Amazon Australia Traffic Is Misleading

by Jim January 29, 2018

Recent Nielsen data suggested Amazon enjoyed a traffic surge of over 80% between November and December last year. I was a little sceptical, so decided to do some digging of my own.

What I learned

Nielsen’s data collection methodology leaves room for improvement Google Trends is the go-to tool for real data analysis Australia’s main retailers didn’t cop the beating some predicted Supermarket chain traffic visibly spikes during holidays Brand drives search and affects conversion rates

Resources From This Week

Amazon Australia`s traffic jumped 81pc in December Amazon Go queueless store queues

Video Transcript

Hey! Welcome back, Rankers. It`s a Melbourne summer, and it`s bloody hot, so if I start to sweat and glow a little bit under the lights in the new studio, I apologise. Thank you to everyone who leaves comments on the YouTube channel. Special thanks to Alyson last week who left a bit of feedback for me. All feedback`s good, so thank you very much, everyone who leaves a comment there.

Nielsen Data Spike

I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about Amazon. So, Amazon Go launched last week with their queue-less stores which had people queued up around the block in Seattle, and then also last week we had a story out of the Australian Financial Review discussing Nielsen data around traffic of in December, and they said it rose 80.9% from November, which is quite extraordinary. And when I went and had a look at how Nielsen collect their data, it`s from a combination of things. One of the things that they do is they look at audience panels, and the way that they do the panel recruitment is, Nielsen`s online panel is created using a proprietary methodology that combines representativeness of probability sampling with the depth provided by an online-recruited panel. "The probability of calibration sample provides a baseline for representative demography and online behaviour. This baseline is used to create demographic and behavioural weights to correct for potential biases in the online-recruited panel."  I`m using Google Trends. So, when I go and have a look at Google Trends, this is Amazon Australia`s false launch in November. Then they had their actual launch in December, and you can see there, quite distinctly, that Google is telling us that less people were looking for them, for their brand, and that`s what we`re talking about here with the Nielsen data. And quite frankly, I`ve never been a big fan of it because I like real data. I don`t like people trying to interpret what other people are doing based on, you know, a sample size. Whereas, if I can go and look at hard data of what actual people are doing, we can make some assumptions from that, but trying to take a representative panel of people, I think that`s fraught with danger in an industry where you can get real data.

Brand Drives Search

So, for instance this is Amazon as a key search term, and it`s over the last 90 days, and it`s just in Australia, it`s just web search. So, we can see the two spikes. We`ve got a Batman moment there, as I like to say, and then we just see it drop off, so I can`t see how Amazon got an 81% increase in December to their traffic. And then it goes on to say that it was the big winner, and it`s bigger than JB Hi-Fi. Yes, it was, but look, Kmart eclipsed everyone for that 90-day period, right, and you look at it over December as well, and you could see it as well, and you can`t see any spikes for Amazon around Christmas or New Year. So, the purple line is Woolworths, which is a big grocery chain here, and you can see there that Christmas Eve, big spike, "Oh, my God, we haven`t got custard for the Christmas pudding." Everyone heads down to ... Well, I did, anyway. And then you have New Year`s Eve. Once again, I need blah, blah, blah for New Year`s Eve, and then, of course, here we have Australia Day where, we just had, and everyone is looking for stuff for the barbecue. Right. And you can see similar spikes there with other retailers. We`ve got JB Hi-Fi spiking around Boxing Day sales, and Amazon didn`t get any of that traffic. Now, you might say, "Well, Jim, that`s just people searching for the brand." Well, yes it is. That`s all it is, and I think that`s more representative of traffic and brand recognition than a Nielsen rating score. I`m sorry, Nielsen, but that`s just the way I feel. `Cause when you go and have a look at some of these other numbers, it tells us that Woolworths is the big winner. It`s got nearly 50% more traffic than Coles, which is another Australian supermarket grocery chain, and yet, when we go and have a look at Google data over the last 12 months, we can see there that the Coles supermarket chain has a higher brand recognition, not by much over the last 12 months, than Woolworths, and certainly IGA, the Independent Grocers Association, they`re quite low, and then then the German supermarket chain ALDI is, well, a distant third. But other interesting things here is that I didn`t know that we`ve got a supermarket grocery chain spike in April, which must be Easter. Easter and Christmas are the big ... Easter, Christmas, and New Year are the big moments for supermarket chains, so there you go. But if you are wanting to find out how your brand is going, and your brand is one of the most important things not only for your search rankings, which it will affect indirectly ... Forget about correlation and causation. Build your brand. Forget about Google. It will also affect your conversion rates. The more people that are talking about you in relation to your key words, then the higher you will rank for those key words. Now, incidentally, on Amazon we’ve got an awesome eBook that’s been written, so if you are a retailer trying to work out whether you should be on Amazon or not, just click the link below and you will be able to download a copy of the eBook which is written by our head of content here, Heath. I don’t think he likes me to say his surname. I think he’s on the run. But have a read of this book. It contains awesome insights that have gone into creating this book, so if you want that book, email me, [email protected] That’s it for this week’s show. Please leave a comment. If you’ve got any comments about the Amazon Christmas period … How did you go as a retailer? Did you find that you got more sales from Amazon than you did from your other channels, say, like, eBay and those other things? I don’t think you would have, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Love to know. And that’s it for this week’s show; we’ll see you next week. Thanks very much, everyone. Bye.

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