Fewer Consumers Report Window Shopping on Amazon Now Than in 2018

April 10, 2020

Tinuiti Use of Amazon to Discover Brands Apr2020Consumers are less likely to use Amazon to discover new brands now than they were in 2018. A recent report [download page] from Tinuiti illustrates how consumers’ shopping habits have changed on the site when it comes to window shopping for new products or placing trust in unknown brands.

The percentage of respondents who claim to frequently use Amazon to find new products or brands has decreased from 2018, from more than one-quarter (27.2%) to 23.6%. Likewise, there was a considerable change in the percentage of consumers who reported rarely browsing for new products on the platform, with this figure climbing from one-fifth (20.2%) to more than one-quarter (26.3%). The share of those who sometimes window shop on Amazon remains around half, but has decreased slightly from 52.6% to 50.1%.

(Editor’s note: this survey was conducted prior to the full emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, and numbers could since have changed as people are more likely to shelter in place. However, declining trust in the platform – as seen below – could also impact Amazon shopping negatively as people worry about purchasing counterfeit products.)

Tinuiti’s report also highlights a decrease in trust in Amazon among consumers, which could be a factor in the broader hesitance to window shop. The percentage of respondents who are more likely to buy a brand they don’t know on Amazon than any other store has fallen from more than half (53.4%) in 2018 to 42.9% in 2019. Moreover, Gen Z, in particular, seems less likely to browse for brands: the percentage who rarely purchase products they don’t know on Amazon has more than doubled from 14.5% to 33.1%.

Customer reviews are a key factor in consumers’ online purchase decisions, and responses to the survey suggest a link between how shoppers feel about Amazon’s reviews specifically and their browsing habits. Fewer consumers fully trust Amazon reviews now (13.6%) than in 2018 (17.4%). While a majority claims to somewhat trust Amazon reviews (at 55.6%, up from 49.8%), there has also been a slight rise in the percentage who do not trust them at all, from 5.3% to 6.2%.

Previous research by Epsilon found that Amazon’s product reviews are the least important reason why consumers choose to shop on the site. Indeed, a lack of trust in these reviews and in Amazon, more generally, appears to be impacting how willing consumers are to experiment with purchasing new products or brands on the platform.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Based on a Q1 2020 online survey of 2,001 consumers, all of whom had bought a product on Amazon in the past 6 months.

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