Amazon’s popular. Extremely popular. It’s even replaced Google when it comes to being consumers’ #1 search engine of choice when they’re looking to buy a new product. In fact, in Jungle Scout’s 2020 Consumer Trends Report, only 10% of respondents* said they do not shop on Amazon.
But, the majority of those shoppers are still buying online. They’re just buying from Amazon’s competitors.
So, while it’s clearly still a good idea to build a business on Amazon, here’s what Amazon sellers can learn from Amazon’s NON-customers.
Why don’t some consumers shop on Amazon?
For non-Amazon shoppers, the main reason they choose not to frequent the store is their lack of a Prime account.
In other words, 28% are stuck in a cycle of “they aren’t shopping on Amazon because they don’t have a Prime account, yet they’re not getting a Prime account because they don’t shop on Amazon.”
But these consumers also prefer to shop in-store. A quarter of them said they don’t buy from Amazon simply because they would rather shop in a physical store.
Finally, a significant portion (23%) said they just don’t order from the site.
However, some non-Amazon customers do still shop online and here’s why.
First and foremost, non-Amazon shoppers like the safety and ease that comes with buying online. 25% said it was for the ease of not having to leave home, while 24% said it means being able to avoid public places by shopping at home.
And for 17%, shopping online also means access to more product options, which is where third-party sellers can step in.
By listing your products on one or more of Amazon’s competitors’ platforms, you’re fulfilling a need for this segment of consumers. And this is what they want.
What non-Amazon shoppers are looking for
1. Non-Amazon shoppers go for the lowest price
With 70% of non-Amazon shoppers reporting a household income of less than $50,000 per year, it’s no shock that half of those say finding the lowest price is what’s most important when they shop.
2. But, they want inexpensive, not cheap
These shoppers aren’t willing to buy just any old thing. Nearly half (45%) said that they look for a product with good ratings and reviews.
3. And feature-filled is a definite plus
Products with the most impressive features come in third, with 38% saying it’s key in their decision to purchase.
4. Faster shipping — yes and no
It was the “reason to buy” most shoppers disagreed with, with one in four saying fast delivery wasn’t a reason to purchase. Yet 35% still said getting their parcels more quickly would cause them to click ‘Add to cart’.
Non-Amazon shoppers don’t search by brand
Though 37% of online shoppers looking for alternatives to Amazon consider themselves to be brand loyal, only 12% said they always look for brand name items.
In fact, 46% said that they’ll only buy brands online if the branded option is affordable or it’s a product that has to be branded (eg. 30% said they only buy brand name electronics).
In addition to electronics, these are the other types of products that non-Amazon shoppers prefer to buy branded:
- ‘Grocery’ – 25% said they always purchase brand name groceries
- ‘Pet Supplies’ – 23%
- ‘Clothing’ and ‘Health & Beauty’ – 21%
And these are the items that they will sometimes buy branded:
- ‘Clothing’ – 56% will occasionally purchase brand name clothing
- ‘Grocery’ – 54%
- ‘Home & Kitchen’ – 52%
- ‘Health & Beauty’ – 50%
- ‘Office Supplies’ – 41%
- ‘Garden & Outdoors’ and ‘Arts & Crafts’ – 36%
- ‘Toys & Games’ – 30%
What does this mean for sellers? It means you don’t have to worry too much about competing with well-established brands.
However, if you’ve created a brand known for its quality and have a following on Amazon already, you’ll be one or two steps ahead of your competition when you launch on one of Amazon’s e-commerce alternatives.
Non-Amazon customers on the future of online shopping
Even though 54% of shoppers looking for alternatives to Amazon say they can’t wait to get back into physical stores (and 48% saying they would not be okay if they couldn’t go into brick and mortar stores again), about half of consumers think the majority of consumer shopping will happen online in the future.
What consumers are saying about their future shopping behaviors:
“Probably will think twice and not be as impulsive.”
“I will not be so frivolous with purchases in the future.”
In terms of overall spending after stores reopen, 31% anticipate an increase in their spending. And one in five expect to increase their overall spending by as much as 25%.
For online shopping, the numbers are slightly different. Virtually the same amount of non-Amazon shoppers think they will increase their spending as those who think it will decrease (21% and 20% respectively).
36%, on the other hand, think their online spending will stay the same after physical stores reopen. Also, half of non-Amazon shoppers plan to reduce their spending on non-essential items moving forward.
Selling to people who don’t shop on Amazon
Where non-Amazon customers are shopping
For the 10% who say they don’t shop on Amazon, their top five alternatives for shopping online are:
And while private label and handmade goods retailer Etsy didn’t make the top five, it still cracked the top 10, sitting at number eight.
“I am not a fan of Amazon…I do shop with Walmart and Zulilly and will do so more often…”
That means, as an e-commerce seller, you can potentially reach a very large audience by having an active listing on four of the six most popular platforms:
(Target also allows third-party merchants to sell on its site. However, at this point in time it is by invite-only. Best Buy, on the other hand, closed its marketplace in 2018.)
Seller considerations: Novices and veterans
If you’re new to e-commerce, choosing the right product essential to your success. Selling off Amazon, it’s important that you find a product that is in high demand (and has low competition), but at a lower price point.
That’s not all, though. In order to generate the shopper-enticing reviews you need, you also have to consider:
- If a product can be improved; if your research shows that the item already gets a 4.5 to 5-star rating, look for something else. But if the reviews say your competition’s product needs changes, you may have found a contender.
- If there is a way for a product to ship faster; while a potential product’s slower delivery time doesn’t necessarily have to lead to its immediate axation from your list, keep in mind that people did indicate a preference for quick shipping. For that reason, you may want to look for manufacturers closer to home.
But if you’re a veteran seller, just because you might have a large variety of products selling well on Amazon doesn’t mean those same items will sell just as well elsewhere.
When you expand your brand by listing on other e-commerce sites, make sure you’re offering products that non-Amazon shoppers are looking for. Choose items from your existing catalog that:
- Are high in demand and low in competition
- Have a lower price point
- Ship quickly
- Are high in quality and have special features
Seller considerations: All levels of experience
No matter what your level of experience, look for products selling in categories that maintain their popularity regardless of what’s going on in the world economically.
And when you’re targeting non-Amazon shoppers, these are the categories to keep in mind:
These product categories have either maintained or expanded their popularity during the most recent financial upheaval:
- ‘Grocery’ – 49% of consumers said their spending on these online products has remained the same throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
- ‘Health & Beauty’ – 48% maintained spending levels
- ‘Clothing’ – 36% maintained spending levels
- ‘Office Supplies’ – 33% maintained spending levels
- ‘Cleaning Supplies’ – 34% said their online spending for cleaning supplies has increased
Think twice before listing these types of products:
- ‘Exercise equipment’ – 55% of non-Amazon shoppers said they don’t buy these items online.
- ‘Toys & Games’ – 50% don’t buy these online
- ‘Pet Supplies’ – 43% don’t buy these online
- ‘Alcohol’ – 37% don’t buy these online
Bottom line? With 51% of non-Amazon shoppers and 74% of Amazon customers saying most shopping is going to happen online in the future, this means that there has never been a better time to expand your e-commerce business.
Respondents of our survey ranged in age from 18 to 75+, and represent every U.S. state, all genders and employment types, and various levels of income.
For more information about this article and Jungle Scout’s data, please contact [email protected].