Do Consumers Really Prefer to Buy Directly?

This article published by MarketingLand touts a survey from BrandShop that claims that consumers would vastly prefer to buy directly from brands, than through third-party retailers like Amazon. They cite their survey, which shows that participants claimed that they would prefer to make online purchases directly from brands, if they could.

This survey sounds problematic to me for a number of reasons, and I’d love to hear your feedback about it.

The Survey Doesn’t Ask Why People Buy From Amazon

The simple fact currently is that the vast majority of online transactions today are conducted using Amazon and other large online retailers. The meteoric rise of these websites does NOT predate e-commerce, so why did they take off at all if people prefer buying directly from brands?

There are a number of advantages to retailers, mainly the ability to find and compare competing products, and to make purchases without having to submit your payment information to a different possibly non-secure site for every purchase.

Additionally, third party retailers have no strong interest in pushing consumers toward a specific product, so reviews are much less likely to be misleading.

The Survey Doesn’t Address the Type of Purchase

The size of a purchase has a big impact on how much time a consumer invests in researching and committing to it. That means that as purchases become less expensive and lower-risk, consumers are more likely to just want to find something quickly and get it ordered without spending all day researching it.

The Survey Forgets to Ask WHY They Can’t

The survey question as shown in the article asks if consumers would prefer to buy directly from brands if they could.

Anecdotally, I think it would be pretty safe to say that most brands that sell products using major online retail outlets, do also sell their products online.

The survey presupposes that consumers “can’t” buy from brands because those brands don’t sell online, but there could be a whole host of other possible reasons, including…

  • Consumers don’t have time to go through all the possible brand websites
  • Consumers don’t trust brand sites with their payment information
  • Brand Websites have confusing or badly designed e-commerce pages
  • Consumers can’t find the brand websites quickly enough

There are many other possible issues, and the above are totally speculative, but they need to be asked before we can take this kind of survey seriously.


Marcin Ladowski

Marcin Ladowski is an entrepreneur, a creative thinker and a serial technologist. He is the President and CEO of NetroStar, a global digital agency he founded in Miami. Through NetroStar he helps businesses around the world grow their brands and prosper on the Internet. His expertise includes website design, custom application development, system architecture design, e-commerce, online marketing and social media.

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About Marcin


Marcin Ladowski is President and CEO of NetroStar, a global web design company operating out of Miami. He has years of hands-on experience helping businesses around the world grow and prosper on the Internet. His expertise includes website design, IT solutions, e-commerce, online marketing and social media.

Marcin has been involved in the creation of multiple successful startups, including Webponder, a community of experts available for online consultation.

Marcin Ladowski's primary business venture - NetroStar - started as a local web design agency in Miami but quickly grew into the national and international markets as well as into related services. It currently provides comprehensive web development and online marketing services that are renowned for high standards of execution and customer service.

Marcin Ladowski holds Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from Florida International University. He speaks English, Spanish and Polish.

He is passionate about martial arts and long distance running.