One year into the pandemic and online shopping continues to be a useful tool for many Americans navigating the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape. In our last report, we highlighted Amazon’s prominence as the go-to online destination for American consumers seeking to purchase a product. But this year, the story has a new spin. 

While Amazon continues to reign supreme as the first stop for many U.S. adults in search of an item online, the percentage of those who indicate ‘other’ as their response for starting a product search online has increased slightly since last year.

In 2020, 11% of those who were shopping more online were starting their search from places other than Amazon or Google. This year, that number has jumped to 15%. And, in a similar vein, those who estimate being comfortable returning to stores in 6 or more months are also gravitating towards ‘other’ at the highest rate. 

One of the most obvious trends from our last report was the rate at which Amazon Prime members start their online searches at Amazon. While the majority of Amazon Prime members continue to do so, the percentage of those who start their search somewhere other than Amazon or Google has jumped from 5% last year to 15% this year. That’s quite the leap. 

So who is shifting away from Amazon and Google? Perhaps not surprisingly, 18- to 24-year-olds make up the largest percentage of those who are starting their online searches with ‘other’ (increasing from 18% in our last report to 26% this year). Lower-income earners and those who are not working and not getting paid as a result of the pandemic are also starting with ‘other’ more often.

All of this to say that while Amazon continues to be the first virtual stop for many looking to make a purchase, there’s a slow but noteworthy rise amongst those who are opting to start their product searches elsewhere on the internet–one that’s worth keeping an eye on for the future.