First of all, most Amazon customers are spearfishers – they know exactly what specific product they are willing to buy. In this case the purchasing process must be as smooth and simple as possible, without consumer’s time wasted. 74 % of US online shoppers go directly to Amazon when they are willing to buy some specific product*To enable selling for customers with an exact product in mind, brands need to secure their availability on Amazon and make sure that ready-to-buy customers will find the desired products. Understanding and executing the required actions regarding Amazon SEO is crucial in this case.

Secondly, many online shoppers have a certain product category in mind when they visit Amazon. They might have favourite products and consideration group, but they haven’t made their mind yet. These days more and more online shoppers rather go to Amazon than any other website to find the most suitable solutions and products to buy. In the USA 66 % of consumers start their product searching on Amazon*. This is a huge number and remember that the comparison is usually followed by fast decision. Given that, brands must produce a comprehensive competitive and product category analysis, and concentrate on how to win the customers who make the comparison and purchase decision on Amazon. Actions to succeed with customers with this kind of shopping behaviour are e.g. product pricing including special offers, Amazon SEO and Amazon advertising.

Brands can be successful on Amazon by concentrating entirely on customers with the highest purchase intention. Nevertheless, there is lots of casual browsing and aimless time-spending on Amazon as well. Many people enjoy shopping as a hobby and even refine shopping activity as an important part of their self-concept. Earlier the phase of shopping journey is, the easier it is to convince and engage the potential customer to be a loyal supporter of the brand, also on Amazon. Beautiful content hasn’t traditionally been the feature to focus on Amazon. Anyhow, companies wanting to catch the attention of casual shoppers in earlier phases of decision making journey, must have tempting content on brand pages and stores, product pages and in advertising. High reviews and ratings followed by frictionless shipping and customer service processes are also required. Of course effective advertising plans must not be forgotten.

We have now gone through three most important types of customer behaviour on Amazon. Naturally, Amazon is a colossal ecosystem and all kinds of customer behaviours and shopping journeys exists on it. Amazon is a master at moving the customers forward and get them to buy, too. Even so, Amazon sellers, vendors and advertisers have to understand Amazon’s A9 algorithm’s logic and Amazon shoppers’ behaviour and eventually, how their own products’ strength and position fit. We dare to say that by comprehensive analysis, planning and execution it is relatively easy for open-minded companies to increase sales fast on Amazon and receive massive profits.

If you are interested to learn, why people buy from Amazon and what it means for Nordic brands, we are happy to tell more. Just contact us and let’s talk.


* Source: Feedvisor: The 2019 Amazon Consumer Behavior Report

** Source: Business Insider: Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report 2018

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