2022 update: How do shoppers engage with Amazon? [Member-exclusive content]

The news:

Amazon.com Inc. held a second widespread sale for members of its paid Prime loyalty program this year, which ran Oct. 11-12. Digital Commerce 360 reported the retail giant was having another two-day promotional event ahead of Amazon’s official announcement.

The context:

Amazon held its Prime Early Access Sale just three months after Amazon’s last annual Prime Day, which the merchant typically holds during the summer to drum up business and Prime memberships during a slow time of year. Amazon is positioning the fall event as a kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The sale is roughly six weeks ahead of the highly promotional Cyber 5 period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

Much of the success for Amazon’s second big sale of 2022 will depend on Prime members’ continued enthusiasm for buying through the site. In September, Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights surveyed 1,000 online shoppers about their views of and shopping behavior with Amazon, No. 1 in the 2022 Top 1000. Here’s a recap of how consumers said they interact with the merchant ahead of the early access deal days. It includes purchasing frequency, which categories they’re shopping more, delivery expectations, return trends and overall sentiment.

Is Amazon losing its appeal?

Some of the top-line numbers suggest the Amazon obsession may be waning. More than two-thirds of online shoppers — 68% — who made a purchase with the merchant in the last year said they are Prime members. That’s down from 72% in 2021. One-third of survey respondents — 33% — reported using Amazon like a search engine and always checking the site when shopping online this year. But that’s a 12 percentage-point drop from the prior year, when it was 45%. The year-over-year decline is similar for the share of online consumers who said Amazon is the first place they check when they need to buy something.

A notable share of respondents — 35% — said while they buy some items on Amazon, it’s not a “critical” destination for handling their shopping needs. That’s more than one in three online shoppers.

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