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Amazon’s Grip on Online Shoppers’ Wallet Share Helps Prime Day Beats Other Holiday Sales

By the end of 2019, Amazon will officially own more than half of the e-commerce market in the U.S.

The e-tailer is set to  reach 52.4 percent market share, up from 48 percent in 2018, according to recently released research in Feedvisor’s 2019 Amazon Consumer Behavior Report. Amazon is responsible for 5 percent of all combined sales in the U.S., both online and offline.

The company has built an empire on the tenets of price and convenience, and has earned an unparalleled degree of consumer loyalty that verges on addiction.

According to Feedvisor’s research, nearly half of Prime members (48 percent) buy online once a week or more, and almost three-quarters (74 percent) make e-commerce purchases at least every few weeks. Almost half (48 percent) of the survey’s 1000 respondents said they visit Amazon at least a few times a week, and a vast majority (89 percent) visit the platform a few times a month.

Almost all (89 percent) of Feedvisor’s survey respondents said they were more likely to purchase from Amazon than any other online retailer.

It should come as no suprise, then, that the company’s eponymous holiday, Amazon Prime Day, has come to rival the two holidays long popular with shoppers: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Research from Valassis (which also surveyed 1,000 consumer respondents) showed that last year’s Prime Day resulted in $4 billion in total sales for the company, with more than 100 million products sold. That astronomical figure marks a one-third increase (33 percent) year-over-year.

Almost half of survey-takers (46 percent) said they thought Amazon Prime Day provided them with more savings than the other two holidays. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of those who answered, and the vast majority (91 percent) of Prime members specifically, said they had shopped Prime Day before or plan to do so this year.

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The holiday’s proximity to back-to-school time for many Americans has played positively for the site, with millions of kids, teens and college students school-bound in August.

Last year, the Prime Day holiday spanned two days, July 15-16, and this year the event will span 48 hours across those same dates.

The average back-to-school shopper plans to spend about $507 to outfit themselves or their children with the gear they need to start the school year, according to RetailMeNot.

Of those purchases, apparel historically has performed highest. This year, projected spend on clothing for back-to-school is $212 per consumer, followed closely by electronics at $209. Footwear is another significant volume driver, in third place with $104 in projected average consumer spend. Finally, backpacks are expected to set consumers back around $47 this year.

RetailMeNot asserted that Prime Day has become the unofficial kickoff to back-to-school, and with 64 percent of parents saying they plan to shop on the holiday, the characterization holds up. Parents said they were likely to spread their purchases over an average of 11 Amazon retailers on Prime Day.

Though the holiday is undoubtedly enticing—and Amazon’s reign shows no signs of faltering—almost all of RetailMeNot’s respondents said they hoped the Prime Day experience would be improved this year.

The angst stems from a desire for lower prices and a larger selection, according to the survey. Over half (64 percent) said they hoped there would be better deals this coming Prime Day, while 58 percent are interested in seeing a greater variety of products.

That analysis jives with findings from Valassis, which indicated that consumers were torn on whether the holiday deals lived up to the hype. Only half (51 percent) said that Prime Day actually helped them save money or make purchases they wouldn’t normally make.

And even though Prime Day shoppers descend upon the site with the gusto of a pack of wolves, their expectations for savings are decidedly tame. Of those planning to shop on Prime Day this year, 33 percent said they were expecting to save $50 or less.

Another notable finding from Valassis was that almost half (45 percent) of survey respondents copped to comparing prices with other retail sites on Prime Day as the shopping holiday spurs rivals like Walmart and Target to roll out deals of their own.

This revelation could indicate that Amazon might not have as tight a grip on shoppers’ hearts or wallets as expected. While only 9 percent of consumers said they found better deals elsewhere during the month of July, the appetite to search high and low for savings apparently is there. It’s up to retailers to entice consumers away from the online giant by amping up their own summer sales.