New Report Shows Just How Significant Amazon’s Reach in Ecommerce Is

80% of consumers check reviews and prices there first

Consumers don't just use Amazon for shopping—it's a research tool as well. Getty Images
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

Surprise, surprise—another ecommerce industry report with more signs of just how much Amazon is setting trends.

The Future Shopper Report from Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce company, surveyed 3,516 U.S. and U.K. consumers who bought something online in the past month to see how they felt about Amazon, digital retail innovations and voice commerce. The report reaffirms how much of a disruption Amazon’s creating in the marketplace—even if it’s not the ultimate final-purchase destination for consumers.

Amazon rules everything around the consumer

Amazon isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s also a comparison tool for consumers, as 80 percent of people surveyed said they check Amazon reviews and prices, even if they’re looking at other sites or shopping in-store. And while 51 percent of shoppers will start on Amazon, 46 percent said they could find lower prices elsewhere.

“As good as a company Amazon is, they’re not the only retailer or option that consumers have to purchase products,” said Frank Kochenash, managing director, Wunderman Commerce North America. “That it’s not entirely there does indicate some of the diversity and opportunity that show up in individual categories.”

The shopping journey isn’t the only part of the ecommerce industry Amazon dominates; the company is also constantly changing consumer expectations. With the rise of Prime and Prime Now, for instance, 63 percent of millennials expect delivery within 24 hours, and 22 percent of consumers expect it within 12.

“When it comes to ecommerce, Amazon is setting the expectation particularly around delivery, delivery speed, fulfillment and service,” Kochenash said. “For retailers, they need to figure out and determine how they will compete, not just against Amazon but against everyone.”

Online grocery shopping is growing in popularity

Sixty-six percent of consumers are shopping for their groceries online, which makes it no surprise that companies like, Target, Walmart and others are ramping up their grocery delivery and pickup services. However, don’t expect brand loyalty—19 percent of consumers buy from a marketplace, 11 percent from a brand’s site and 36 percent from a retailer’s online store.

“It’s a ripe time for grocers and grocery retailers to increase their ecommerce capabilities,” Kochenash said. “We are approaching the rising part of the adoption curve when it comes to online grocery.”

Consumers want more digital innovations from retailers and brands

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed reported that they prefer to shop with retailers that are “digitally innovative,” with that number growing to 87 percent among millennials.

It’s an indication of where consumers want to go, considering 76 percent of U.S. consumers feel more “digitally advanced” than retailers, 71 percent are “comfortable voice shopping” and 79 percent are looking forward to cashier-less stores like Amazon Go.

Digital innovation extends to other categories as well, like social commerce, which 29 percent of millennials use to buy products. Meanwhile, 33 percent are using social media for inspiration and 37 percent for product recommendations.

It’s still unclear just how much consumers want to shop on social media sites, Kochenash said, but he thinks companies should “innovate and experiment and test” nonetheless.

Keep Amazon top of mind

Kochenash said not enough marketers are considering the full scope of Amazon, including its use as a research tool.

“I think that has major implications for a lot of categories, even for categories [that] are still growing in ecommerce or don’t have a lot of ecommerce strategies,” he said.

Considering sixty-eight percent of people surveyed go to Amazon first to search for a products in the U.S., it’s advice worth considering.

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.