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Understanding Amazon’s Australian launch through consumer opinion

Posted by Kate Richards on Nov 2, 2017

We are unequivocally in an age of transformation. New market entrants, game changers and disruptors are making even the largest, most established and loved brands question their approach and position.

And the upcoming arrival of Amazon into the Australian market means the Retail industry are feeling this even more so.

Working with our client Retail Doctor Group (RDG Consumer Insights division), Lightspeed powered a recent study into consumer views around Amazon to uncover some key data in ‘How to win in the post Amazon world’, surveying more than 1,000 of our Australian consumer panellists.

Consumer Opinion

Awareness of the Amazon brand was high, at a full 100%. However, the results also uncovered the lack of knowledge around what the Amazon proposition really is. Firstly, 38% of Australians reported not to be aware of the upcoming launch of Amazon, with millennials even less aware at 56%.

Delving into this deeper we see Books with the most awareness (73%) but other key product offers that Amazon offer, such as the Baby category come in at a low 29%. Knowledge of Amazon Prime was murky for consumers when asked to define it, with 24% thinking TV streaming, 15% thinking Delivery subscription and a whopping 47% admitting they’re not sure. Likewise, Alexa hadn’t been heard of by 65% respondents and only 27% knew it was Artificial Intelligence.

Only 22% think it will change their shopping behaviour. For those unlikely to shop at Amazon, the barriers were around a physical element- 33% like to see, touch and feel the product before buying and 28% prefer the shopping experience in a store.

This shows a key area that Amazon needs to educate around in order to see success, also suggesting areas that more traditional retailers can up their game and win over during Amazon’s educational process, arguably by playing up the instore experience that traditional retailers have over the online entrant.

Consumer vs Retail Professionals Opinion

These results were shared at Retail Doctor Group’s latest ‘Fit for Business’ event in October 2017. Making the most of having some of the country’s most influential retail brand owners in the room and our technology to gain real-time feedback, we posed some of the original survey questions to this audience too.

Interestingly, we saw that retail professionals think 97% customers are likely to start shopping at Amazon post Australia launch, vs only 57% of consumers who report this intention. Looking back at Amazon Prime, they had greater conviction in what it was with every respondent having an answer to define it, although the combined offer confused this group too. And when it came to Amazon Alexa 74% of retail professionals knew this was AI.

Trust was a key area of difference between customer and professional opinion. 93% of the audience said Amazon was a brand customers trust, whereas customers themselves had this at 58%.

What we found is that focussing attention on the risk only can potentially hinder existing retailers more. During these times, it is imperative to take a look at consumer opinion to better prepare and safeguard against change. Asking questions before, during and after launch will gauge true consumer opinion and avoid the potential of industry concern misreading the real consumer landscape. The real risk lies with not understanding the changing customer needs and how to fulfil these, rather than Amazon itself.

Download the full report here by Retail Doctor Group, powered by Lightspeed

Or contact Retail Doctor Group for full consumer insights and how to implement this to our business to be ‘amazon fit’ at businessfitness@retaildoctor.com.au.

Topics: Marketing Research Data, Amazon

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