Amazon survey results

Kaspien recently conducted an anonymous survey of Amazon shoppers evaluating which listing features affect their browsing and purchasing decisions. The survey gathered more than 150 responses to 11 questions.  

If you want help auditing and optimizing your Amazon channel, reach out to Kaspien 

Survey Highlights 

Customer Reviews are the Most Influential Factor 

  • 70% of respondents named customer reviews (40%) and product price (30%) as the most important factors for their purchasing decision. 
  • Respondents nearly always read product reviews to make their purchasing decision. 
  • 24% of shoppers will not buy a product if it doesn’t have any reviews, and 22% report not buying a product due to bad reviews. 

Shoppers Assess Listings Holistically 

While customer reviews are king, the survey results indicate that shoppers view product detail pages holistically. When asked to rank the importance of listing features for their purchasing decision on a scale of 1-5, all options were ranked above a 3, suggesting that shoppers consider all features. 

 Importance of Listing Features

This trend was also represented elsewhere in the survey results:  

  • Shoppers report viewing a Brand Store at least half the time. 
  • Respondents nearly always scroll down the product detail page to read the description or look for additional content. 
  • 20% of respondents said they are unlikely to buy a product if it lacks quality images. 
  • 18% of respondents said they have opted not to purchase a product because there was not enough information in the listing.
  • Shoppers ranked lifestyle images (images of the product in use) as the most useful type of image, followed closely by size charts and studio images (images of the product on a white background). 

Read about other marketing insights in our free whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing.

How to Act on These Insights 

Enroll in the Early Reviewer Program 

Update: Amazon retired the Early Reviewer Program on April 25, 2021.

Brands may not fabricate customer reviews (though some certainly do – you can use Review Meta to spot fakes). However, brands can enroll products in Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program 

The Early Reviewer Program offers buyers a small credit to their Amazon account in exchange for writing an honest customer review. Amazon facilitates the program and charges brands $60/ASIN. The program lasts for one year or until 5 new reviews are generated, whichever comes first.  

Optimize Listings to Set Accurate Expectations 

Our survey found that the two most common reasons that shoppers leave product reviews are because the product was really good or really bad.  

Both of these responses are subjective, to a degree, which means that marketers can influence them. Whether a product is “good” or “bad” is often a matter of how closely expectations and reality align. If marketers set accurate expectations, they can significantly reduce the chance of negative customer reviews.  

The survey results show that shoppers assess listings holistically, evaluating the title, bullets, enhanced content, and images alongside customer reviews. Marketers should use the listing copy and images to provide clear product info and set accurate expectations.  

Learn how to craft great copy. 

Take a Comprehensive Approach 

Comprehensive listing optimization is critical for sales success. Shoppers view a listing as the sum of its parts. Missing information like pictures, product dimensions, and detailed information can dissuade potential customers.  

More Free Resources

While Amazon’s status as the ultimate retail juggernaut is more or less uncontested and not showing any signs of changing (sales are expected to grow by more than 20% this year), there are still companies that want nothing to do with the ecommerce giant. 

My Brand? On Amazon? Pass. 

Some brands are focused on maintaining an air of exclusivity, and fear that allowing their products to be purchased on Amazon is detrimental to their brand image and integrity. Others figure that the specialized nature of their products is better suited to specialized online retailers (musical instruments and outdoor gear are prime examples of this) and assume that their customers won’t trust Amazon for such purchases. And some brands would just rather not deal with Amazon. Maintaining your business presence on Amazon isn’t exactly a set-it-and-forget-it operation (unless you’re paying someone else to do it). 

If you’re one of these brands, we have bad news: Your products are probably already being sold on Amazon. 

The Ugly Truth 

With the exception of taking action against sellers who are distributing counterfeit versions of your products, Amazon will do little (read: nothing) to help you remove your products from the marketplace if you don’t want them to be there.  

If you sell a product, you can almost guarantee someone will eventually try to sell it on Amazon. Under the First Sale Doctrine, if Brand X sells their product to Buyer A, then Buyer A, having bought authentic inventory, can sell the product without restriction. There are some exceptions for warranties and distribution rights, but at the end of the day, Amazon will not enforce those against a seller who is selling authentic inventory. 

Why bother if third party sellers are going to sell my product on Amazon anyway? 

Shoppers are most likely going to see your products on Amazon. By taking the initiative to get involved in your own product listings, you get a say in how your brand is presented to consumers. Here are just a few of the potential benefits of getting involved in your brand’s Amazon presence:

Convey Accurate Product Information 

Building trust with consumers hinges upon their ability to make an educated decision about the product they’re purchasing. By taking control of your Amazon listings, you can ensure that customers will be able to make an informed purchase. 

Capture Your Whole Market 

For some brands, maintaining an air of exclusivity means staying far away from Amazon, but the reality is that close to two thirds of American shoppers have purchased something from Amazon. With Prime 2-Day shipping options, shopping on Amazon is becoming more and more convenient. The ease of one-stop shopping is not limited to brick-and-mortar—if a shopper can add your product to their Amazon order, it streamlines their purchasing decision process.  
Protect Branding and Brand Perception 

As a brand owner or marketing expert, you have firsthand experience with the amount of effort that goes into maintaining your brand’s identity. From logos to photos, copy to content, everything about your brand’s image should be purposeful and strategic—this philosophy applies to Amazon, too. Up-to-date imagery, on-brand copy, and accurate product information are all components of your Amazon listings that can drive sales.  

Control Brand-Specific Content 

When your brand redesigns its logo or updates the photographic assets for an old product line, having control of your Amazon listings would allow you to display that new imagery, rather than being stuck with whatever content random seller had downloaded from a Google image search. Additionally, you gain the ability to create A+ Detail Pages and Brand Stores to display your brand’s unique identity on the marketplace.  

Amazon is a Beast 

Managing an Amazon channel becomes increasingly overwhelming as the marketplace becomes more saturated with competitors, counterfeiters, and ads. Starting and maintaining an Amazon presence takes a lot of time and effort.  

If you don’t have those resources available, consider working with Kaspien. We can partner with you as your exclusive third-party seller, serve as an extension of your brand through our agency division, equip your own teams with industry-leading software for marketing, brand protection, and inventory management so you can run your online business in-house, or provide any combination of software and services to fuel your growth.