by Robert Wharton
This is the third and final post in our three part series about the dominance of Amazon in online retail. You can find the first, The Rise of Amazon, here, and the second, Amazon’s War for Online Shoppers, here.
Amazon won the war for the next big generation of buyers, the Millennials. That infamous group that ruins everything is going to smother out the last breath of the American Mall experience because their growing purchasing power is being spent online. And I’m okay with that. Malls are crowded and full of people who walk with a complete disregard for those around them.
Prophet, a global marketing consultant, puts together a Brand Relevance Index by surveying thousands of customers about different brands in a variety of industries. And the most “relevant” brand to millennials? Amazon. But what does relevant even mean in this context? According to Prophet, they define relevant as brands that consumers can’t live without. Can’t—Live—Without.
Millennials, described by the ubiquitous “they” as ranging in age from 21-37, are now the largest generation, the older echelons of which are coming into their prime purchasing years. For those who laid off the avocado toast on artisan bread and were able to purchase a home, Amazon plays an important role in keeping those households stocked.
When asked what app you just can’t live without by comScore, Millennials answered loud and clear: Amazon. Taking home more than a third of the vote, beating out the likes of Gmail and Facebook, Amazon showed why they are so dominant in e-commerce: they understand the platform on which Millennials spend the most of their time. Mobile.
Mobile purchases accounted for 23% of holiday sales in 2017, generating $25 billion, according to Adobe Digital Insights. According to Amazon, their app saw a 70% increase in use over the same holiday season. As comfort with purchasing via mobile devices increases, it’s the apps that buyers have already installed on their phones that will see the lion’s share of those purchases. By positioning themselves as the essential app for buying everything from toilet paper to a new refrigerator, Amazon is primed (cheap pun) to continue to see its stake of mobile spending increase year over year as the mobile friendly Millennials see their purchasing power increase. In the land of mobile purchases, the most trusted app is king. For now, Amazon sits comfortably on the throne.
Online retailers are forced now to make a decision: engage innovation in the shopping experience they provide, or, close their eyes to the scary truth that one day Amazon will be knocking on their industrial doorstep. From streamlined checkout experiences to customized marketing and messaging, online retailers have a plethora of tools to choose from to help better position themselves against the giants of e-commerce. By leveraging tools that reduce cart abandonment at the point of sale to ones that help aid you in bringing your potential customers back to purchase, retailers have the ability to build the same lasting bonds with their customers that Amazon has done so well. The choice is simple: innovate now, or bend the knee to Amazon Rex.