Ecommerce sites such as Amazon play a more significant role in the customer journey than other channels including TV advertising, social media, online display and search engines, according to exclusive new research published today by ClickZ Intelligence.
Content produced in partnership with Catalyst.
The Age of Amazon: Maximizing the B2C Marketing Opportunity research, produced in partnership with Catalyst, part of GroupM, was first released at a breakfast briefing on September 20 in New York, and previewed globally during a webinar last week which is now available for on-demand viewing.
The webinar audience heard that Amazon and other ecommerce sites, such as Chewy.com in the pet care space, are becoming increasingly influential in the customer journey from research to purchase, with only product reviews (themselves a feature of ecommerce sites) ranking above them as a more important channel or reference point when consumers want to buy something.
The ClickZ research is based on an online survey of 1,600 U.S. consumers, looking at usage of Amazon and comparing research and buying behavior for eight categories of retail goods, including grocery, clothing and personal care products.
The chart below shows data for the pet care category, with similar data available for all other categories in the full report, published this week.
Percentage of consumers rating each channel as ‘important’ when they want to buy pet care products
Source: ClickZ Intelligence / Catalyst
n=200 (US consumers who have bought a pet care product online in the last 12 months)
The report also contains the findings of a survey of more than 250 North America-based B2C marketers, and numerous in-depth interviews with those who are actively using Amazon as a marketing and sales platform for their own brands or on behalf of their clients.
The study is aimed at all consumer-focused companies marketing and selling products across a range of sectors, but particularly relevant for those working in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG or FMCG) arena.
The Age of Amazon report is the latest study to show the growing influence of Amazon in the customer journey, not just for buying products but also researching them.
Research published by BloomReach last year found that more than half of consumers (55%) start their product search with Amazon, compared to 34% for search engines and 21% for retailers.
One of the webinar presenters, Kerry Curran, Managing Partner, Marketing Integration, Catalyst, described the changing nature of the customer journey and growing influence of Amazon at different stages.
“The Amazon shopping experience is a truly holistic experience for the consumer, providing many touch points to connect your brand to your target audience.”
The huge reach and scale of Amazon is making it an increasingly attractive platform for advertisers, with the paid search products that make up Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) establishing themselves with brands and agencies who are benefiting from impressive return on advertising spend.
The Age of Amazon research has found that almost two-thirds (63%) of companies advertising on Amazon are planning to increase this budget over the next 12 months, compared to 54% for Google, 53% for Facebook, 27% for Bing and 23% for Twitter.
However, the research has also found that only 15% of marketers agree they are using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to its full potential, while only 17% say they have a fully defined AMS strategy.
Chris Humber, Head of Search, GroupM/Catalyst, and another presenter on the webinar, ran through some of the key research recommendations, including the need for brands to think strategically about their use of Amazon, balancing their ‘upper-funnel’ and ‘lower-funnel’ requirements.
According to the research, brands should weigh up the opportunity across the full spectrum of Amazon products and services, ranging from its Prime program and ad network through to Kindle and Fire TV marketing opportunities, or even advertising on packaging.
Brands need to ensure that they have a balanced approach that addresses both their brand marketing and immediate short-term sales requirements.
Watch the on-demand Age of Amazon webinar to learn more about the research findings and best practice for Amazon Marketing Services, or download the full report here.
Content produced in association with Catalyst, a Search and Social focused digital marketing agency. Click here to read our collaborative content guidelines. Views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ClickZ.