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Established 1996
Tuesday 18 February 2020


Gen Z increasingly wary of Amazon

Written by Hannah McGrath

Amazon’s domination of e-commerce could be challenged by growing wariness amongst younger consumers over the retail giant, according to a new study.

A report for Wunderman Thompson Commerce, based on a survey of more than 15,000 consumers in the US and Europe, found that while Amazon attracts more than a third (36 per cent) of all online and retail spending internationally, the Generation Z age group - those between 16 and 24 - are less likely than older generations to believe the site provides the best experience on access to brands, easy returns and customer service.

In addition, a company’s ethos and commitment to sustainability are becoming a much more significant factor, with almost one in five (18 per cent) of Gen Z consumers also saying they were swayed by brand ethics when making a purchase decision – a factor which would see them choose another retailer over Amazon.

While consumers are relatively platform-agnostic when it comes to browsing, this behaviour changes when they search for products to buy. Over half (51 per cent) of consumers said they turn to Google and other search engines for inspiration or ideas, while a third said the same for brand websites and another third for social media.

However, when it comes to actively searching for individual products to buy online, 56 per cent of consumers go directly to Amazon to start their search.

Factors that would lead consumers to choose other retailers and brands over Amazon, included cheaper pricing (61 per cent), more attractive loyalty programmes (26 per cent), more convenient delivery options (23 per cent) and a more specialised product range (18 per cent).

But despite the shift to online shopping, the survey showed that consumers are still craving an in-store experience, with almost half (46 per cent) saying they prefer to shop with a brand that has a physical store, rising to 49 per cent among Gen Z shoppers.

Neil Stewart, global chief executive of Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said that brands and retailers continue to grapple with the challenge of how to exist alongside Amazon.

“Expectations are set incredibly high by the speed, ease and convenience of the Prime service, but, rather than relying solely on replicating this model, brands and retailers need to find the areas where Amazon falls down in the eyes of consumers.”


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