95% of Americans Shop at Amazon — Here’s How They Do It
Amazon.com long ago outgrew its online-bookstore roots, and today is among the largest businesses in the world. It plays a central role in American consumers’ shopping habits and their lives. A new survey from CouponFollow shows that 94.9% of American adults have made a purchase on Amazon in the past 12 months.
Our survey also provides a closer look at how Amazon shoppers use the site and view its offerings, from Prime Day 2019 to Amazon Smile, and more. Here’s a look at what we discovered — and how you can save when shopping at Amazon.
Amazon shopping survey highlights
- Out of 20 American adults, 19 have made an Amazon.com purchase within the past 12 months.
- Among these Amazon shoppers, 7 in 10 have an Amazon Prime membership. The most popular features of the Prime membership are free shipping and streaming through Prime Video.
- Over half of Amazon shoppers have completed a purchase on Prime Day in previous years, and 58% plan to shop on Prime Day 2019. The most popular items to shop for on Prime Day are electronics, and three-quarters expect to spend $50 or more on Prime Day shopping.
- More than half (55.2%) of Amazon shoppers haven’t heard of Amazon Smile, a program that donates a percentage of purchase amounts to charity. Even among Amazon Smile users, over half (55.7%) admit they often forget to use it.
- Two out of 5 Amazon shoppers (39.1%) say they rarely or never check for coupon codes before checking out. Yet 88% of Amazon shoppers say they’re more likely to make a purchase if they find a coupon code that applies.
- Amazon plays a central role in consumers’ shopping cycles, with shoppers using it to discover or search for items, compare prices, and read reviews. In fact, shoppers are more likely to use Amazon.com to search for products than to use a search engine such as Google.
It’s all about the Amazon Prime Membership
Among consumers who have made a purchase on Amazon in the past year, 7 in 10 (71.3%) have an Amazon Prime membership. Another 3.7% aren’t members but plan to buy a Prime membership before or on Prime Day 2019.
Only a quarter (24.8%) of Amazon shoppers don’t have a Prime membership.
For Amazon shoppers, Prime shipping is the biggest benefit of this service. Two-thirds have used Prime Shipping in the past year, followed by Prime Video used by 52%. Here’s an overview of the Amazon services consumers use.
Far less common than an Amazon Prime membership, however, is an Amazon Prime Rewards card. Only 1 in 4 Amazon shoppers (26.1%) currently own an Amazon Prime rewards card. Amazon Prime members are slightly more likely to have a rewards card, which 40.0% say they do. Of people who do own an Amazon Prime card, 62% hold it mainly for the cashback perk.
Amazon’s free charity program, Amazon Smile, is also less popular than Amazon Prime. Over half (55%) haven't heard of Amazon Smile, which allows users to shop Amazon as usual while having 0.5% of the purchase donated to their choice of a charity.
Of Amazon users who have heard of and use Amazon Smile, over half (55.3%) admit they often forget to use it.
Consumers have big plans for Amazon Prime Day 2019
Over half of Amazon shoppers, 51.2%, say they have shopped on Amazon on Prime Day. Another third (32.8%) haven’t shopped Prime Day, and 16.0% don’t know what Prime Day is.
Those who aren’t shopping Prime Day could be missing out. Among those who have shopped on Prime Day, most are happy with the deals offered up — 53.9% say they deals have been good (29.7%) or excellent (24.2%).
This year, 58.2% of Amazon shoppers plan to shop on Amazon Prime Day 2019. The most common items consumers shop for are electronics, which more than half of people say they’ll check out on Prime Day.
Here’s a look at the most popular items to purchase on Prime Day 2019.
Consumers are willing to drop some dough to get some great deals on Prime Day, too. The most common amount shoppers plan to spend os $51 to $100 (32.9%). However, there are even more people, 39.2%, who expect to spend $100 or more. Here’s a breakdown of how much people plan to pay for Prime Day deals:
- 12.9% are spending $0 or don’t plan to shop on Prime Day
- 15.1% plan to spend $1 to $50
- 32.9% are dropping $51 to $100
- 20.0% expect to spend $101 to $150
- 11.1% will spend $151 to $250
- 8.0% are going to pay more than $250
Amazon plays a central role in the shopping cycle
Consumers visit Amazon.com to do more than just the final purchase transaction. Many head here to discover products, read reviews, and research and compare options.
- Two out of 3 consumers say they most often stumble upon new products on Amazon.com. Compare that to 11.3% who use a search engine, and 9.4% who visit retailer sites to shop for new products.
- Shoppers also prefer to use Amazon for researching and comparing products at 49.4%, over search engines (32.3%) or retailer websites (10.6%).
- Even when consumers already know what they want and are ready to buy, Amazon is still their top destination; 62.9% head to Amazon at this stage of shopping. Another 19.1% use search engines, and 11.9% visit retailer websites once they’ve picked out an item and are making a purchase.
This difference shows that Google Shopping and other platforms are lagging far behind Amazon in offering tools that aid consumers in the shopping cycle: discovery, research, and purchase decision making.
Only 38.1% prefer to browse Amazon.com via a desktop and 39.7% prefer a desktop for making purchases on Amazon. But more shoppers prefer using a mobile device to both browse (61.9%) and buy (60.4%).
