America’s affection for Amazon—the largest online retailer in the U.S. by a long shot—is morphing into a full-blown love affair.
For the second consecutive year, more Americans will shop with the online retailer for all or most of their holiday gifts than with any other retailer, according to CNBC’s recently released All-America Economic Survey.
Seventy-six percent of Americans who planned to shop online for gifts said they expect to do most of their buying on the website.
Walmart came in second on the list, but by a mile—only 8 percent of respondents said they will be shopping or checking prices on the retailer’s website.
But while online is (for the second year in a row) the top shopping destination, not all shoppers use e-commerce. Forty-five percent said online will be their most-used shopping avenue this season, but 28 percent named popular big-box destinations such as Best Buy and Target. Notably, department stores ranked third in popularity and garnered their lowest percentage in the survey’s 12-year history.
But Amazon’s domination is undeniable. For respondents who shop online, 65 percent said they search Amazon “always or most of the time,” a stat that constitutes a 2 percent hike from last year.
And while conversion rates online are notoriously low, Amazon’s are sky-high. The study found that 57 percent of those searching Amazon buy on the site always or most of the time.
What do shoppers love most about Amazon?
Forty-three percent of those polled named free shipping as the top perk, which shows that Amazon’s commitment to using a variety of below-cost shipping incentives to lure customers has helped them grow their near-monopoly market dominance of online shopping. Just this year, Amazon took a net loss of $7 billion on shipping, which must be some kind of record for a loss leader (its main profit comes from another part of the virtual empire: Amazon Web Services).
Consumers also said they like the ability to compare prices on Amazon and appreciate the availability of product information on the site.
(Top image courtesy of Amazon)