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Amazon dominates holiday shopping plans again

There is a growing majority of online shoppers this holiday season, as website traffic skyrocketed during COVID-19, with the most fervent shoppers leading the change toward mobile-first.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

As we move into this holiday season, seeing our local shops closing because of the pandemic, with shoppers move online instead of visiting local stores, we might ask: How dominant is online shopping becoming?

A new holiday shopping report from Episerver highlights the move to online. ItsInterview with The Couch Shopper: The Episerver Holiday Ecommerce Report 2020 shows just how much online shopping is dominating our current buying behavior.

It aggregated data from 160 retail and brand websites spanning over 1.6 billion sessions. It also surveyed over 4,050 online shoppers across the globe to discover the common trends shaping the future of e-commerce.

Amazon dominates holiday shopping plans - again zdnet

The report found that a majority (52%) of US shoppers plan to start their online shopping journey on Amazon this holiday season, with 42% saying they plan to buy most of their holidays gifts from the site.

Amazon dominates holiday shopping plans - again zdnet

Amazon and Google are top of mind for consumers. Over a third (36%) of consumers start their product search on Google instead of going directly to retailers such as Amazon when they do not have a specific product in mind.

Amazon claims an increasingly larger share of the market. Over one in 10 (11%) of consumers plan to purchase all of their holiday gifts through Amazon this year.

Episerver is not the first company to have noticed this shift in behavior. San Francisco-based growth marketing company Iterable polled which polled 1,000 US consumers for its holiday shopping trends survey.

It found that 35% of consumers say they will use Amazon to shop this holiday season -- more than in previous years.

A majority of shoppers are not looking forward to holiday shopping amidst the pandemic. Over one-third (36%) of respondents said the pandemic has impacted their attitude toward holiday shopping "somewhat negatively," and 27% reported feeling "very negatively" toward the shopping season.

Customers are also waiting for the right sale before they buy. Over one-third (36%) of consumers are currently waiting for an online sales event, like Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday, before making holiday purchases.

Cash seems to be tight as consumers get to grips with managing with smaller budgets. Over half (58%) of consumers said they plan to spend less money during this holiday season than in past years -- probably due to COVID-19's impact on the economy and job market.

Two-thirds (67%) of shoppers plan to complete most or all of their holiday shopping online, and just 3% said they will continue to do all their shopping in stores. Just 7% of respondents across generations say they would prefer to shop exclusively in-store.

The pandemic has changed our shopping behavior to a mobile-first way of purchasing. As COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, and shop, mobile-first has grown alongside social media usage and demonstrated its prime spot as a mainstream shopping channel for US consumers.

Amazon is dominating holiday shopping this year -- and retailers need to tailor their content to consumers across all types of channels -- and deliver a mobile-first shopping experience that really resonates. 

But is it too late for local businesses to get any traction at all as we hunker down and prepare to work and stay home for the foreseeable future?

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