The Amazon Advantage: Unrivalled as the Top Choice for Online Shoppers, Empowered by the Influential Role of Reviews and Ratings

Discover why Amazon is the preferred starting point for 50% of online shoppers. Explore the comprehensive offerings, extensive product selection, and user-friendly interface that make Amazon the go-to platform for fulfilling purchasing needs.

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The proliferation of smartphones and the widespread availability of high-speed Internet have revolutionized the realm of online shopping, offering people unparalleled access and convenience. In this digital landscape, E-commerce websites, official brand websites, social media platforms, and Google Search have emerged as influential channels for online shoppers exploring and seeking product information before making a purchase. Notably, a recent survey conducted by PowerReviews reveals that Amazon remains the primary starting point for 50% of consumers embarking on their online shopping journey.

Following closely behind are Google and brand or retail eStores, attracting 31.5% and 14% of online consumers, respectively. These findings highlight the dynamic preferences of online shoppers, showcasing Google as a prominent destination for researching and purchasing products. At the same time, brand websites and social media platforms play a complementary role in the consumer decision-making process.

However, when it comes to the frequency of online product research, a majority of consumers still rely on Google more often than any other channel. Approximately 37% of prospective online shoppers use Google on a daily basis for their shopping needs, surpassing the 26.5% who choose Amazon. This highlights the dominant position of Google as a primary platform for daily online product research. Moreover, an impressive 92% of consumers visit Google (compared to 93.5% for Amazon) at least once a month to browse and make purchases.

Google vs Amazon for online shopping search

In terms of regular online engagement, retailer and brand websites exhibit divergent visitation percentages among consumers. Monthly visits to retailer websites encompass approximately 83% of the consumer base, whereas brand websites attract visits from 52% of consumers within the same time frame. These figures indicate that while retailer websites maintain a substantial appeal for a significant segment of consumers, brand websites experience slightly lower visitation frequencies on average.

Influence of social media among Gen Z

Now, let us delve into the distribution of respondents across different generations, specifically focusing on their use of social media platforms as the initial step in their product search endeavours.

Even though social media represents only 2% of the total respondents who initiate their product search on such platforms, Gen Z stands out with the highest percentage at 5%, surpassing other generational cohorts such as Millennials (1.75%), Gen X (1%), and Boomers (0.5%).

As younger generations embrace technology and digital platforms, their social media usage for product searches is on the rise. This indicates a shift in consumer behaviour and highlights the increasing influence of digital channels in the shopping journey. With 37%, Facebook emerges as the most popular channel for discovering new products. This is followed by Instagram at 33%, YouTube at 31% and TikTok at 29%.

So what are the factors impacting consumers’ shopping behaviour? Is it product quality, free shipping, free returns, price, brand name, or reviews?

Let’s find out!

Harnessing the Power of Consumer Influence: Ratings And Reviews Shaping Online Shopping Behavior

A remarkable 94% of online shoppers attribute substantial importance to ratings and reviews when making purchase decisions. These insights are pivotal in influencing consumer behavior, alongside other critical factors such as product pricing (93%), the availability of complimentary shipping (75%), and the option for hassle-free returns or exchanges (63%).

Acknowledging the profound impact of reviews and ratings on purchasing decisions, prominent e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and others actively encourage customers to share their feedback by providing ratings and writing reviews post-purchase.

According to the PowerReviews survey, an impressive 77% of respondents deliberately seek out “websites with ratings and reviews,” demonstrating a notable increase from 63% in 2018. Of particular interest is the generational contrast observed in this behaviour. Gen Z (87%) and Millennials (81%) exhibit a higher inclination towards seeking websites featuring reviews compared to their older counterparts, such as Gen X (70%) and Boomers (63%).

Once again, Amazon (94%) maintains its lead as the most trusted source for accessing reviews and making informed purchasing decisions. This is followed closely by retail websites like and (91%). Search engines (70%) and brand websites (68%) are also popular destinations for consumers seeking review content before making a purchase.

The PowerReviews survey, titled “The Ever-Growing Power of Reviews”, was conducted in March 2023, encompassing 8,153 participants from the United States. The survey sample predominantly comprised millennials, accounting for 53% of respondents. Gen X represented 29% of the sample, followed by Baby Boomers at 10% and Gen Z at 8%.

In a nutshell

When it comes to online shopping, the world’s largest e-commerce platform, Amazon, continues to dominate as the go-to product search engine for discerning online shoppers. This Seattle-based behemoth leaves no stone unturned in enticing online shoppers, recently introducing new shopping features like the TikTok-style Inspire on its comprehensive e-commerce platform.

The overwhelming trust and preference for Amazon as the ultimate online search and shopping destination should come as no surprise. Unlike Google, primarily known for its search engine capabilities, Amazon offers a seamless and all-encompassing shopping experience within a single platform. From product searches to reviews and actual purchases, Amazon caters to the entire consumer journey. In contrast, while Google enables product searches, the actual purchasing process often redirects consumers to specific e-commerce websites or official brand sites. With its integrated search and shopping experience, Amazon stands out as the convenient and favoured choice for countless online shoppers.

Nevertheless, Google and social media platforms are rapidly gaining ground, particularly among the tech-savvy Gen Z cohort, who rely heavily on their smartphones and laptops for a multitude of activities.


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