Shoppers use Amazon to research products and compare prices
Once shoppers have settled on an item, are they looking for a deal? Some are — 37.7% say they always or almost always compare prices before finalizing a purchase on Amazon.com.
But more could be taking this simple step to save money, as 29.1% say they do so only sometimes and another 15.3% say they infrequently or never compare prices before checking out online. Here’s a complete breakdown of price comparison habits among Amazon shoppers.
The price point also matters for customers, and they’re more likely to price compare on more expensive items. Around 48.0% say they would price compare for any purchase of $50 or more, and another 23.9% will price compare when they’re spending $100 and up. (Only 3.3% say they wouldn’t comparison shop and would just buy on Amazon.)
Shoppers might be sleeping on one important tool: the Amazon Marketplace. Only 1 in 3 consumers frequently check Amazon Marketplace prices for a better price, while about 1 in 3 (36%) check it sometimes, and 1 in 3 (30%) check infrequently or do not know about Marketplace sellers.
Reviews are central to Amazon shoppers’ purchase choices
Amazon shoppers don’t skip reviews — at least, only 3% of consumers rarely or never check Amazon reviews. Far more, two-thirds, say that they always (38.7%) or almost always (29.3%) read an item’s reviews before purchasing it on Amazon.
Amazon reviews also affect shoppers’ decisions to purchase or pass. Half of shoppers (53.9%) will skip a product with 20% or fewer 2-star reviews. And the vast majority of shoppers, 93% will abandon a product of interest if half (50%) of users rated it 2 stars or less.
Here’s a full look at how the portion of reviews with 1- or 2-star reviews affect Amazon purchases.
When looking at product reviews, many shoppers are likely watching out for copycat or counterfeit items. In fact, 62.0% of consumers are concerned that they will receive a counterfeit product from Amazon, including 16.0% which claim they already have.
Amazon reviews play a critical role in influencing consumers purchase decisions, but most shoppers do not consider them to be very reliable.
Most consumers (64.9%) feel Amazon reviews are only somewhat reliable, or less. This includes 17.7% of people who find reviews on Amazon as unreliable. However, a third say they’re completely or very reliable (35.1%), compared to 6.4% of people who find it completely or very unreliable.
Amazon overlaps with the latest tech trends
As a major tech company, Amazon is at the forefront of many new trends in consumer electronics and technology. It’s continuously expanded its offering to include video streaming, web and data services, and cutting-edge products with smart technology.
An example of this is Amazon’s Echo products, smart speakers that are voice-activated to play music, make calls, ask questions, and more. Roughly half (49%) of Amazon’s shoppers say they have one of these voice-controlled smart home devices, with 1 in 3 (35%) of device owners having made an Amazon.com purchase with it.
Additionally, most Amazon shoppers (85%) know what cryptocurrencies are. In fact, 1 in 5 (22.1%) say they would be interested in using a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to make purchases on Amazon.
Our survey reveals easy ways to shop smarter on Amazon.com
This CouponFollow survey reveals some interesting insights into how Amazon shoppers compare, consider, and make their purchases. The trends we found, however, prove that plenty of consumers could be doing more to save when shopping on Amazon.com or other sites.
Save with more Amazon coupon codes
Take coupons, for example — 86% of consumers at least somewhat agree that a coupon code offer would make them more likely to purchase an item right away. Yet 39.1% of Amazon shoppers say they rarely or never search for Amazon coupon codes before checking out (though 60.9% say they check for codes sometimes or more often).
This is where online shopping tools such as Cently come in. Cently is an automated coupon tool from CouponFollow that immediately finds coupon codes when you’re shopping on Amazon.com and at other major retailers. Shopping with the Cently browser extension saves consumers $27 off their purchase on average, or roughly 20%.
Comparing prices on the Amazon Marketplace
Cently also finds better Amazon Marketplace prices automatically. Just over 1 in 10 times it finds a better price with a range of savings from $1 to $500 and an average savings of $5. This could provide major savings since only a third of consumers say they price compare on the Amazon Marketplace.
Never again forget to use Amazon Smile
Online shopping tools can do more than just help you save — they can help you give back, too.
Just 12% of Amazon shoppers frequently remember to shop through Amazon Smile. This means 7 out of 8 Amazon shoppers are missing out on the opportunity to shop in a way that benefits their favorite charities and causes.
CouponFollow’s Smilematic browser extension allows an easy fix. Once installed, it will automatically redirect your visits to Amazon.com to Amazon Smile, to ensure every purchase you make on the site qualifies for a kickback to a charity.
Overall, our survey reveals that Amazon plays a major role in the shopping and buying cycle. This mega-retailer offers many tools that help shoppers make informed decisions that lead to satisfaction with their purchases. Combining Amazon’s shopping options with other online tools takes the savings potential to the next level — on Prime Day 2019 and beyond.
CouponFollow conducted a SurveyMonkey survey on May 28, 2019 to collect responses from 1,422 adults in the U.S. about their online and Amazon.com shopping habits. The full survey was completed by 1,349 respondents who responded “Yes” to the survey question, “Have you made a purchase on Amazon.com in the last 12 months?”