Amazon has already captured its key to future dominance
11 Apr 2019
- Amazon is winning with teens.
- In Piper Jaffray’s most recent survey of teens’ preferences and buying patterns, half of respondents said that Amazon was their favorite website. That response was 10 times as popular as the next answer.
- Amazon’s score was up three points from last fall and six points from a year ago.
- Teens seem to be shopping online more than ever, running counter to some speculation that Gen Z would not fall in love with online shopping as millennials have.
Teens are increasingly joining the online-shopping revolution — and it’s good news for Amazon.
Fifty percent of teens surveyed by Piper Jaffray in its most recent semiannual Taking Stock With Teens report said that Amazon was their favorite website. The survey asked questions about the preferences and buying patterns of more than 8,000 teens.
The result is nothing but good news for Amazon, which seems to have the youngest buying generation on lock. Its score was up three points from the fall and six points from a year ago. It’s also 10 times as high as the second-most-popular answer, Nike, which doesn’t compete with Amazon on general online shopping.
Most of Amazon’s performance boost came from the category Piper Jaffray defines as upper-income teen males, where the website was up six points when compared with the fall. Fifty-nine percent in that category said Amazon was their favorite website, but only 38% of upper-income females said the same thing, holding steady from six months ago.
Females were more likely to have other favorite sites for shopping, usually trendy fashion sites such as Fashion Nova, Forever 21, or American Eagle.
Teens are also taking a liking to online shopping more than they have previously. Teens are spending more time than ever shopping on online-only websites and less time in physical department stores or specialty retailers, according to Piper Jaffray’s survey. Online shopping rose 500 basis points over department and specialty stores.
Additionally, a large percentage of teens — 89% of upper-income female teens and 91% of upper-income male teens — said they shopped online. These were the highest percentages Piper Jaffray had recorded for both genders in its survey.
These shopping preferences seem to mirror those of the earlier generation, millennials, who have fallen in love with Amazon’s quick shipping, selection, and ease of use.
In 2018, Cowen & Co. found that the website was the “clear preferred shopping destination” for almost everything, including categories like apparel that aren’t traditionally associated with Amazon.
But millennials’ love goes even deeper than that. According to a 2018 survey from Max Borges Agency, 44% of millennials said they would rather give up sex than quit Amazon for a year, and 77% of those surveyed said they would choose Amazon over alcohol for a year.
The new data runs counter to some previous surveys, including one from 2017 that found that Gen Z preferred to shop in stores.
In a 2017 holiday shopping survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 81% of respondents ages 13 through 17 said they preferred to shop in stores over online, while 40% said they would only shop in stores for that holiday season. For other age groups, it was about even.
Gen Z’s preferences starting to look more like millennials’ most likely comes as something of a relief for Amazon, which will most likely depend on Gen Z’s spending dollars as they get older.
By Dennis Green