How Amazon Changed Shopper Expectations

PowerReviews Releases Research Paper Detailing How Shoppers Demand and Seek Information

CHICAGO--()--PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question-and-answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, today released a new research paper detailing Amazon’s rise and how the retailer's dominance has changed shopper expectations. The paper is based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over. It explores behavior and contributing factors to Amazon’s dominance, plus steps that brands and retailers can take to compete.

“Amazon accounted for almost half of all 2016 online holiday sales and is the undisputed e-commerce market leader. Our survey found that consumers biggest pain point pre- and post- purchase was not having enough information. Amazon provides rich content in the form of product reviews, photos, videos and descriptions to build trust. Consumers have come to not only rely on this information but expect brands and retailers to provide it as well,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer, PowerReviews. “Retailers are under no illusion about the competition they face but they have the tools compete and win by providing relevant content and by utilizing loyalty programs to increase engagement and conversion.”

The survey found that 71% of shoppers make at least one Amazon purchase a month. Shoppers cite the following reasons:

  • Variety of Products: 79%
  • Free Shipping: 64%
  • Better Deals: 60%
  • Volume of Customer Reviews: 55%
  • Search Capabilities: 54%
  • Mobile Experience: 29%

Additionally, 70% of surveyed shoppers use brand or retailer sites to research their purchase before navigating to Amazon to complete the transaction, a cause of frustration for retailers. Amazon is shaping the e-commerce landscape with detailed product information, authentic user generated content, and loyalty perks that consumers now expect.

Our survey found two main themes, noting that Amazon is both consistent and trustworthy. Consumers have come to rely on Amazon to delivery everything from daily essentials to the higher priced splurge items. Unlike a typical loyalty program offering discounts, Amazon Prime charges customers a membership fee in return for benefits such a free shipping and free videos. In return, shoppers are fiercely loyal. Amazon has raised the bar for all retailers and brands who are struggling with how to compete in this new and complex world.

Table Stakes: Our survey confirmed that free shipping and returns are table stakes for e-retailers:

  • 84% cited free shipping as a compelling incentive
  • 62% were tempted by the offer of free returns
  • 29% found reordering ease enticing

Through its Vine program, Amazon is also redefining loyalty by focusing not only on customers who frequently buy products, but also on customers who frequently contribute useful reviews with perks such as free samples.

Differentiators: Shoppers are attracted and retained through the following perks:

  • 33% of consumers would like free products
  • 29% cited loyalty points
  • 27% want early access to sales
  • 19% are intrigued by early access to products

To read the full white paper please visit, or listen to a breakdown on the survey results in a webinar recording with Theresa O’Neil, SVP of Marketing.

About PowerReviews

PowerReviews works with more than 1,000 global brands and retailers to increase conversion and improve products and the customer experience with ratings and reviews and Q&A software. PowerReviews unifies and amplifies the voice of the consumer throughout their journey, across all channels to help consumers make better purchase decisions and to help businesses drive conversion and improve products and services. Ratings and reviews solutions from PowerReviews are essential for consumers as they search and shop online and in-store, driving traffic on more than 5,000 websites, creating actionable insights to improve products and services, increasing conversion, and growing online site-wide sales up to 17 percent. The PowerReviews Syndication Network reaches 1,200 retailers and more than 700 million in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are. For more information, visit


Jenna Nichols

Release Summary

PowerReviews releases a paper on behavior and contributing factors to Amazon’s dominance, plus steps that brands and retailers can take to compete.


Jenna Nichols