Study: Retailers can win against Amazon this holiday season

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon is the top choice among online holiday shoppers, but has weak points.

According to “Holiday Online Shopping Trends 2019: Retailers Win with Customer Centricity,” a survey of more than 4,500 global online shoppers from Episerver, 42% of respondents expecting to purchase all or most of their gifts via Amazon this year. And 32% of respondents start their holiday shopping on Amazon, followed by Google.

However, more consumers turn to a retailer's website first for apparel shopping (43%) than Amazon (30%) or Google (29%), due to more complete content via the brand versus a marketplace or search engine. With apparel the category most often researched in-store (25%) before making a purchase online, Episerver advises that retailers can provide richer online content to fill this content gap. 

In addition, more than one-quarter of respondents (26%) say they enjoy a brand or retailer's site for its product information more so than any other shopping channel. And traffic from social to e-commerce websites has doubled in the first half of 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018, providing opportunity for retailers to optimize their social content where Amazon is less mature.

The highest number of respondents (21%) start their holiday shopping December 1-15, compared to any other period of time in the fourth quarter. More than three in 10 (31%) expect two-day shipping year-round.

Other key findings include:

  • Sixty-eight percent of online shoppers often or always compare what they find on a brand or website to what's available on Amazon.
  • A plurality of holiday shoppers (39%) prefer to do most of their shopping online, but 31% expect the ability to make purchases online and pick them up in store.

Survey respondents included consumers from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Australia.