More a third of shoppers’ time spent with major online retailers on Cyber Monday was spent on Amazon.com, according to data from research firm Kantar Media, research firm Millward Brown Digital and social media intelligence platform Unmetric.
The study looked at the behavior of consumers across 128 retail web sites on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, the weekend after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, using a control period of Nov. 3-26 to make comparisons. The study also looked at the social media activity of 13 retailers included in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Consumers spent 29.25% of their time with those 128 e-retail sites on Amazon.com during the first three and a half weeks of November. That dropped to 27.08% on Thanksgiving Day, but increased to 30.73% on Black Friday, 31.60% during the weekend after Thanksgiving and hit a high point of 34.45% on Cyber Monday. “Without the option of brick-and-mortar shopping, the online traffic battle is one that Amazon can’t afford to lose—and it hasn’t,” Jon Swallen, Kantar Media’s chief research officer, writes in the report. “Even on its slowest day (Thanksgiving), it had triple the share of attention of its nearest competitor and more traffic than all the other retailers we studied combined.”
Amazon.com is No. 1 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500.
In comparison, consumers spent 5.18% of their Cyber Monday web shopping time on Walmart.com (No. 4 in the Top 500), followed by 2.95% at Bestbuy.com (No. 15), 1.95% at Target.com (No. 18), 1.93% at Macys.com (No. 8) and 1.89% at Kohls.com (No. 23). Homedepot.com (No. 16), Sears.com (No. 5), Lowes.com (No. 36), JCPenney.com (No. 37), Toysrus.com (No. 34) and Kmart.com (owned by Sears Holdings Corp., No. 5) all grabbed less than a 1% share of the time spent on retail web sites.
On Thanksgiving, when Amazon.com had its lowest share of web shoppers’ time, other retailers, including Walmart.com, Best Buy and Target made up ground. “Many people took advantage of the holiday to browse store web sites, whether to make online purchases, research in-store Black Friday deals or otherwise plan their weekend shopping,” writes Swallen. “Compared to the pre-Thanksgiving benchmark, Amazon’s share of attention dipped 7% on Turkey Day while many other retailers saw increases of over 100% from their smaller bases.”
In the social media battle, Kohl’s Corp won despite Amazon posting the most content to Facebook and Twitter. “While Amazon may have published more content through its owned channels, it scored quite low in engagement,” Swallen writes. “Kohl’s clearly got more value from its social media strategy, with an action-oriented Twitter approach complemented by more informational Facebook postings.”
Kohl’s posted 77 times to Facebook and 318 to Twitter between Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. That’s compared to Amazon’s 271 Facebook posts and 623 Twitter posts during the same period. Unmetric scored the engagement of a social media post on a scale from 0 to 1000 based on consumer engagement— Likes, Comments, Shares, Favorites, Replies and Retweets—with the specific post.
The study found the average engagement score was 524 for a Kohl’s Twitter post and 189 for a Facebook post. In comparison, Amazon scored 29 on Twitter and 69 on Facebook. Swallen says Kohl’s most effective Facebook posts were announcements of in-store and online deals. On Twitter, the most-effective content was surrounding a sweepstakes for a “$500 gift card” that required consumers to share two branded hashtags, “connecting and extending the conversation more broadly across its base of Twitter followers.”
In addition to inspiring high engagement on social media, Kohl’s announced Tuesday its stores would remain open continuously from 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, through 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. “Customers can rely on us around the clock for their last-minute gift giving solutions, and we are providing 24-hour access to Kohl’s stores right up to Christmas Eve,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief customer officer. The retail chain also announced its buy online, pick up in-store program will be available at more than 100 stores in the Chicago, Milwaukee, San Diego and central Pennsylvania markets.
Although Amazon might be winning the majority of shopper’s time, it’s not winning the price game according to data from shopping app ShopSavvy. That title goes to Walmart.com. When comparing prices for consumer electronics, Walmart.com has the better price 66% of the time with Amazon registering the better price 34% of the time. Walmart’s price is 28% lower than Amazon’s on average. When comparing consumer electronics prices against Best Buy, Walmart has the better price 72% of the time, with an average discount of 16%.
Walmart also beats Amazon on products in the home and garden department 69% of the time, with an average discount of 29%. The largest margin came in the entertainment category with Walmart beating Amazon 75% of the time and offering an average discount of 39%.
The large amount of time online shoppers are spending on Amazon.com appears to be providing a boost to outside retailers that sell on the Amazon Marketplace. Those sellers are faring better than retailers selling through any other major web marketplace, according to data from ChannelAdvisor, which helps clients sell via online marketplaces. During the five-day period starting on Thanksgiving, sellers on Amazon increased their sales 23.8% compared to the same five-day period in 2013. Sellers on eBay Inc. increased their sales 20.5%. For the holiday shopping season starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 7, sellers on Amazon increased their sales 20.7%, while sales on eBay increased 14.7%.
But for holiday shoppers looking for find unique—and often—strange items eBay’s marketplace may be the place to go. Data from the marketplace show about 40,000 ugly sweaters sell through the platform every holiday season for about $1 million in total. Some noteworthy sales on eBay so far this year include: $240 for a Budweiser ugly Christmas sweater from the 1970s and $999 for a pair of Nike ugly Christmas sweater sneakers.Favorite