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Almost nine in ten Brits shop online at Amazon

By Danielle Wightman-Stone



Amazon, the online retail phenomenon which started in a garage, is now shopped at by almost nine in ten British consumers, with a new report stating that 86 percent are Amazon users/shoppers.

The research also shows that Amazon’s ongoing popularity means that its customers have also increased their shopping with the online retailer, with 21 percent increasing their Amazon spend in the last year, while only 13 percent decreased their spending. Overall, 70 percent of Amazon customers shop with the retailer at least once a month, while just under a fifth (17 percent) added that they use the retailer on a weekly basis.

In terms of what Brits are shopping for, hardcopy media such as books, DVDs and video games remains Amazon’s most popular purchases at 39 percent, however, fashion and jewellery comes in close at 30 percent, the same as electricals, and followed by toys at 20 percent.

Mintel adds that it is British consumers “inherent trust” in the online retailer that is at the centre of its success, with just over half (51 percent) of Amazon users assuming that the e-retailer has the cheapest prices, while six in ten (59 percent) stated that they are loyal to the company. While 70 percent of Amazon shoppers added that it is the first retailer they go to when shopping online.

Nick Carroll, Mintel associate director of retail, said in a statement: “Amazon is a phenomenon of 21st century retail. In a little over 20 years, it has grown to be a retailer that nearly all consumers use. It has achieved this through a relentless focus on customer-facing investment and innovation.

“Amazon started selling books, but now holds a significant share in almost all retail categories, helped by the incubation of thousands of independent sellers through its Marketplace scheme. The retail giant has expanded far past the bounds of normal retail operations into media streaming, consumer electronics and cloud computing. Amazon has built a platform that customers are both happy to use, and pay for the privilege of doing so via its various subscription services.”

Mintel research states Amazon is not a “high street killer”

The research also notes that it doesn’t believe that Amazon is a high street killer, as Mintel claims that the impact of Amazon’s reach into the physical retail sector is confirmed by the fact that almost three quarters (75 percent) of Amazon shoppers say they often check the prices of products they see in-store on Amazon, showing that physical retailers are probably being used as showrooms, as 70 percent of Amazon shoppers say they research products elsewhere but then buy via the site.

However, nearly half (45 percent) of Amazon users believe that the e-tailer has had a negative impact on the high street and is responsible for physical stores closing.

But while many acknowledge the negative impact of Amazon on the high street, some 40 percent of Amazon users believe it supports independent retailers and 29 percent believe that shopping via Amazon Smile is a good way to give to charity.

Carroll added: “Amazon’s growth has no doubt wounded rivals, but it is not the ‘high street’ killer that it is often painted out to be. It has certainly led on, and to a degree enforced, many trends that have come to define 21st century retail, however it is not all conquering at present.

“Indeed, even if the retailer accounted for roughly 50 percent of the online market held by online-only retailers, it would only account for around 9 percent of all UK retail sales. And despite the popularity of online retailing as a whole, the vast majority of all retail sales (82 percent) in the UK still come through physical stores. This leaves much room for its own growth but equally for rivals to fight back.”

Image: Amazon website