Who said shopping couldn’t elicit strong emotions?
According to a study by branding agency MBLM, consumers are deeply invested in the brands they buy. Brand intimacy, or the emotional science that measures the bonds shoppers form with brands they use and love, is the metric by which the group ranks brands in its annual Brand Intimacy Report. And in 2020, one key player is topping shoppers’ lists.
Online giant Amazon was ranked the No. 1 retail brand, having increased in popularity since the pandemic struck.
“Amazon dominated MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Study, ranking No. 1 not only in the retail industry but our overall study,” Mario Natarelli, managing partner for MBLM, said. “Its use of technology to create personalized customer experiences has contributed to its success, and the brand has become an important part of its users’ lives.”
The company demonstrated broad appeal, with both men and women ranking Amazon highly on brand intimacy. It also performed strongly across age groups—with both millennials and shoppers over 35 giving the company high marks—and income demographics, with consumers making above and below $100,000 fingering the brand as their favorite.
Shoppers have increased their reliance on the platform in recent months, turning to Amazon for everything from food to household goods, clothing and entertainment. “We see other brands in this industry following Amazon’s lead and trying to also evolve their services,” Natarelli said, by focusing on meeting consumers’ new needs in this challenging period.
Amazon also, unsurprisingly, generated high approval ratings for its fulfillment services, outpacing competitors through its unparalleled logistics. During the Covid crisis, e-commerce has become an essential part of most shoppers’ lives, and Amazon’s free Prime delivery has replaced weekly trips to local stores. By the end of July, the e-tailer’s net sales for Q2 reached $88.9 billion, up from $63.4 billion during the same period in 2019.
The company also continues to evolve and explore new ways of attracting customers. Amazon recently became the online sales partner for embattled kids’ store Toys R Us, and has made major headway in courting fashion shoppers through influencer-led programs like The Drop and partnerships with high-profile organizations like Vogue and CFDA.
In the retail category, Amazon was followed by big-box competitors Walmart, Costco and Target, which have also seen record second-quarter sales. One-stop-shops that offer BOPIS and fast, free delivery options have proven a lifeline for homebound consumers. Thirty percent of Walmart shoppers said they “couldn’t live without” the retailer.
Whole Foods, Sephora, Macy’s, Ikea, eBay and Nordstrom rounded out the top 10 list.