Amazon up against declining social sentiment this holiday
Amazon’s singing boxes might need to sing a little more cheerfully this holiday season. A recent report from Bain & Co. found that consumer sentiment about the e-commerce giant is declining, something that could prove problematic for the retailer as it enters the crucial holiday selling period.
“Consumers are certainly expressing some negativity about Amazon, particularly things associated with the company itself, whether from a corporate or brand-image standpoint,” says Suzanne Tager, senior director of Bain & Company's retail and consumer products practices. Bain found that on social media, the number of negative and neutral posts about Amazon has increased since 2017, including year-to-date, while positive comments have decreased.
At the same time, the Seattle-based retailer is facing increased competition from other players. Bain found that Amazon's “net promoter score”—which measures how likely a customer will shop a brand—has been on the wane in key categories like consumer electronics, sporting goods and beauty, when compared to other retailers. Specialty retailers like Apple, REI, Sephora and Home Goods have replaced Amazon in their respective categories this year, Bain found. Meanwhile, chains such as Walmart and Target are also focusing on competing with Amazon on services to make purchases as convenient as possible for customers. Target, which has seen record sales success in recent years, has stocked up on exclusive products and is pushing offerings like drive-up pickup and same-day delivery in its holiday marketing.
“Amazon has more competition this year than they have in the past,” Tager says.
Of course, Amazon still commands a gigantic piece of the retail pie. Bain found the company gained 2 points of e-commerce market share in the second half of 2018 to 42 percent. Amazon recently mailed out its holiday gift guides and has been ramping up its marketing. The company worked with Lucky Generals for the third year on its singing boxes campaign. The ad, which will air digitally in a 90-second version, is on national broadcast TV in 60-and 30-second clips.