April 5, 2012, 11:58 AM

Amazon.com is No. 1 in relevance, consumers say

The e-retailer beat out major multichannel retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart.

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Consumers say Amazon.com Inc. is the retailer that is most relevant to them and their shopping preferences, according to the results of a consumer survey conducted by Brodeur Partners, a communications company.

Amazon.com, No. 1 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, beat out 20 other national retailers to take the top spot. Rounding out the top five finishers in order are Target Corp. (No. 22 in the Top 500 Guide), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 6), Best Buy Co. (No. 11) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (No. 16.) More than 2,000 consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 took part in the online survey, which was conducted in November.

"Amazon.com has clearly cracked the code when it comes to being relevant to American shoppers,” says Brodeur Partners CEO Andy Coville.

Amazon received an overall average score of 9.54; followed by Target, 9.10; Wal-Mart, 8.57; Best Buy, 7.35; and Costco, 7.11; Brodeur did not immediately explain its scoring scale.

The survey measured consumers’ perception of retailer relevance in four areas: practical relevance, which is defined as the retailer consumers believe is the most dependable and provides the best value; social appeal, meaning which retailer the consumer is most proud to be associated with; values, meaning how well a retailer reflects the consumer’s personal values; and sensory appeal, defined as the retailer that the consumer finds the most interesting and appealing.

Amazon earned the best score across all categories except sensory relevance, where Target received top marks. This is likely because consumers shop at Target stores, where they can touch and feel merchandise, unlike web-only Amazon, says Jerry Johnson, executive vice president of strategic planning at Brodeur Partners. “Clearly there’s something shoppers find exciting about Target, its store design, merchandise and messaging,” he says.

Internet Retailer publisher Jack Love will talk about how the largest e-retailers can connect with the 21st century consumer in a session unveiling the 2012 edition of the Top 500 Guide during the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago in June.

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