The Online Product Research Duopoly

Amazon, Google dominate

September 15, 2017

While US consumers seek information across a variety of digital channels when considering a purchase, two entities in particular play an outsized role: Google and Amazon. And according to a new survey, more than half of the Amazon users said it was the first place they looked.

A survey by Kenshoo in August 2017 asked internet users in the US, France, Germany and the UK which online sites they are likely to use to help them find and research products before making a purchase. In the US, 84% cited Google, and 71% identified Amazon.

Those levels were roughly twice that of the next most commonly cited option, “retailer sites,” the report noted. Kenshoo is a digital marketing platform with an ecommerce offering that focuses on product-focused advertising on Amazon.

The survey also asked respondents what kinds of products they looked for on Amazon. More than three-quarters of the US consumers said they searched for electronics and computers on the platform, while more than half said the same of media, health and beauty products, and clothing.

Roughly one-quarter said they looked for food and grocery items on Amazon, and less than 10% said they searched for beer, wine and spirits—a dynamic that may change in the wake of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.

Across all the markets in the survey, of those consumers who visit Amazon, more than half (56%) said they look at Amazon first.

That’s in line with research from BloomReach, which found that 55% of US internet users polled in September 2016 said Amazon was the first channel they used to research products digitally.

Similarly, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey of US digital buyers in September 2016 found that 44.7% of respondents said that they start their product search at Amazon.