What Advantage Do Commerce Companies Have Over Amazon?

July 8, 2019

Six in 10 (61%) global commerce businesses say their current business model is under significant or extreme pressure to adapt to changing market conditions and customer behaviors. Furthermore, according to a new Sitecore and Econsultancy survey [download page] of more than 1,200 retailers, CPG/FMCG companies and branded manufacturers, one-third (34%) say that if their model doesn’t change they may go out of business in the next 3 years.

One commerce company that does not seem to be feeling the pressure – or more pointedly, is causing the pressure – is Amazon. As the clear leader in US e-commerce sales, Amazon has become the preferred place to shop for the majority of US shoppers and is one of the first places shoppers go when they know what they want to purchase or just need inspiration.

So, where does Amazon have the advantage compared to other commerce companies? Two-thirds (66%) of retailers and 58% of CPG/FMCG companies say that Amazon has the advantage when it comes to technology.

Commerce companies also say they are at a disadvantage to Amazon when it comes to the online user experience. Only 22% of global respondents (38% of those in North America) say that customer experience is an element for which they have the greatest control compared to pricing, product choice and market factors. However, it should be noted that despite the emphasis that Amazon has put on customer experience, it is no longer the top e-commerce company for customer satisfaction.

It is probably safe to say that Amazon has changed consumer expectations when it comes to fulfillment and shipping. It is the top reason consumers shop at Amazon, generally, as well as the top reason why consumers purchase apparel on Amazon. No doubt because of this, free or expedited shipping has also become a factor when shoppers are considering a purchase from a new retailer.

Product Knowledge and Content an Advantage

What other commerce players have as an advantage over Amazon is the knowledge of their products, as well as content related to their products. Past research has shown that consumers feel that product descriptions, images and customer reviews are essential to their shopping experience with customer reviews being a top influencer when it comes to making a purchase decision.

Retailers, in particular, feel confident about their product knowledge and product-related content, with 55% of respondents in both cases believing they have the advantage over Amazon in these areas. CPG/FMCG and branded manufacturers, on the other hand, feel they have an advantage when it comes to product knowledge, but are still lagging in the area of product-related content.

The ability to produce and deliver personalized content is one of the top capabilities e-commerce companies feel will be necessary to ensure growth. The majority of respondents also believe that relevant content is what inspires consumers to come back and that combining content with personalization is how they will be able to compete with the likes of Amazon.

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: The report is based on findings from an online survey fielded in Q1 of 2019 to select third-party lists which garnered 1,276 respondents globally. Respondents were from 3 areas of commerce — retail (615), CPG/FMCG companies (338) and branded manufacturers (181).


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