Amazon is the New Search Engine for Products

Image: Amazon | Amazon Mobile App
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Wait, you say that Amazon is an eCommerce retailer, not a search engine. So what gives with the headline to this story?

A recent study commissioned by marketing technology company Kenshoo found some interesting results. And Google may need to pay attention as this survey was conducted in four countries and included in-store usage.

ALMOST 3/4 OF BUYERS SEARCH AMAZON FOR PRODUCT INFORMATION

72 percent of shoppers go to Amazon to learn more about a product before they make buying decision. This research includes product details, pricing, and reviews.

Over 26 percent of shoppers browsing in a retail store admit to using Amazon to learn more about a product, its features, reviews, and pricing when in a physical store.

Over half (56%) of Amazon users stated they visit Amazon first to research products.

But Google still ranks top at 85% for product research, followed by Amazon (72%), with eBay ranked third at 38%, and all other eCommerce sites at 36%. But the gap might be closing rapidly.

A previous story we wrote about U.S. consumer behavior suggested a higher rate by U.S. shoppers using Amazon for product search and only included online consumer shopping.

This new study took an international approach by including three other large eCommerce markets and physical store engagement.

1,000 consumers completed the survey in the USA, and 700 in each of Germany, UK, and France and the study was conducted through Toluna QuickSurveys during August 2017.

IS RETAIL SALES CONSULTATION DEAD?

As the retail industry continues to see the erosion of their physical space, now one of its main selling points, knowledgeable sales staff, maybe the next victim of eCommerce.

Smartphones are changing the way we shop and Smart Grocery store concepts such as Alibaba’s Hema store, show that more shoppers are adapting quickly to mobile research.

In turn, this puts pressure on the need of retail salespeople as they become less a source of product information.

Consumer behavior changed to the point where a shopper is more likely to trust reviews and information found online versus sales staff.

RETAILERS NEED TO CHANGE

In the United States, Best Buy provides QR codes on most products displays in their stores.

These codes make it easy for shoppers to access the bestbuy.com product page on their smartphone quickly. And of course, by keeping them on their site, they are less likely to check Amazon or other competitors.

With Amazon becoming a “product search engine,” this type of in-store strategy may be necessary for retailers to avoid sales leakage and comparison shopping on Amazon.

Therefore, if you own an eCommerce store and a physical shop, this could be a strategy to employ as well.

Just today we posted a story on how Shopify has a new app to generate QR codes, but similar apps should be available for Magento, WooCommerce and other eCommerce Platforms.

What do you think about Amazon is now the new “search engine” for products? We love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.



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