Retail bankruptcies have jumped 24% year-over-year and consumers are increasingly favoring online and mobile shopping as retail brands try to ready themselves for the all-important holiday shopping season, and to compete with big name e-retailers such as Amazon. But a report from SmarterHQ shows cracks in Amazon's armor that retail brands can exploit to start stealing market share back from the e-commerce behemoth. This article is copyright 2017 The Best Customer Guide.

Much of the evolving retail landscape has been widely attributed to the enormous impact of Amazon, which has more than 310 million active shoppers worldwide and some US$136 billion in annual sales in the US alone.

But 'The Amazon Report' survey (of more than 1,200 people ages 18 to 65+) found that without free two-day shipping, 82% of Amazon Prime users said they would simply cancel their membership.

Some of the key survey findings include:

  • People really use Amazon to shop for very specific items: 57% of buyers on Amazon are looking for a specific product, and 63% of all shoppers already know what they want before they start shopping. Potential customers aren't browsing Amazon, and they are 25% more likely to purchase branded products from the e-commerce site.
  • Without free two-day shipping, Amazon Prime users will cancel their membership: 84% of buyers who had a specific goal in mind also demanded speedy, free shipping. Customers are likely purchasing a retail brand's products on Amazon simply because they have better shipping options.
  • Customers will shop with a retail brand more often if they're provided relevant messages based on aggregated shopper data: In a retailer's marketing messages, it's important to include products their customers have engaged with and to suggest new ones based on their customers behaviors. If not, 47% of shoppers are moving from a brand's website and straight to Amazon's with their personalized product reminders and suggestions.
  • Customers may seem like die hard Amazon fans, but it's really only a few things that tickle their fancy: Between 37 to 57% of shoppers on Amazon are purchasing electronics, books, movies and leisure products like toys and hobby items. Luxury brands should find this especially comforting; people chose not to purchase products above $200 on Amazon.

"Amazon's dominance in retail has been the primary focus of retail executives, investors, and board members - yet, the solution to steal back both market share and consumers' loyalty have evaded most traditional retail brands," said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ. "But our report tells a surprisingly upbeat story for retail brands - consumers can be persuaded to ditch Amazon and shop in their store or on their web site. We found that people aren't going to Amazon to browse; rather, they have very specific items in mind. Free two-day shipping is very important to Amazon Prime members - so much, in fact, that they would cancel their membership if it wasn't offered. And consumers have a price threshold of $200 they're not willing to cross when shopping on Amazon, a good sign for luxury brands. While Amazon is viewed as Goliath by the industry, there are certainly weaknesses that retail brands can exploit to help drive their bottom line."