Mobee Secret Shopper Insights: Amazon Prime Day 2021

Amazon has been in the news a lot lately. Prime Day 2021 just passed a little over a month ago. CEO Jeff Bezos recently stepped down and he also joined his brother and a few others on a trip into space. 

With everything going on, we wanted to learn more about your experience with Amazon, as well as your opinion on online shopping in general. Here are the insights from 501 of your responses to our Amazon Anywhere Mission.

Have You Purchased Products on Amazon? 

To kick things off, we asked how many of you had ever purchased a product on Amazon before. Ninety-eight percent of you all said yes. 

When we asked how often, 29 percent said weekly or more often, while 35 percent of you all said two to three times per month. Twenty-two percent said once every other month, while 10 percent said about once every six months.  

Of those who used Amazon, 85 percent of you use Prime. Twelve percent of you used Prime Now 2-Hour Delivery and/or Amazon Fresh. Only 14 percent of you do not use Prime, Prime Now, or Amazon Fresh.  

Reasons for Using and Not Using Amazon 

Some of your reasons for shopping on Amazon included: 

  • Ability to compare products with user reviews. 
  • Ability to shop 24/7. 
  • Competitive and affordable prices. 
  • Convenience of not having to go to the store. 
  • Could not find the product that you were looking for while shopping in-store. 
  • Free shipping with Amazon Prime on orders over $35. 
  • Received a gift card for Amazon. 
  • Quick shipping. 
  • Wide selection of products that you cannot get locally. 

Some of your reasons for not shopping on Amazon included:  

  • Do not like to shop online. 
  • Do not like how they treat their employees. 
  • Find everything you need locally. 
  • Prefer to shop brick and mortar. 
  • Price of delivery without Amazon Prime. 
  • Too much of a hassle. 

Prime Day 2021 vs. Past Years 

We were also curious about whether you all made purchases for Prime Day this year, or in the past. According to CNBC, “Amazon disclosed that 250 million items were sold. This represents a 20 percent two-year growth rate from 175 million items sold in Prime Day 2019, but limited growth vs. 2020.” In a nutshell, Prime Day Sales increased, but not as much as expected by Wall Street analysts.  

Sixty percent made a purchase in 2021, which was 4 percent lower than last year. In 2019, 44 percent made a purchase, which was double the number of people who did in 2018.  

We got over 240 responses as to what your decision factors were for making a purchase on Prime Day. Here are a few of the top answers.  

  • Great deals and discounts on products that you wanted. 
  • Fast shipping. 
  • Just to be a part of it all.  
  • Someone posted the deal on their social media profile. 
  • To buy gifts for someone. 
  • You saw an ad on social media or television. 
  • You just so happened to be shopping on Amazon that day. 

Products That You All Purchased  

We were also curious which product types you purchased on Amazon during Prime Day, as well as during and after the pandemic. 

The categories measured included: 

  • Books 
  • Clothing, Shoes and Accessories 
  • Electonics 
  • Food and Grocery 
  • Furniture 
  • Health and Fitness 
  • Home and Kitchen 
  • Home Improvement 
  • Sports and Outdoors 
  • Other 
  • Toys and Games 

For Prime Day, the top purchase was consumer electronics. This made sense to us, as many of your responses to the decision factors for making a purchase were to buy an electronic device. Next up came home and kitchen, followed by clothing and shoes. After that came toys and games and then health and fitness. Furniture, sports and outdoors, books and food all fell outside the top five. 

For products purchased during the pandemic, consumer electronics took the top spot. Next up was clothing and shoes, and then home and kitchen. Food and grocery came in fourth, followed by home improvement. It was a bit surprising that food was so far down the list, but it made sense since only 12 percent of you all had Amazon Fresh memberships. Health and fitness, toys and games came outside the top five.  

Last came the products you all purchased post-pandemic. The top three categories stayed the same as products purchased during the pandemic. This includes electronics, clothing and shoes, and home and kitchen. Next up was home improvement followed by toys and games.  

Overall, electronics seem to be the biggest reason you made a purchase on Amazon. This is followed up by clothing and shoes, and home and kitchen. Clothing and shoes and consumer electronics are some of the highest return rate items on Amazon, but that doesn’t seem to be a factor in the decision to purchase.  

2020 vs. 2021 Shopping Preferences 

One thing that we like to compare is year-over-year trends, so we thought to check 2020 vs. 2021 shopping preferences for online and in-store.  

In total, 46 percent said you shop about the same in-store now as compared to last year. Thirty-three percent said you shop more, while 19 percent of you shop less.  

We then asked if you are more likely to shop on Amazon in 2021 vs. 2020, and most of you said you were going to shop about the same amount. Twenty-nine percent said you were more likely to shop in-store compared to 11 percent who were less likely.  

We then asked what your reasons were for being likely to shop. Here is what you said: 

  • Because you have Amazon Prime and/or an Amazon Credit Card. 
  • Better selection of products. 
  • Cheap and affordable prices. 
  • Can buy gifts for others.
  • Convenience. 
  • Easy return policy. 
  • Got used to online shopping. 
  • Poor customer service in brick-and-mortar retail. 
  • Product selection and availability. 
  • Safety from Covid. 
  • Support Bezos iInvestment in climate research.

However, some of you said you were less likely to shop on Amazon in 2021. Here are the reasons why: 

  • Can shop without masks again and it’s safer to shop in-store again. 
  • Cancelled your Prime membership. 
  • Don’t like their CEO. 
  • Prefer to support local. 
  • Ready to get back to shopping outside again and the stores are open. 
  • Shipping delays during the pandemic. 
  • You believe that Amazon does not treat their employees well. 
  • You like to browse products in-store. 

Perception Change

Many of you have changed your perception of Amazon compared over the last year. Fifty-one percent said your perception stayed the same. Thirty-two percent said it got better, and 17 percent said it got worse.  

Reasons why your perception improved: 

  • Become more familiar with them. 
  • Built a huge distribution center in my hometown. 
  • Convenience and speed of shopping. 
  • Environmental concern. 
  • Great customer support and satisfaction. 
  • Product selection and availability. 
  • Quick delivery. 
  • Returns are easy, especially at Kohl’s. 

Reasons why your perception got worse: 

  • Avoidance of taxes. 
  • Billing issues. 
  • Categories like clothes are hard to shop in. 
  • Changes to Prime delivery. 
  • Company criticism for anti-competitive behavior. 
  • Customer service is not what it used to be. 
  • Do not like their CEO. 
  • Do not like how they treat their employees 
  • Fake reviews. 
  • Monopolistic and unethical practices. 
  • Poor shipping quality and experience. 
  • Product quality has decreased. 
  • Too many shady 3rd party sellers and counterfeits. 

Alternatives to Amazon 

Lastly, we asked if you purchase products from other online retailers. Leading the way was eBay then Etsy. This was followed up by Wayfair and After that came Ali Express, Alibaba, and Shopify. Twenty-three percent of you only shop on Amazon, and 4 percent said you do not purchase products online.  

Many of you like the customer service, prices, product selection, return policy, and speed of delivery with Amazon. What you all do not appreciate is the lack of ability to browse physical products, shopping online in general, how they treat their employees, and that they take away from local businesses.  

Thanks for your participation in this Mission, and for sharing so many insights! We look forward to hearing your thoughts in future Missions!  

Bobby the Bee

Bobby the Bee is our honey-loving mascot. He currently holds a degree in making Missions, and making honey from Mobee University.