Conventional wisdom about online shopping says that the average consumer would rather test a product out in store before pulling the trigger and ordering it online. It hasn't been a very good year for conventional wisdom, though, and a recent Internet Retailer survey just poked a big hole in the aforementioned theory.
The survey, which asked 200 online shoppers about their purchasing habits, found that 65 percent of respondents have no qualms about ordering a product from a brand or retailer on an online marketplace, even if said company was completely new to them. Moreover, 72.8 percent reported buying a product on Amazon sold by a third-party lister.
While this may seem to encourage retailers that jump onto larger marketplaces, like Amazon, to try and siphon repeat buyers back to their own sites, Internet Retailer's subsequent data points aren't as glowing. Only 33.5 percent of shoppers navigated to a seller's native online marketplace after finding their products on Amazon. By comparison, 55.3 percent said that this is a thing they had not done, and a further 11.2 percent indicated that they couldn't remember, which doesn't bode well either way.
It's a mounting problem for retailers who acknowledge the importance of playing along nicely with the rest of Amazon's all-encompassing ecosystem, but David Escobar, senior manager of eCommerce for Bealls Inc., told Internet Retailer that trying to siphon loyal customers away from a company like Amazon that has perfected the art of convenience at nearly every step in the path to purchase is as close to a fool's errand as can be.
“These are Amazon’s customers, and they are lovers of Amazon," Escobar said. "They may try you once or twice, but you have to do a really good job to make them repeat customers."