Shoppers may have tightened their purse strings in recent months, but even a global pandemic can’t stop them from breaking out their credit cards for one online mega-retailer.
Half of U.S. shoppers say they’ve reduced their overall spending since the coronavirus crisis struck, according to a new report on 2020 consumer trends from Amazon data and insights platform Jungle Scout.
But despite what would seem a precipitous drop-off for retail, 63 percent of consumers said they actually increased or maintained their online spending, and 61 percent said they spent more or the same amount on Amazon than they did before the outbreak.
In fact, 71 percent of all survey respondents claim they’ve shopped on Amazon during the past few months of COVID-19-induced lockdowns. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers (65 percent) said they made purchases from the online giant at least once a month, and, underscoring their unflagging loyalty, 52 percent said if they could choose just one store to buy from, it would be Amazon.
While many shoppers have become nearly addicted to the retailer’s fast, free shipping and seemingly endless assortment of products, 38 percent describe shopping on Amazon as a necessity due to a disability, distance from physical stores, or other limitations.
While 69 percent of shoppers plan to maintain their online shopping habits even after they’ve been given the green light to go back to brick-and-mortar stores, just 9 percent said they’ve increased their online clothing purchases through the pandemic. Two-fifths (41 percent) of shoppers said they were buying the same amount of apparel as they did before the crisis, indicating that while online shopping is on the rise, only some segments are benefiting.
Lucky for physical retail, 27 percent of shoppers indicated plans to boost their spending once the shops open up. Still, 69 percent believe the majority of commerce will occur online in the future.
Value appears to be a strong driver for online shoppers, with 75 percent saying they turned to e-commerce to find products at the lowest possible price. An equal number of consumers surfing the web said they tended to look for the products with the best ratings or reviews.
Online retail has been a mixed bag throughout the pandemic as consumers reined in some spending while buying more deeply into other categories. Not surprising, Amazon’s shoppers have dropped the least, by just 14 percent, compared with competitors like Walmart (22 percent), Target (33 percent), Ebay (41 percent) and Macy’s (54 percent), which have all shed numerous customers.
There’s also evidence that shoppers’ affinity for Amazon may outlast the coronavirus crisis. About half of the survey’s respondents claim they have developed a greater appreciation for Amazon during the past few months, and for an equal number, the platform provided access to products they could not find elsewhere.
While Amazon long ago established itself as a destination for household goods, gadgets, clothing and pantry staples, consumers are also coming to trust the e-tailer for high-priced items. Three-quarters of consumers said they would spend up to $100 for a product on Amazon, while 34 percent said they would spend up to $500 and 15 percent said they would spend up to $1,000, intentions that could benefit the e-tailer’s recent push into independent fashion.
While the e-commerce heavyweight has pushed its famed Prime Day sale from July to September this year, in light of supply chain hiccups that have caused widespread delays amid crushing pandemic-induced order volumes, data shows that 42 percent of consumers have shopped the sale in the past, while 39 percent plan to do so in the future, and 33 percent said they would consider doing so.