Amazon is outpacing its rivals this holiday season, according to a Prosper Insights & Analytics survey of nearly 7,000 U.S. adults conducted this month. More than one in four holiday shoppers say they’ve bought most of their gifts from Amazon this year, a 10% increase over from last year, according to the study Forbes reports.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. took second place at 14.5%, lagging behind Amazon by nearly 50%, the study found. Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, JC Penney, Toys "R" Us, eBay.com and Costco follow, in that order, Pam Goodfellow, Prosper Insights & Analytics Principal Analyst/Consumer Insights Director, said, writing in Forbes.
This is Amazon’s third straight winning holiday season, and it’s been steadily widening the gap with Wal-Mart (which nears 12 percentage points this year) over the past decade, Goodfellow said. In December 2006, for example, Wal-Mart held a 15-point lead over Amazon, she said.
While it’s safe to say Amazon is vexing nearly all retailers, Wal-Mart in particular has been stung by the rise of the e-commerce giant. In addition to its rising prominence over the holidays, Amazon is outpacing Wal-Mart in other ways, winning among women, younger shoppers and higher-income households.
Even Wal-Mart’s strong suit, lower-income households — a somewhat dubious win considering their muted spending power — is declining in comparison with Amazon, according to Goodfellow’s report. Wal-Mart’s lead among households earning less than $35,000 annually is down to just one percentage point for both the 2015 and 2016 holiday shopping seasons. “As one might expect, Walmart’s 3-year [compound annual growth rate] among lower income households is also in the red: -7.4%,” Goodfellow wrote. “In contrast, Amazon’s growth rate over the same period is +20.7%, outpacing its aforementioned CAGR among holiday shoppers in general (+15.2%).”
Added to that performance is Amazon’s reputation for customer experience. Amazon is second to customer-service stalwart L.L. Bean, and Prosper found in a separate study that the e-commerce giant is outpacing everyone for the holidays.
According to Prosper’s “Net Promoter Score” metric of loyalty and customer affinity, Amazon received the highest Score (67.4%), among the top ten retailers that consumers have shopped this season for gifts, well above competitors and nearly double that of Wal-Mart (35.3%). In fact, Wal-Mart took last place by that measure, “perhaps an indication of why shoppers are slipping from the big discounter’s grasp,” according to Goodfellow.
Amazon is also holding its own in protecting its margins this year, though rivals are also performing fairly well, according to another study from Moody’s released on Thursday. Amazon.com, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co., Inc. are “all off to very good starts this holiday season, compared to last year, with the pull-forward of promotions and the increasing multi- channel efforts resonating with consumers,” Moody’s said.
“They have managed to pull this off despite margin-busting promotions that proliferated at the end of the second quarter and continued int the third-quarter,” according to that report, emailed to Retail Dive. “The three brick-and-mortar retailers all posted solid third-quarter online sales growth, with numbers in the 20-26% range (Wal-Mart was around 21%, Best Buy around 25%, and Target at 26%).”
Still, with evolving consumer and the rise of e-commerce, “it appears that Walmart still hasn’t figured out how to address the Amazon challenge,” Goodfellow wrote.“[W]ith shoppers clearly opting for Amazon over Walmart, it appears that the big discounter just might have to take 2017 to regroup and, once again, attempt to address Amazon’s challenge. The question remains, though: Is time running out for the once-dominant Walmart?”