Amazon fails to create Gen Z shopper loyalty, new study shows

By By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Amazon fails to create Gen Z shopper loyalty, new study shows
Global commerce consultancy, Wunderman Thompson Commerce, reveals how the retail giant’s market share dominance drops amongst the Gen Z demographic who do not have the same level of loyalty towards the e-tailer as older shoppers.

The Future Shopper report demonstrates that while over a third of consumer spending takes place on Amazon, younger Gen Z shoppers state less connection and loyalty to the household name as they feel less satisfied with the e-commerce name compared with older generations.

Wunderman Thompson Commerce analysed the present commerce environment by engaging with over 15,000 consumers who shop online across the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Consumer shopper journey

Understanding the consumer experience, the shopping journey, purchasing drivers, decision-making factors and the importance of touchpoints is vital for e-commerce brands. The modern shopping landscape is notoriously led by Amazon. Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s study shows how over a third of all online retail spend internationally (36%) takes place with the e-commerce giant.

However, 16 to 24-year old shoppers are less likely to believe the experiential power of the name than older shoppers. Although typically associated with ease-of-use, convenience, customer service, easy returns and optimal customer experience, younger shoppers in the 16-24 year old demographic are not reporting these marketplace beliefs as much as older shoppers are.

Gen Z influence

Gen Z, those born between the years of 1995 and 2010 that follow Millennials, are seeking uniqueness, along with unlimited and ethical purchasing choices. These values are demonstrated by Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s findings, which reveal that 18% of Gen Z consumers said their brand selections were influenced by brand ethics when making a purchase decision. It is this factor that would lead them to choose an alternative e-commerce or physical retailer over Amazon.

Overall, consumers looking for purchase inspiration are neutral when it comes to platform choice. While 51% of those asked said they go to Google and other search engines to look for ideas on products to buy, 33% opt for the same purchasing route on brand websites and 32% on social media.

Alternatively, this behaviour changes when these shoppers are searching for products. When consumers are actively looking to buy individual products online, over half (56%) of shoppers will head immediately to Amazon to direct their search.

Making a beauty purchase

Other deciding factors influence the consumers’ shopping destination, namely whether they purchase from Amazon or another retailer. Cheaper pricing leads and dominates the purchasing outcome (61%), followed by more attractive loyalty programmes (26%), more convenient delivery options (23%) and a better, more specialised product range (18%).

The Future Shopper report also shows that the beauty and health space is one industry where Amazon is not the number one purchase destination for consumers. In fact, 24% of shoppers favour retailer e-commerce sites, whereby only 21% of those shop on Amazon.

"Brands and retailers continue to grapple with the challenge of how to exist alongside Amazon. While the retail giant may be a competitor, it is also a platform that can give brands and retailers enormous scope to reach millions of consumers globally,”​ commented Neil Stewart, Global CEO, Wunderman Thompson Commerce.

Competing with Amazon​ 

Exploring the drawbacks and threats to Amazon’s continued growth, Stewarts relays how: "Amazon Prime is the world's most advanced loyalty programme and has completely changed what 'good' looks like for consumers. 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.”

Looking ahead as to how brands can maximise their presence online, Stewart emphasised: “The most important thing is that they (brands) find a way to partner with Amazon but still own the relationship with the customer; now and into the future.”

By concentrating on "What Amazon Cannot Do" (WACD)​, Wunderman Thompson Commerce reveals that this is where beauty and personal care companies can compete.

“The future of retail is up for grabs for the companies that can tap into what customers will want from their shopping experience in five, 10 and 15 years' time,”​ explained Stewart.

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