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Study: Amazon to dominate holiday e-commerce sales

Amazon has been having a highly successful 2020, and that won’t likely change in the next two months.

Amazon is the number one choice for holiday shopping, selected by 61% of respondents, according to the fourth annual holiday shopping study from delivery experience management platform Convey A distant second choice are big-box retailers (Walmart, Target and Best Buy), where 16% of respondents plan to find gifts.

However, negative sentiment for Amazon is growing, with three in 10 respondents (31%) saying Amazon has a negative impact on retail, up from 24% who said the same thing in January 2020. Yet among shoppers who have a negative opinion of Amazon, nearly half (46%) admit they will shop there anyway during the upcoming holiday season.

Beyond Amazon, e-commerce in general will be a popular channel for the 2020 holiday season, with eight in 10 respondents (82%) planning to do most of their holiday shopping online. Nearly one in three (30%) will do all of it online.

Looking at delivery trends, the study finds nearly nine in 10 shoppers (89%) are willing to give retailers extra time to deliver packages this holiday season. Three quarters (74%) are willing to grant sellers one to four extra days, while 16% are willing to wait five or more additional days for delivery. The top three most important delivery services are free two-day shipping (44%); free shipping on returns (18%); and the ability to track packages en route (14%).

Outside of free shipping, curbside or store pick-up is important to 13% of respondents, and that number grows to 18% for those planning to shop earlier due to COVID-19. Clarity around delivery dates is also important, with the majority of respondents (58%) saying they are more likely to complete a purchase if the estimated delivery date is visible in the cart prior to starting the checkout process.

Nine in 10 respondents (89%) also say that on-time delivery is important to overall online shopping experience - up from 84% who said the same in 2019. Seven in 10 (68%) say they won’t shop with a brand again after a poor delivery experience. When a package is late, one in five respondents blame the retailer (19%) – and that number rises to one in four (25%) for respondents who plan to do all their holiday shopping online. 

The top three concerns with holiday shipping are late packages (42%); packages will be stolen from the porch (17%); and high shipping costs (16%).

Other interesting findings include:

  • Nearly four in 10 respondents (39%) will start holiday shopping earlier this year, while 44% say COVID-19 will have no impact on when they begin their gift-buying.
  • Two-thirds (66%) say it’s important to support local retailers who have been negatively impacted by COVID, down from 87% saying it was important or very important to support local retailers in April 2020.
  • When asked which retailers they are most likely to buy from during the holiday, only 13% said they would shop either locally or with specialty chains.

Convey surveyed more than 1,600 U.S. shoppers.

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