Online shoppers’ first stop: Amazon
When American shoppers click or use their voice to place an online order, one retailer is getting a majority of their attention.
Of the nearly seven in 10 Americans, or 69%, that have purchased an item online, 92% said they have bought an item through Amazon, according to a new NPR/Marist Poll.
According to data, 44% of online shoppers said that Amazon is their first stop when making an online purchase. This outshines Google by 33%, the apps or websites of a specific store or 10%, a specific brand online, or 6%, or an online marketplace such as eBay or Etsy’s 5%.
Sixty four percent of online shoppers are Amazon Prime users. More than four in 10 Americans (44%), have used Amazon Prime, which includes 30% who are personally a Prime member and an additional 14% who share someone else’s membership. This means that nearly two in three online shoppers (64%) are either an Amazon Prime member (44%), or share someone else’s Prime membership (20%).
Customers also trust the online giant with their personal data. In fact, 67% of online shoppers trust the company to protect their privacy and personal information. This contrasts with the overall perception of online retailers, as a majority of online shoppers (52%) said they either don’t have very much (38%) or have no confidence at all, or 14%, in most online retailers to keep consumers’ personal data secure.
Online shopping has also changed the habits of American shoppers. For example, 90% of online shoppers prefer free shipping even if an item takes longer to arrive. A majority of customers (88%) are attracted to the ability to shop day or night and ability to find a product easily. Meanwhile, 78% like online shopping because they don’t have to deal with lines of people.
When deciding whether to shop online instead of going to a store, 39% of shoppers cite the speed in which they need an item as the most important determining factor. Difficulty in getting to the store (23%) and the price of an item (23%) follow. Nearly four in ten online shoppers (39%) say an online retailer’s free return policy largely influences their decision to buy online.
Fifty six percent of those who shop virtually said the availability of recommendations by the online retailer is influential in their decision to make their purchase online. This includes 18% who consider it to be a major component in their decision.
Customers are increasingly willing to purchase across different categories online, including the 84% of online shoppers that have purchased clothes or shoes from a digital retailer. Only 20% of Amazon shoppers who buy clothes or shoes online have done so at Amazon.
Despite all this, a majority of Americans who shop online (56%) still prefer to shop in a brick and mortar store, according to the data.
“In just over two decades, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos has created a formidable enterprise with enormous influence that brings to mind the likes of John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates,” Pallavi Gogoi, chief business editor of NPR, said. “Bezos became the richest man in America by turning an online book store into a retail behemoth that wields enormous influence.”
Food Lion to celebrate new store openings
Food Lion is celebrating this week the opening of two of its newest South Carolina stores.
The grand openings in Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach will be held Wednesday.
Each store will open to the public on Wednesday following a ribbon-cutting ceremony where local staff from three local feeding agencies will speak about Food Lion’s impact in the community. Also as part of the celebration festivities, the first 100 customers in line will receive a free tote bag and mystery gift card valued between $5 and $200.
“Food Lion has been a proud member of the Greater Myrtle Beach community for nearly 40 years,” said Joel Smith, Food Lion’s director of operations for the greater Myrtle Beach, S.C., area. “We are excited to open our doors this week and offer our customers a great grocery experience where it’s easy to shop, easy to save and easy to figure out what’s for dinner tonight. We are bringing an expanded assortment of quality, fresh products to our customers, while keeping the low prices they expect from Food Lion.”
As part of the grand opening ceremonies, Food Lion will donate the equivalent of 45,000 meals, or 15,000 meals to each stores’ partner food pantries (Helping Hands, Tabernacle of Meetings and the Community Kitchen). These efforts are part of Food Lion’s commitment to donating 500 million meals by 2020 through its hunger-relief platform.
Walmart reportedly expanding its smart retail efforts
A new partnership could give Walmart’s digital operations in China a huge boost.
The discount giant is partnering with China’s Internet services provider Tencent Holdings. The collaboration will help the retailer expand digitally in China, while giving Tencent’s services, such as mobile payments and mini-programs, exposure to more users, according to TechNode.
With a focus on expanding its smart retail efforts, the retailer will use Tencent’s solutions to improve digital customer experiences. These include supporting precision marketing, payment services, and more efficient internal and external communications through WeChat Enterprise. Efforts also could build a stronger membership system for Walmart’s high-end store Sam’s Club, the report said.
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