Survey: One key factor keeps Amazon customers returning

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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online shopper

Despite some negative sentiments, consumers are mostly willing to continue shopping at Amazon.

According to a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers conducted by delivery platform provider Convey, one in four respondents (24%) have negative feelings about Amazon’s impact on the retail industry as a whole. This disapproval grows when it comes to Amazon’s ecological footprint, with 27% of respondents saying they feel very or somewhat negative about Amazon’s impact on the environment.

However, these sentiments don’t necessarily impact shopping behavior. One in five (21%) shoppers who were negative about Amazon’s impact on retail still reported buying at least 50% of all their goods on Amazon. Negative sentiment on environmental impact didn’t seem to sway shoppers either; more than one in four (24%) shoppers who believe Amazon is very or somewhat damaging to the environment still buy at least 50% of all their goods on Amazon.

The survey also revealed that younger Americans feel more strongly about Amazon’s ecological footprint than older generations. More than one in three (35%) millennials said Amazon has a very or somewhat negative impact on the environment.

Despite these concerns, fully 47% of respondents do at least a quarter of their shopping on Amazon, and 23% buy more than half of all their goods on the site. Fast and free shipping is far and away the top reason people shop at Amazon, selected by 80% of respondents, followed second by the broad selection of merchandise (69%). Nearly half of respondents (49%) said Amazon offers the best pricing, and four in 10 (42%) named ‘best online shopping experience’ as the reason why they choose Amazon.

Delving deeper into respondent attitudes toward Amazon shipping policies, 25% of respondents said they would not use Amazon at all if they had to pay for shipping. Another four in 10 (39%) said they were unsure – meaning that close to two thirds (64%) of shoppers would at least consider buying elsewhere if free shipping were not offered.

By contrast, respondents were slightly more flexible when it comes to delivery speed. While just over one in 10 respondents (12%) said arrival within one to two days is essential for them to continue using Amazon, more than half (55%) said they would still use the site if deliveries arrived in three to four days, as long as shipping was free. However, this tolerance declines sharply if packages take more than five days to arrive (34%), with just 9% saying they would wait more than eight days for their free Amazon deliveries.

When it comes to delivery concerns, package theft was the biggest worry for respondents (30%). The second biggest concern was returns (14%). The lowest concern was “poor packaging of items’ (3%) – and nearly three in 10 shoppers (29%) said they aren’t concerned with Amazon deliveries at all.