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Where do US consumers begin their product searches?

A majority share of consumers are now taking to marketplaces first when shopping online. According an August 2020 survey from ecommerce ad agency ChannelAdvisor conducted by Dynata, 53% of US adults said they began product searches at Amazon when planning to make a digital purchase.

Consumers are also intending to lean on Amazon heavily this holiday season. About two-thirds of respondents to the ChannelAdvisor and Dynata survey said they planned to research gifts on Amazon, 20 points ahead of Google.

“Research also continues to find that, for the most part, consumers are fine with the ad experience on Amazon—despite the fact that sponsored listings and other non-organic results continue to take up ever more real estate on the first search results page,” said Nicole Perrin, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence and author of our new report, “Amazon Advertising 2020.”

According to Tinuiti polling conducted in August 2020 by Survata (now Upwave), just 15% of US Amazon Prime members said ads had negatively impacted their Amazon experience. The most commonly cited negative impact on their Amazon experience was product quality, at 18%. About half of respondents said they hadn’t endured any bad Amazon experiences.

Gen Z and millennial Prime members were much more likely than those ages 40 and older to report a negative ad experience, as were male "super spenders" (spending $100 or more a month on the site), compared with their female counterparts.

Amazon’s ad business is built on its proprietary consumer data, and research conducted in March 2020 suggests US adults are fine with that. Integral Ad Science found survey respondents were more willing to share their personal data with retail sites, like Amazon, than with any other entity when the trade-off was for a more relevant and personalized ad experience.

That said, people do have a few qualms about Amazon’s significant power. Wunderman Thompson surveyed internet users in a handful of countries including the US in March this year. Most US respondents were Prime members (70%), and even more (82%) said they wished more brands and retailers had services like Amazon’s. But 54% were also “worried about Amazon’s dominance.” And that was before stay-at-home orders made the retailer even more important in many people’s lives.