Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s the strategy e-tailers will have to adopt if they want to compete with Amazon. To fight back against the e-commerce giant’s expanding dominance, other online retailers must understand exactly why and how customers are buying on Amazon — and which aspects of the Amazon shopping experience they can incorporate into their own strategic frameworks to win back customers.

Why Amazon First Business Insider Intelligence

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to give e-tailers the tools to figure out how to do just that.

We fielded the Amazon study to members of its proprietary panel, reaching over 1,000 US consumers – primarily hand-picked digital professionals and early-adopters – to gather their insights on Amazon’s role in the online shopping experience.

Here’s what we found.

First, why is Amazon so popular?

Amazon is ubiquitous. In fact, a whopping 94% of those surveyed said they’d made a purchase on the site in the last twelve months. And of those who did, the vast majority believed Amazon’s customer experience was simply better than its leading competitors’ — specifically eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.

The biggest contributor to Amazon’s superior experience? Free shipping, of course. According to Amazon’s 2017 annual report, the company actually spent $21.7 billion covering customers’ shipping costs, a number that’s been compounding over the past few years.

Not only is free shipping included for all Prime members as part of their subscriptions but, of all e-tailers listed in the survey, Amazon also offers the lowest minimum order value…