Survey: People plan to use Amazon 3-to-1 over Google for holiday shopping

What’s new and striking about this survey is the runaway gap between Amazon and everyone else.

Survey: People plan to use Amazon 3-to-1 over Google for holiday shopping

All surveys must be read with caution, because of the gap between attitudes or responses and actual behavior. But if a new holiday shopping survey from CPC Strategy is any indication, Amazon is pulling away as the go-to destination for holiday shoppers.

The online survey was conducted by Survata among 1,500 U.S. online adults in early August. Survata is a company that runs surveys to enable consumers to unlock premium content, much like many Google Consumer Surveys.

Survey: People plan to use Amazon 3-to-1 over Google for holiday shopping

Amazon pulling away. As the above chart shows, online shoppers plan to use Amazon more than 3 to 1 over Google for holiday gift shopping. Only Walmart comes remotely close to Amazon as a top-of-mind online shopping destination.

When the smoke clears in January, the actual distribution may not look like this because consumers are going to use a wide range of sites to shop for gifts. But what this indicates is the increasing momentum and strength of the Amazon brand as the primary online shopping destination. In this survey, at least, Google appears something of an afterthought.

Survey: People plan to use Amazon 3-to-1 over Google for holiday shopping

More people intend to shop online exclusively. Among other questions, the survey also asked about devices used for shopping. The desktop still came out on top, with mobile fewer than 2.5 percentage points behind it. Under 4 percent said they were likely to use smart speakers to shop. Strangely, 21 percent said they don’t plan to shop online for gifts — in an online survey.

As we know from actual traffic data, mobile devices will likely drive more visits than the desktop. But the takeaway here is that people will be shopping across devices and there will likely be multiple sessions. Retailers that don’t have optimized mobile experiences will suffer accordingly.

This survey also indicated that more people intend to shop online than in stores:

  • Online — 46.2 percent
  • In-stores — 28.5 percent
  • Both in-stores and online — 25.3 percent

This is a curious finding. Historically the largest group has been “both.” The large skew toward online may indicate that something about the survey population is not entirely representative of the larger shopping population as a whole. But it may equally be true that people are more inclined to shop online and avoid the crowds.

What matters to marketers. Any individual survey has to be treated cautiously. But this one reinforces several important points and themes that are well known.

Retailers must be ready to address consumers across platforms in multiple sessions. Furthermore, Amazon will increasingly see more competition over ads during the holidays; it’s a critical product-selling platform that must be prioritized.

There’s another point not raised in the survey. Traditional retailers may want to drive app downloads now to create more engagement and loyalty when holiday shopping really kicks in over the next several weeks.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

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