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Survey: Shoppers turn to Amazon first for pricing

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK — A Survata study commissioned by BloomReach reports that in a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, 44% bypass the entire Internet and go directly to Amazon.com first to search for products, compared to 34% who use top search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

This means that Amazon's dominance in the record-setting $300 billion U.S. e-commerce market continues to rapidly grow over its competitors. As recently as 2012, Forrester found that only 30% of consumers research products on Amazon.com first.

"Amazon has turned a slow-bleed of search engines' and retailers' e-commerce importance into a gushing wound," said Joelle Kaufman, head of marketing and partnerships for BloomReach. "Search engines like Google have done their part by making product discovery and search intuitive, convenient and seamless; but if retailers want to slow Amazon's dominance, then they must integrate technology that creates frictionless experiences for their customers across channels. Amazon has a commanding lead, but retailer personalization and brand experiences can power a counterattack." 

Retailers are faring worse, with only 21% of consumers saying they'd start their product search at a specific retailer’s website. In addition, consumers are overwhelmingly being influenced by Web personalization technology; 87% said they'd specifically buy from the company that best predicts their intent and suggests products intuitively over all others.

Amazon has invested heavily in and touted its advanced algorithmic recommendation capabilities, and today a colossal 75% of consumers feel that no other online retailer can personalize experiences better than the company, with its nearest competitor Walmart.com registering 9% followed by eBay at 8%. 

However, while Amazon advances the battlefield on one front, the traditional allies of retailers – the search engines – have inadvertently squeezed retailers from the other front.

BloomReach also studied consumer attitudes toward shopping on smartphones – compared to digital marketer perceptions and strategies. Conducting research on products and prices is the main reason (47%) people shop on smartphones, and almost half of those researching are specifically "showrooming" while in store.

Yet with mobile search traffic surpassing desktop for the first time in the U.S., 81% of consumers say that laptops/desktops still are the preferred way to make purchases, and 64% said the challenges of smartphones (smaller screens, typing) negatively affected their willingness to purchase.

"People don't think 'Now I'm going to shop on my phone; now I'm going to shop on my laptop; now I'm back on my phone.' They just shop," said Kaufman. "But marketers often painfully approach omnichannel personalization in this way – siloing data and chalking every solution up to a responsive-design problem. Marketers are ignoring the 25x mobile-influence factor, inaccurately thinking that 'omnichannel' and 'personalization' are mutually exclusive."

This study was unveiled one year after BloomReach released a similar study of UK consumers and marketers, finding that 82% of UK consumers thought Amazon was the best at personalizing.

Get more information about the study at bloomreach.com.

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Cincinnati.com: Kroger utilizes video strips at the shelf

BY DSN STAFF

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DSN announces management changes to position for future growth

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Lebhar-Friedman, Inc. a B2B media and information company, and publisher of Drug Store News, Chain Store Age, Hardware + Building Supply Dealer and Retailing Today, has announced that Wayne Bennett has been promoted to group publisher. In his new role, Bennett will be responsible for the strategic leadership of Drug Store News and will also lead the newly formed DSN – Consumer Health Care group, which includes the digital media brand HellaWella and a soon-to-be-announced consumer health engagement platform.

In addition, Eric Savitch has been promoted to publisher of Drug Store News and will take over the day-to-day management of Drug Store News and the strategic direction of the group’s pharmacist training and education platform.  

“We are positioning our company for future growth to serve the needs of the growing consumer health care consumer by leveraging the assets, relationships and brand equity we have within the industry and the internal capabilities of Lebhar-Friedman,” said John Kenlon, president of Lebhar-Friedman, Inc. 

“I am excited to lead this strategic initiative for our company and to work passionately to serve the retail health care industry with a new and cutting-edge platform,” said Bennett. “Knowing that Savitch will be managing Drug Store News, we are well positioned for future growth.”

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