Amazon displaces Google in shopping searches

Amazon has replaced Google and major brick-and-mortar retailers as the starting point for Americans searching specific products to buy.

A survey of online consumers show more than 55 per cent now commence product searches on Amazon’s website or phone app – up from 44 per cent a year ago.

Internet marketing firm BloomReach surveyed 2000 consumers on Labor Day weekend, concluding Google, Yahoo and retailers are continuing to lose ground to Amazon – and quickly. Just 28 per cent of people now start product searches on Google or Yahoo, down from 34 per cent – and worryingly for retail brands, just 16 per cent start at a specific retailer, down from 21 per cent.

BloomReach head of marketing Jason Seeba says Amazon has become the new reference point for shoppers.

“Shoppers will go to Amazon first to find a product and check prices.”

The worry for retailers is that once a shopper finds a product on Amazon, they won’t look elsewhere, trusting pricing guarantees and hooked into services like Amazon Prime’s $99 a year subscription service offering streaming music and video, free or discounted delivery, online image storage and other incentives. Some 49 million Americans now belong to Amazon Prime.

“Amazon is creating an ecosystem where people can engage, be entertained and shop – and most importantly, the company is building trust with customers,” observed one retail commentator. “That trust creates a natural bond which will be increasingly hard for traditional retailers like Walmart to break.”

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