Recently, my colleagues Brian Walker and Sucharita Mulpuru released a great overview of Amazon and its role in retail. What’s clear from this report is that Amazon is affecting everyone, both retailers and consumers. In fact, it shows that for many shoppers, Amazon is increasingly their first stop on the retail path: Thirty percent of US online buyers said that they began researching their most recent online purchase on Amazon.
In Europe, we asked online Europeans about the websites that they used to research products/services in the past three months. In the UK, France, and Germany, Amazon was mentioned most often. While some local retailers hold their own, such as Argos in the UK and fnac in France, eBay is the runner-up in most of these markets.
The popularity of sites like eBay and Amazon means that many online buyers also research and purchase from little-known third-party merchants, and they show little reluctance about doing so. A recent Forrester study with Bizrate Insights shows that two-thirds of North American online buyers trust a purchase through a marketplace offered via a familiar retailer's pages, even if the third-party merchant selling the item is unfamiliar to them.