Report: Amazon grows lead as product search engine of choice

A consumer survey recently conducted on behalf of retail personalization platform BloomReach found that Amazon has increased its lead as the product search engine of choice for US consumers. Last year, 44 percent reported starting their search for products on Amazon; this year, it’s 55 percent.

The “State of Amazon” study polled 2,000 US consumers in September. A survey released earlier this year by PowerReviews (n=1,000 consumers) found a narrower lead for Amazon (38 percent) vs. Google (35 percent) as the starting point for products.

Amazon is utilized as a starting point by twice as many people as use traditional search engines for product search. On mobile devices, search engines do a bit better: 34 percent vs. Amazon’s 50 percent.

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Even if it’s not the starting point, Amazon is still used during the online shopping process by the vast majority of online shoppers: “9 in 10 say they check Amazon even if they found a product they want on a retailer’s site.”

Overall the Amazon user experience was cited as superior to most retailers and as a major loyalty driver: 53 percent of survey respondents said that Amazon offered the best site experience overall. In addition, 58 percent of consumers said they have abandoned a retailer site for Amazon after a poor site experience.

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The chart above reflects usage patterns among consumers with a product in mind (left), as well as those uncertain about what to buy (right). Amazon is more widely used by those who know what they want but still heavily used by those who do not.

One daunting finding for traditional retailers: survey respondents expect to do half of their holiday shopping online, with 94 percent planning to shop on Amazon.

Credit: Greg Sterling