Despite increased omni-channel and e-commerce efforts by major retailers like Target and Wal-Mart, Amazon is increasing its portion of U.S. holiday web sales, according to reports from Slice Intelligence and ChannelAdvisor.
The pure-play e-retail giant captured 39.3% of e-commerce sales from Nov. 1 through Dec. 6, up from 37.9% year over year, according to data from e-mail receipts of 3.5 million shoppers Slice evaluated.
Meanwhile, sales on Amazon’s marketplace rose 19.5% in the second week of December, beating the e-commerce growth overall of 15%, according to ChannelAdvisor, which helps sellers on Amazon’s marketplace.
Many experts this summer noted that Amazon’s birthday event this summer, dubbed Prime Day, was a way to boost its Prime membership program at least as much as an effort to boost sales. That day and other efforts, like same-day delivery services and improved Prime benefit add-ons, are enabling Amazon to increase its number of very sticky, highly converting Prime members.
Amazon Prime members convert 74% of the time on Amazon.com, according to a study from Millward Brown Digital, compared to 13% for non-prime members. And Prime members also showed a preference for Amazon, converting 6% of the time at other warehouse retailers’ e-commerce sites.
Other research from a Reuters/Ipsos poll earlier this month found that 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.
"Amazon has done well on the basics of selection, convenience, value and trust, and it continues to build on those things," ChannelAdvisor chairman Scot Wingo told Bloomberg. "They invested a lot expanding their Prime Now service around the country, and that’s been a real big win this holiday.”
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. Its investment in its Prime program is also apparently proving to be effective.
"Jeff Bezos was beaten up for a long time about the infrastructure investments he made and the drain on profitability it caused," Ken Cassar, VP of analytics solutions at Slice, told Bloomberg. "He is seeing the payoff on those investments."
Unfortunately for other retailers, if membership growth for Amazon Prime continues at its current pace, half of all U.S. households could be Amazon Prime members by 2020. The program continues to attract more wealthier, younger shoppers, too.