Amazon Widens Lead As Shopping Search Engine

Amazon Widens Lead As Shopping Search Engine

More than half, or 55 percent, of consumers turn to Amazon first when searching for products online over the Labor Day weekend, up from 53 percent in April, according to the a study released Tuesday.

The second annual State of Amazon study from BloomReach found that search engines and retailers lost almost equal ground, coming in at 28 percent and 16 percent respectively. Amazon increased its share by 11 percent.

The findings are based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers over the Labor Day weekend that shows Amazon steadily increased its product-search lead throughout the year.

A mid-year survey of 2,000 consumers BloomResearch Commission in April showed Amazon had 53 percent of consumers’ first product search, with 27 percent for search engines and 19 percent for retailers.

The 2016 “State of Amazon” study also found that Amazon is often involved in almost all online shopping activities. Approximately 9 in 10 consumers will check Amazon even if they find a product they want on another retailer’s site, with 78 percent of those consumers indicating that happened often or always.

However, comparison-shopping also worked against Amazon, as 70 percent of consumers said they’ll consult another retailer before purchasing on Amazon. However, only 52 percent indicated they always or often double-checked retailers against Amazon.

“Amazon continues to be the first destination when consumers want to find a product, driven largely by a perceived superior end-to-end experience. Online shopping is all about relevance and convenience, and comparison shopping has never been easier – especially with mobile growth,” said Jason Seeba, BloomReach head of marketing. “However, while online retailers increasingly feel the pinch, search engines still play an integral part of an e-commerce strategy. This study highlights that just because consumers start on Amazon, that doesn’t mean they ultimately buy from Amazon. Instead, they’re often comparing and researching products on search engines and other retailers.”

Opportunities for Retailers to Fight Back

Approximately 58 percent of U.S. consumers noted they’ve left a retailer’s site for Amazon after having a poor experience. This stands in stark contrast to the reverse scenario. Only 30 percent of consumers noted a bad site experience on Amazon had led them to shop with another retailer. Site-experience issues – especially those related to site search and product discovery – often were the reasons why consumers turned to Amazon.

However, the study did highlight some bright spots for retailers and opportunities to gain back market share.

  • Approximately one in five noted counterfeit products are their main concern with Amazon
  • 41 percent said better personalization would make them more likely to buy from a retailer over Amazon.
  • Only one in three cited Amazon’s site personalization and product recommendations as superior.