Survey: Consumer trust may be Amazon’s true competitive advantage

According to a newly released NPR/Marist poll, 92 percent of US online shoppers have used Amazon to buy something. And nearly 70 percent of Prime subscribers shop Amazon at least monthly.

But more significantly, Amazon has the confidence of almost 70 percent (67 percent) of its customers, who say they trust the company to protect their personal data. The survey of just over 1,000 adults was conducted in late April and early May through telephone interviews.

Source: NPR/Marist survey of 1,057 US adults (2018)

Supporting the findings above, an unrelated Walker Sands “Future of Retail” survey asserts that “on average, two in five consumers (41 percent) receive 1-2 packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half (50 percent) for consumers ages 18-25, and 57 percent for consumers ages 26-35.”

In a shareholder letter (.pdf) filed with the SEC in April, Amazon said it had more than 100 million Prime subscribers globally. The NPR/Marist poll estimates that 64 percent of online shoppers now belong to Amazon Prime. The poll generated an extrapolated estimate of 75 million US Prime subscribers, with an additional 35 million who use a friend or family member’s account.

As with several other polls in the recent past, the NPR/Marist survey found that Amazon beats Google as the starting point for online shopping or product search.

Source: NPR/Marist survey of 1,057 US adults (2018)

Among other questions explored in the NPR survey were categories of products purchased on Amazon versus other online retailers. In most of the categories offered (chart below), Amazon is competitive or wins, with the major exception of “clothes or shoes.” However, Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo Look “style assistant” might help change that.

Source: NPR/Marist survey of 1,057 US adults (2018)

Based on a separate survey of 2,000 US Amazon shoppers in late 2017, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that annual spending for all Amazon customers is roughly $1,000, with Prime members spending roughly $1,300. Amazon Alexa device owners spend even more: around $1,700 annually.

Returning to one of the most provocative findings of the NPR survey, at a time of rampant skepticism and distrust, Amazon captures high marks from its customers. According to the survey:

67% of online consumers report having either a great deal (32%) or quite a lot of confidence (35%) in Amazon to protect their privacy and personal information. This contrasts with the overall perception of online retailers. A majority of online shoppers (52%) say 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.


About The Author