Recent survey results from a market research company named BloomResearch show that 55% of shoppers turn first to Amazon when searching for products. How about you?
As huge fans and long-term Prime members, Amazon is certainly one of the first places my family checks when we are looking for something specific (non-grocery items). I’m only slightly surprised – but very impressed – that more than half of Americans shop the same way we do.
If you are in the 45% who doesn’t go to Amazon first, here are three reasons you really should consider adjusting your shopping habits.
1. Amazon Product Reviews
Amazon’s product reviews are awesome.
This is one of the best sources to get honest reviews online – and lots of them. I’m not talking about two or three reviews, but many products have hundreds of reviews. When Amazon first started collecting reviews there were a number of sellers who were “gaming the system” by adding fake comments – but they’ve made addressing this problem a priority and have made tremendous progress. One improvement they’ve made is to add a “verified purchase” note next to the reviews from real people who actually purchased the product from Amazon directly. This has been very helpful and I always scan to read those reviews first.
It’s great how they rank the average of the reviews – so an item might have 3.6 stars for example. It even goes further and shows how many reviews of each level (number of stars) were received, and if you are curious you can click on the “3 stars” (for example) and read the reviews of the people who specifically gave that rating.
I’m always a bit cautious on a first purchase so I don’t just read the most recent reviews or the best reviews, but I also like to read some of the poor reviews to understand what problems people had. Sometimes they are legitimate concerns that give me pause, but sometimes they are people with expectations that are perhaps unreasonable, or at least very different from my own.
2. FREE 2-day shipping
If you use Amazon more than a couple of times per year I hope you already have Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is their membership program that entitles you to free 2-day shipping on thousands of products that they sell. If I can get a non-critical product delivered to my door, shipped free, versus driving to a store to find and acquire it – well, I’ll take the delivery option every time!
Also, if you have Amazon Prime you get a few side benefits. One of them is hundreds of movies for free rental streaming. I’ve found that Netflix has many shows and movies that Amazon doesn’t, but there are certain shows that Amazon has which Netflix doesn’t. Plus you can rent new release movies to stream at home, for very reasonable prices (free if you know the tricks).
Additionally, if you are a Kindle reader, being an Amazon Prime member means you can choose from hundreds of books that Amazon makes available for “borrowing”. They have certain books in this program – never really the popular best sellers, but still a lot of good books – and you can borrow one book per month free as a Prime member.
If you don’t already have Amazon Prime, click our affiliate link to get a full-blown 30-day free trial.
3. The best prices (almost) always
I’ve been known to stand in the isles of Walmart and open my Amazon app to compare prices. Yes, I really am that frugal (or “cheap” – whatever). There are very few items that even Walmart has at better prices than Amazon. Of course there are times that you need a certain item “now” so you’ll want to go to a local store to pick it up, but if you are a Prime member and can wait just two days, I think you will find that many of the best deals are online with Amazon just waiting to be delivered to your house.
If you must shop locally…
Here locally the best prices for most of the stuff we need to buy, including groceries, is Walmart. If you aren’t going to use Amazon, and you just happen to be a Walmart shopper anyway, here is a tip to save even more money at Walmart without changing a single shopping habit. It’s basically free money that everyone should be taking advantage of.
What about you?
What do you think? Are you an Amazon Prime member, and do you shop Amazon first before making a purchase decision? It’s a great way to not only save a ton of money but to make the best purchase decisions by leveraging the online reviews and ratings. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.