Amazon is looming over the holidays as Americans’ go-to choice for shopping online, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 3,426 adults taken Nov. 12 to 18.
More than half of Americans (51%) plan to do most of their online holiday shopping at Amazon, while 16% will buy online at Wal-Mart, 3% at Target, and 2% at Macy’s. About a quarter said they’d be shopping online at a retailer not listed in the survey.
Some 8% of adults said they’ll shop exclusively online, up from 6% last year. Those saying they’ll shop “mostly” online remained steady at 17%.
This survey comes as Wal-Mart Stores this week reported slower than anticipated e-commerce growth of 10% and Target, with more robust e-commerce growth at 20%, missed its expected 30% growth. Amazon reported 28% growth in North America last quarter.
E-commerce remains a source of growth overall for retail sales, but the space has become ever more crowded, with more online retail efforts than ever, from pure-play upstarts like Warby Parker and Wayfair and more traditional retailers boosting their online efforts.
Or trying to, at least. Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Macy’s have to pay attention to maintaining their stores as well as online commerce, which chops up resources and could be sending shoppers away. But Amazon is a search, research, and shopping juggernaut that to its rivals is once again something of the Snow Miser of the holidays—“too much.”
Amazon’s search and top-notch assortment and product information make it a logical destination for people to start any shopping mission. Amazon has also made payment a breeze, and its data-driven marketing helps drive additional purchases.
“They [Amazon] drive you to that site in many, many ways," Kerry Rice, an analyst at Needham & Co., told Reuters. "It's not about driving foot traffic to retail stores.”
While retailers have put a lot of resources into boosting their e-commerce sales, the question remains whether that’s the wisest investment. L Brands CEO Leslie H. Wexner said recently that the better play is to invest heavily in stores, saying their importance "is way bigger" than the Internet for retail.