In a remarkable example of these extraordinary times, Amazon’s share of U.S. online shopping has fallen from 42% to 34% in less than two months.

What? Really?

Oh, yes. The number is definitely real. But don’t be at all misled.

Amazon’s revenue has certainly jumped in this period, but total online sales have increased even more. As the NYTimes described it, “Ultimately, however, the numbers probably reflect that as people turn more to e-commerce during lockdowns, Amazon is capturing a slightly smaller piece of a much larger pie.”

Several factors underlie the numbers. First, some of the largest increases in online purchases are in categories where Amazon is not the leader. Amazon’s Whole Foods and Prime Pantry have certainly increased sales, but grocery, overall, has led all categories in pandemic-related online growth. Also, product shortages experienced by Amazon has driven shoppers to other online stores — even loyal Amazon customers.

And Going Forward?

The current online revenue for some categories such as grocery is likely to decline as stores adjust and open up more. That said, the new normal for online even in those categories will likely be much larger than last year.

Amazon is not standing still. Many of the out-of-stock and delivery issues have already been fixed or mitigated. And Amazon is taking note of key new categories for its emphasis. 

Bottom line, right now, there is a window of opportunity in the competition with Amazon. Online retailers can take advantage of the additional traffic that is not going to Amazon to capture new customers. 

But, whether these are short-term customers or become long-term loyal customers depends on the shopping experience that you provide. Now is the time to invest in your shopping experience.

Vioby Personalized Conversational Shopping

Vioby has been working with retailers to develop branded personalized conversational shopping that deliver great shopping experiences for their customers. The intelligent interactive conversations with shoppers use voice and text modalities and integrate our client’s retail data. We leverage our long experience in enterprise-scale voice-interactive systems coupled with our e-commerce marketing automation technology. Our video of voice shopping shows how a shopper can browse large retailer catalogs to find and purchase the items they want.

Are you a retailer or agency working with retailers? We’d be glad to explore partnering with you and your team to define, create and deploy a great brand-centric voice shopping experience for your customers.

Mike Krasner is a co-founder of Vioby, a Boston-area developer of AI-based marketing automation tools for e-commerce retailers and their agencies. Leveraging their extensive background in creating and deploying enterprise-scale voice-interactive systems, Vioby is now developing voice shopping for retailers and brands. 

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