The fight for supremacy continues between Amazon and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. According to a Bloomberg report, about 49% of people looking for a specific product search Amazon.com, 36% of them use Google and other search engines and only about 15% visit an individual retailer’s website first.
Amazon’s share of this pie has dropped from last’s year’s 55%, as has the individual retailors’ from 16%. The Google gang has gained ground from last year’s 28%.
These numbers were the result of a survey conducted by research firm Survata. 2,000 US consumers participated in this study.
According to this survey another aspect that shows how well Google and other search engines have rebounded is when searchers did not have a specific product in mind. If they were looking to be inspired, then people preferred search engines to Amazon. According to the survey data, 46% would start with search engines to get inspiration, while only 39% would go directly to Amazon.com. The other 15% said that they would go directly to their favorite retailer to look for something to buy.
This rebound may be attributed to a larger number of smartphones as well as more traffic online. Additionally, the mobile search engines have improved a lot in the last few years, making searching easier and more relevant. Over the last couple of years, mobile shopping has grown hugely.
Online retail using smartphones is expected to account for more than 50% of retail visits during this year’s holiday shopping season. In fact, according to Adobe Systems Inc., data indicates that online spending via smartphones will increases by 26% from the previous year.
To this end, search engines, especially Google, have prioritized mobile search experience based on a previous survey by the company that showed that a search engine was the first and most used shopping tool for most people.
Despite these gains, however, Amazon.com still continues to have a stranglehold over the online retail market. Survata also included questions in the study that would point to reasons why Amazon.com was so popular. The results showed the following:
- 28% respondents used Amazon.com because of its easy navigation
- 27% respondents said the product variety and range was their reason for choosing Amazon.com
- 25% said the prices on Amazon.com were the reason they preferred shopping there
- 17% said the company’s shipping facility was why they chose Amazon.com
The survey also found that Amazon.com was the most preferred shopping option for the holiday season, with more than 84% expecting to buy at least one gift from the retail website. Almost 50% respondents said that they were planning to spend at least half of their holiday budget on Amazon.com.
Another startling fact that was revealed by this survey was that consumers trusted ads on Amazon.com slightly more than they trusted ads on Google. About 31% respondents stated that Amazon.com’s ads were better to find trusted brands. In comparison, only 22% felt that way about Google’s ads. 47% showed no preference for either company’s ads.
Being the first to be thought of for product searches is key to growth in this sector. Online shopping is expected to grow by about 16% as compared to last year, to touch $453 billion. And Google needs to shoppers to turn to its search engine to be able to maintain its lead in digital advertising, which is one of the major revenue generators for Alphabet. According to EMarketer, digital advertising will generate about $35 billion in revenues for Alphabet this year, so the war to be first in mind is a serious one for Google.