The ‘go-to’ online retailer is…

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The ‘go-to’ online retailer is…

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 06/11/2018
When American shoppers click or use their voice to place online order, one retailer is getting a majority of their attention.

Of the nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) that have purchased an item online, 92% said they have bought an item through Amazon, according to a new NPR/Marist Poll.

According to data, 44% of online shoppers said that Amazon is their first stop when making an online purchase. This outshines Google (33%), the apps or websites of a specific store (10%), a specific brand online (6%), or an online marketplace such as eBay or Etsy (5%).

Sixty four percent of online shoppers are Amazon Prime users. More than four in 10 Americans (44%), have used Amazon Prime, which includes 30% who are personally a Prime member and an additional 14% who share someone else's membership. This means that nearly two in three online shoppers (64%) are either an Amazon Prime member (44%), or share someone else's Prime membership (20%).

Customers also trust the online giant with their personal data. In fact, 67% of online shoppers trust the company to protect their privacy and personal information. This contrasts with the overall perception of online retailers, as a majority of online shoppers (52%) said they either don't have very much (38%) or have no confidence at all (14%) in most online retailers to keep consumers' personal data secure.

Online shopping has also changed the habits of American shoppers. For example, 90% of online shoppers prefer free shipping even if an item takes longer to arrive. A majority of customers (88%) are attracted to the ability to shop day or night and ability to find a product easily. Meanwhile, 78% like online shopping because they don't have to deal with lines of people.

When deciding whether to shop online instead of going to a store, 39% of shoppers cite the speed in which they need an item as the most important determining factor. Difficulty in getting to the store (23%) and the price of an item (23%) follow. Nearly four in ten online shoppers (39%) say an online retailer's free return policy largely influences their decision to buy online.

Fifty six percent of those who shop virtually said the availability of recommendations by the online retailer is influential in their decision to make their purchase online. This includes 18% who consider it to be a major component in their decision.

Customers are increasingly willing to purchase across different categories online, including the 84% of online shoppers that have purchased clothes or shoes from a digital retailer. Only 20% of Amazon shoppers who buy clothes or shoes online have done so at Amazon.

Despite all this, a majority of Americans who shop online (56%) still prefer to shop in a brick and mortar store, according to the data.

"In just over two decades, Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos has created a formidable enterprise with enormous influence that brings to mind the likes of John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates," says Pallavi Gogoi, chief business editor of NPR. "Bezos became the richest man in America by turning an online book store into a retail behemoth that wields enormous influence.”

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