Amazon now dominates online sales

©Bob Johns / UNP 01274 412222
Cyber Monday outdid Black Friday sales by all measures, which shouldn’t be too surprising. Traditionally Black Friday is a US holiday for many people who rush to the shopping malls whilst by Cyber Monday everyone is back at work and surreptitiously buying online.

This year Amazon once again dominated Black Friday sales on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday according to Slice Intelligence, with 38.8% and 36.1% market share each day. Their nearest competitors Best Buy (5.8%, 5.5%) and Walmart (3.3%, 3.8%) show just how far ahead Amazon are in dominating the online market.

Whilst this is an astounding feat for Amazon, it does have some interesting implications for online retailers, especially when they consider search on sites such as Google.

Google is the undisputed leader of search, and yet Amazon customers are bypassing Google product search when they want to go shopping. According to BloomReach, 44% of product searches start at Amazon with 34% using a search engine and 21% of users going directly to a specific retailer.

Unlike any other search engine, when a consumer uses Amazon they know that they’ll find a single product listing which generally shows the best deal available. Whilst price matching in the EU is illegal, it doesn’t seem to stop Amazon often having a highly competitive price if not the best on the net.

Prime subscribers know that for most products they’ll receive free expedited shipping. It’s only for products fulfilled by third parties that may not include the shipping cost in the price and even then if it’s a product in Fulfilment by Amazon free shipping is still on offer.

Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay also have another huge advantage of most retailers and that is massive app adoption. Most consumers will in reality use a very limited selection of shopping apps, but the chances are high that you’ll have either the Amazon or the eBay app installed on your smart phone and/or tablet. This ties you in to that destination to start your shopping and if you find what you’re looking for you’re unlikely then to do any price comparison… especially if you inevitably find a lot of the time that the marketplace is competitive.

Even if you compare prices, there’s friction with buying from an alternative retailer, you need to sign up and open an account or at the minimum you’ll have to tap in your address details and credit card number. Marketplaces already have this data stored so that with Amazon’s One Click Checkout you can purchase with a single tap of your mobile screen.

What does this mean for you as a retailer? Question one has to be as a consumer, how often do you see adverts for Amazon products on Google? I often see products on eBay but I rarely see paid links to Amazon… they don’t need to pay for traffic if people are starting their search on the site.

A high 30s percentage market share is phenomenal. How are your Amazon sales this year? Are you seeing a similar market share?