LONDON: Just over half of UK online shoppers start their journey on Amazon, and they consider brands less important than factors like price and free delivery, new research shows.

The Future Shopper study from Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce company, was based on online interviews with 3,516 consumers (2,016 from the UK and 1,500 from the US) aged between 18 and 64 who had shopped online at least once in the past month.

This found that 51% of UK shoppers started their journey on Amazon, compared to just 16% on Google, while 55% purchased their goods on Amazon – indicating, said Salmon, that “where you start is usually where you finish your shop”.

One consequence of that is that Amazon now captures 35% of online spending in the UK, a percentage that is likely to grow further; among regular online shoppers (at least once a month), 43% of total spending was already online and 75% said their use of digital shopping channels would increase in the future.

Respondents also said that price (64%) and free delivery (54%) were key criteria influencing purchasing decisions, significantly ahead of brand (39%).

And with the growth of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, there is scope for brands to be squeezed still further unless they can find ways to exploit this new shopping channel – 55% of consumers were open to purchasing through voice-activated devices

The study also noted how consumer expectations are changing in other ways, with 57% of shoppers now prepared to countenance the use of automated shopping technology using IoT-connected devices, up from 46% in 2017 and just 10% in 2016.

With Amazon setting the standards for the online shopping experience, 72% of consumers said they were more likely to shop with retailers that are digitally innovative.

“While Amazon’s dominance of the online retail market is no secret, few could have predicted how it has become not only the starting point in the online shopping journey, but also the predominant channel for product purchase,” observed Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Innovation and Consultancy at Salmon.

Shoppers who didn’t start their journey on Amazon or Google were more likely to shop on: eBay (11%), a retailer’s website (7%), the brand’s own website (6%) or social media sites (3%).

Meanwhile, research from consultants AlixPartners has shown that Amazon’s rivals are muscling in on its Prime Day sale with offers that highlight their lack of membership fees

Sourced from Salmon, Business of Fashion; additional content by WARC staff