Amazon to Be the Top Destination for U.S. Holiday Shoppers, Says FGRT Preview

Millennials and young families, especially, plan to spend more online than in physical stores this holiday, notes Managing Director Deborah Weinswig

August 29, 2017

NEW YORK (August 28, 2017) – Expect an Amazon-dominated holiday retail season among U.S. consumers, as the e-commerce giant will be the top destination for shoppers, says “How the US Shops: Where Consumers Will Be Shopping This Holiday Season-and Why,” the first in a series of reports on “How the US Shops” from global think tank FGRT (Fung Global Retail & Technology).

An August survey of more than 1,000 American adult Internet users found that three-quarters of all holiday shoppers and 83 percent of those expecting to shop online plan to buy from Amazon during the holidays. That figure rises even more to 90 percent among Amazon Prime members, reports FGRT Managing Director Deborah Weinswig. Target and Walmart are the second- and third-most-popular destinations, respectively, with each set to attract just under half of holiday shoppers.

Citing ease and convenience as primary factors, more shoppers (82 percent) expect to buy holiday gifts online than expect to shop in physical stores (77 percent) during the upcoming season. This is especially true among those aged 30-44, as nearly 85 percent of respondents in that age group plan to buy online compared with about 76 percent who expect to buy gifts in physical stores, Weinswig notes.

“Physical stores are losing millennial and family life stage shoppers to e-commerce: consumers who are not yet in their mid-forties are significantly more likely to shop online than in physical stores this holiday season. Expectations of buying gifts online peak among holiday shoppers ages 30-44, likely reflecting a preponderance of busy parents in this age group,” Weinswig writes. “This is significant in part because these consumers are of growing importance as holiday shoppers.”

Product quality was the top factor for deciding where to shop, followed by low prices, location, good availability of products and breadth of range. They survey also revealed that rapid delivery for online orders and click-and-collect options are not all that important to respondents.

“Some brick-and-mortar retailers may be counting on their buy-online, collect-in-store services to fend off the Amazon threat this holiday season. But consumers rank such collection services low as a factor that they consider when choosing where to shop: quality, price, location and availability will be the principal drivers for consumers as they decide where to shop this holiday season,” Weinwsig reports.

With consumer confidence higher, more respondents (22.7 percent) say they expect to spend more on the holidays this year compared with 2016, while 21.3 percent expect to spend less. But those expecting to increase their purchases will do so only slightly, while those cutting back will be spending much less, Weinswig continues.

“The [survey] results suggest solid, though probably unspectacular, retail growth this holiday season,” Weinswig observes.

The full report can be found here. Recent reports issued by FGRT include: “Deep Dive: Chanel Shifts in US Beauty Retailing-Sephora, Ulta and Amazon Carving Greater Share”;  “Deep Dive: The US Retail Revolution Solution”; the “Retail X Factor” series and the “Deep Dive: The Mall is Not Dead” series. FGRT’s reports and analyses can be found at www.FGRT.com and www.deborahweinswig.com. Subscribe here to receive Deborah Weinswig’s daily news and analysis on retail, fashion and technology.

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About FGRT

FGRT (Fung Global Retail & Technology) is a think tank whose research team, based in New York, London and Hong Kong, follows emerging retail and tech trends, specializing in the ways retail and technology intersect, and in building collaborative communities.

The team, led by Deborah Weinswig, former top Wall Street and retail tech analyst and startup advisor, publishes ongoing thematic and global market research on topics such as the Internet of Things, digital payments, omnichannel retail, luxury and fashion trends, and disruptive technologies. More information can be found at www.FGRT.com.

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