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Amazon’s potential acquisition of brick-and-mortar grocer Whole Foods is, at this point, old news.

Yet Amazon has managed to maintain the momentum generated by the announcement through some newly released third-party research further validating its massive push into the grocery category.

Let’s take a look at some highlights.

The Future is Bright

Especially relevant in terms of the acquisition is a poll by ChargeItSpot, which found 62 percent of consumers are more likely to visit Whole Foods after the Amazon acquisition (that’s coincidentally the same percentage of Whole Foods shoppers already subscribed to Amazon Prime, according to Morgan Stanley.)

The same survey also found 84 percent of shoppers have ‘positive feelings’ about the merger, which is especially noteworthy considering how the public often reacts to large corporate mergers. When it was announced in 2014, for example, just 11 percent supported the Comcast/TimeWarner merger.

More general -- and as far as the grocery category’s shift towards e-commerce -- another recent study found more than 1 in 4 shoppers now, “prefer to purchase groceries online regularly.”

The survey also found 59 percent of ‘infrequent eCommerce shoppers’ say they’re, “somewhat to extremely likely to try pure play eCommerce websites like Amazon” during the next year.

Less Encouraging Signs?

Not every new bit of research is cause for Amazon to celebrate, however.

As much as the public narrative seems to imply Amazon is on its way to being the primary player in online grocery, there are indications otherwise.

For example, market research firm FieldAgent recently found 25 percent of shoppers purchase fresh foods on the site versus only 5 percent of shoppers on Amazon, giving the prior a substantial lead in the race.

This is seemingly a compelling statistic, but while it appears to suggest Walmart is winning the e-grocery war, it’s important these findings be interpreted for what they accurately.

The survey indicates five times as many shoppers currently purchase fresh foods as consumers on Amazon. However, this is expressed as a percentage of the total number of shoppers, not by total volume.

Therefore, this statistic represents the adoption rate of fresh food purchase on each particular site, rather than any measure of revenue or relevance in the market.

While trailing in adoption rate is surely of some concern to Amazon, with several times the monthly traffic and e-commerce revenue, the number of total Amazon consumers purchasing fresh food (and the total number of dollars spent on those products) likely tells a very different story.

It’s easy to tell an industry or trend is of major interest because it becomes the frequent focus of new surveys and research. With new data on e-commerce (and particularly Amazon and grocery) being released almost daily, it’s clear the business world has its eyes on these topics, and plans to for the foreseeable future.


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