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Published on July 7th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Survey reveals almost 70% of UK shoppers want Amazon to pay more taxes

The pandemic has had consequences for each and every sector, none more so than retail – with consumer demand rescinding and sky-rocketing in equal measure over the last year. Unsurprisingly, Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and similar marketplaces continue to be a mainstay in shoppers’ hearts; in the UK alone, over a quarter of all consumer spend is via Amazon.

But, according to Wunderman Thompson Commerce – the global eCommerce consultancy – which is sharing its annual Future Shopper report on the changing eCommerce landscape and shoppers’ habits in a post- COVID-19 world, consumers are at a crossroads, with close to 7 in 10 supporting the idea of Amazon paying more tax.

Can this desire for Amazon to be more ethically transparent counterbalance the growing boom in digital shopping channels?

The UK and global findings from the report, which surveyed over 28,000 consumers across 17 countries on their current and future shopping habits, include:

  • 27% of consumer spend is via Amazon in the UK. However, more than half (56%) of global consumers support the idea of amazon paying more taxes, rising to over two-thirds in the UK (69%) and 70% in the US.
  • In a post-pandemic world, online shopping will account for more than half (51%) of retail sales globally.
  • 72% of global shoppers say that online shopping came to their rescue in 2020
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) say eCommerce would be more important to them in 2021, yet two-thirds of global shoppers would prefer to shop with brands that have both an online and offline presence.

With online shopping booming, demand for physical retail is dwindling and consumers are on the hunt for brands that can offer them more than just one sales channel. In a nation of shopkeepers, the sector needs to digitise fast in order to survive.

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “eCommerce can no longer be treated as the supplementary sales channel. Global shoppers have clearly stated that, in the future, it will be their primary channel for retail purchasing. For some organisations, and particularly marketplaces, they are reaping the rewards of investing in a strong online presence, while the news has been littered with stories of businesses who have not identified these changing demands going bust.

“Amazon continues to be the leader of the retail pack in the West, alongside Mercado Libre in LATAM and a number of marketplaces in APAC, but they are facing increasing pressure from consumers to be more ethical and from competitors who are investing in their own direct-to-consumer offerings, digital marketplaces, innovations and social media platforms.

“Couple this with the fact that COVID-19 has weakened brand loyalty, and serious challenges remain in the sector – it’s no longer enough to just have an online offering that reaches customers on one or two channels and to expect long-term ROI.”

According to the report, despite the unabated rise of eCommerce and the fear of physical shopping – 41% say they are frightened about shopping in-store in the wake of COVID-19, with 48% of shoppers saying the same last year – consumers are demanding integrated omni-channel offerings from retailers and brands.

What’s more, two-thirds (64%) of global shoppers say that they prefer to shop with brands that have both an online and offline presence, while 59% of consumers said they wished brands would communicate seamlessly with them across all channels, digital and physical. And their expectations need to be met, with close to three-quarters (73%) saying retailers need to get better at giving them the products, service and experience they expect.

This means that retailers must operate across multiple channels including social commerce which is going to be a massive aspect of eCommerce. In fact, 44% of global consumers have already bought from a social platform and over half (56%) intend to increase this in the future.

“2021 and beyond will usher in an era of more diverse online offerings, with marketplaces, direct-to-consumer brand sites and social commerce all having a key role to play,” said Fletcher.

“Businesses must ensure that this more complex online landscape complements their overall retail offering which needs to span digital and physical.”

Download the annual Future Shopper report here

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