Frequent Amazon shoppers expanded to new categories during lockdown

By Chris Dawson June 23, 2020 - 10:00 am

Amazon may have battened down the hatches, as soon as the Coronavirus struck, and frozen non-essential goods in FBA in order to focus on getting products people really needed out of the door, but this doesn’t appear to have kept the shoppers away. Since lockdown began, more than three quarters (77%) of frequent Amazon shoppers, an estimated 15m people in the UK, used Amazon to buy a product from new categories which they’d not purchased from on the platform before.

According to research commissioned by Molzi, a full-service Amazon agency, the top new categories that Amazon shoppers ventured into for the first time were personal care (e.g. toothbrushes, make-up, hair-dye) (34%), hobbies (e.g. puzzles, painting) (30%), technology (e.g. keyboard, headphones) (25%), clothes (23%), and cooking/baking (22%) with the average value of purchases (spent on products which were not bought on Amazon before) totalling £117.60. But now, as lockdown ends, 97% of online shoppers will continue using Amazon for these new categories with 15% saying they will not return to physical stores and will use Amazon only.

Before lockdown, the most common barriers from buying from these products, included shoppers preferring to physically see or try products before buying them (37%), wanting to support local shops (25%) and not realising items were available on the site (24%).

Amazon has been so widely adopted by shoppers since March 23rd it ranked ahead of the following for the most valuable lockdown service:

  1. Amazon (60%)
  2. Online food delivery (30%)
  3. Streaming services like Netflix (25%)
  4. Video conferencing services like Zoom (19%)
  5. Gas/electricity providers (14%)

In fact, the perception of Amazon has greatly benefited during the pandemic: 42% of respondents say their impression of Amazon has improved and only five in a hundred (5%) say its worsened. When asked, respondents have valued the most about buying on Amazon during lockdown, nearly two thirds (63%) say how quick and easy it is to make orders followed by the speed of delivery (62%), finding products that weren’t available in local shops (36%) and the greater number of choices than in a physical shop (32%).

“For many people, lockdown has turned Amazon into a necessity. Consumers stuck at home have relied on the platform to buy essential and non-essential products for the first time and hugely valued the service. This is no accident. Jeff Bezos has built the entire business on delivering an unrivalled customer experience and it’s paying off. Clearly Brits’ appetite for Amazon is here to stay.
There could be a real opportunity for brand trying to tap into the grey pound. The data shows that, whilst young people spent more during lockdown on new products than any other age group, the older generations are more likely to continue the trend.
As the Amazon Summer Sale starts, the implication for brands is clear. To capitalise on the surge in new Amazon shoppers, they must invest in ensuring pages are optimised and products are in stock. Whilst admittedly, Amazon can appear complex to navigate, the potential rewards are huge.”

– Chris Mole, CEO, Molzi

Number of shoppers buying products from new categories during lockdown


# New shoppers to category

Personal care (e.g. make-up, hair dye, grooming products, toothpaste) 6.9 Million
Hobbies (puzzles, painting etc) 6.1 Million
Technology (laptop, speakers, keyboard) 5.1 Million
Clothes 4.6 Million
Cooking/baking products (e.g. baking trays, cake tins etc.) 4.5 Million
Medicine/pharmaceutical products 3.8 Million
Food 3.7 Million
Household furniture (including garden) 3.4 Million
Fashion accessories e.g. jewellery, bags etc.) 3.2 Million
Gift card 2.7 Million
Alcoholic drinks (e.g. beer, wine, spirits) 2.1 Million
Non-alcoholic drinks 1.2 Million

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