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Mixed Messages: Consumers Shop Amazon but Want to Support Small Businesses

New survey finds 4 in 10 consumers do most of their online shopping at the e-commerce giant

A new survey finds that the vast majority of Americans say it is important to support small businesses hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic and yet many have increased their reliance on the retail behemoth Amazon during the past year.

Since restrictions on in-person shopping went into effect in spring 2020 as part of broader pandemic-quelling measures, consumers have increasingly turned to Amazon to make purchases, according to the survey from Convey, a delivery experience management company based in Austin, Texas.


* Four in 10 consumers say they now buy the majority of their goods on Amazon — an increase of 83% since the pandemic began.

* The number of people who buy at least three-quarters of their products on Amazon has doubled over the past year to 11%.

Consumers have turned to Amazon for its “fast, free shipping” (73%), Prime membership (67%), “easy and convenient purchase process” (58%) and because they “trust their packages will be delivered when promised” (49%).

And yet 95% of those surveyed said they think it’s important to support small businesses, especially those hurt by Covid-19 shutdowns.

So why aren’t they spending money at small businesses? Respondents said higher item costs (35%), higher shipping costs (23%) and longer shipping times (21%) are key reasons they turn to Amazon instead.

“The pandemic-fueled shift to e-commerce forced shoppers to consider the delivery experience more than ever before — giving the advantage to Amazon and its fast, free delivery network,” said Carson Krieg, co-founder and director of strategic partnerships for Convey. “… Retailers have an opportunity to combat Amazon’s scale with agility focused on customer needs, such as offering a wide variety of flexible fulfillment options, spotlighting the uniqueness of their brand, and providing proactive, transparent communication during shipping.”

Results of the survey of 1,100 U.S. consumers was released March 9.

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