US Online Shoppers Put Amazon Above Search Engines for Inspiration and Product Searches

WundermanThompsonCommerce Top Channels Product Inspiration Search Aug2021The largest e-commerce retailer in the US appears to offer shoppers more than just fast shipping. US consumers see Amazon as the go-to for inspiration and product search when shopping online, per Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s The Future Shopper Report [download page].

Americans have a complicated relationship with Amazon. While it is considered one of the most reputable companies in the country, some have questioned the company’s ethics. However, those questions don’t stop more than half (57%) of US shoppers from relying on Amazon as a leading source of shopping inspiration. Amazon is favored far more than even social media (33%) and search engines (31%). Similarly, 6 in 10 (61%) say they go to Amazon for product search, where only 3 in 10 (31%) go to an actual search engine or social media channels (28%).

Globally, only 3 in 10 (29% of) online shoppers say Amazon is a source of inspiration. Instead, these consumers look to search engines (39%), social media (33%) and other marketplaces (32%). Likewise, when it comes to searching for products, 2 in 5 (40%) turn to search engines as well as social media (37%) and other marketplaces (35%).

Purchase Influencers

While global shoppers tend to rely on different platforms for product searches and inspiration, on the whole, they can agree on what influences their purchase decisions. More than 9 in 10 (94.8%) global shoppers say price is important, making it the number one purchase influencer, followed by accurate price descriptions, products that are easy to find, in-stock items, and convenient delivery.

These features could be why shopping from marketplaces like Amazon is so popular. Indeed, when asked what would encourage them to purchase directly from brands, shoppers listed features similar to those associated with Amazon such as better prices (58%), free delivery (51%), free returns (36%), fast and convenient delivery (36%) and loyalty programs (26%).

Even as brands ramp up influencer marketing efforts, friends and family remain influential. One in 5 global shoppers say their friends (21%) and family (19%) influence their purchase decisions, compared to only 14% who say the same about influencers. While US shoppers are slightly more likely to be influenced by social media influencers (18%), family (21%) is their biggest motivator.

The Future of Social Commerce

Per the report, 44% of global shoppers say they’ve purchased from a social platform, and the future of social commerce is hopeful. In fact, 56% say they plan to shop through social platforms more in the future. Factors such as deals and discounts (37%), ease of purchase (31%) and exclusive offers (27%) are likely to make shoppers use social commerce more.

Finally, some 14% of US shoppers are interested in livestream commerce via influencer streams and video calls with sales assistants.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a March-April 2021 survey of 28,426 consumers across 17 markets who shop online at least once a month.

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