Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Mar 27 2012 21:56:39

Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A report from Forrester Research found that fewer online shoppers are starting their searches on Google, and more of them are beginning their product research on Amazon. Internet Retailer cited the report, explaining that in Q3 2009, 18% of consumers began their product research on Amazon, growing to 30% just 2 years later. Meanwhile, 24% of consumers began their product research on Google in Q3 2009, dropping to 13% in Q3 2011.

This has tremendous consequences for online merchants of all sizes. Think about that - 13% of product searches begin on Google, while 30% begin on Amazon.

We've become conditioned to thinking about SEO - how to get Google to pick up product feeds. But in this brave new world, SEO is not enough.

Greg Holden will be taking a look at five essential online directories for local retailers in Sunday's newsletter, challenging merchants to think about how they can ensure that mobile shoppers will see them when doing searches on their smartphone or tablets.

Where do you start your product searches - and how do you ensure your products will be seen by consumers who bypass search engines altogether?




Comments (21) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 27 23:33:04 2012

I'm not surprised about this one. Google has been playing favorites and ''pay to play'' favorites for quite a while. When I search for a blue blouse, for instance, I don't expect to find hunting gear included in my list!! Google has run it's course and has become useless. I stopped using it a good 6 months ago.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Mar 28 00:09:44 2012

The Ho's twin brother runs Google. His idea of destructive innovation was to transform Google from the world best search engine to a ho hum ad platform that often returns jumbled, irrelevant results these days.

These are simply greedy B school bully robots all marching in lockstep with their hand picked rubber stamp interlocking directorate BoDs and capable only of thinking 90 days ahead and then not very effectively.

IMO, this is the principal reason why sites that compete with ebafia can't seem to much traction.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 00:29:16 2012

I used to be a big fan of Google Product Feeds (Base, Shopping whatever they're calling it now), but I haven't been there in awhile. Too many shady feeds. How many times have you seen a great deal only to click on the item and find it "Unavailable" or at a totally different price than was listed in the feed? It's a total waste of time.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: JoJo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 00:29:35 2012

Honestly, I do most of my online shopping on Amazon, not all certainly, but most.  For the standard items I go to Amazon first.  It's why I started selling on there too.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Mar 28 07:13:07 2012

I hope that in Mr. Holden's upcoming series, he'll be able to include information about Amazon's pay-per-click ad program. The types of non-commodity items that I normally sell do not lend themselves to being part of Amazon's catalog... but I've been considering whether or not it would be worthwhile to use their click-ads to drive business to my site.

I don't know if this topic will fit-in with what he plans to discuss... but I'd be interested in hearing his take (and advice) on the subject.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: digger This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 09:19:19 2012

Yes, it seems the book market is reaching 'critical mass' with consumers going only to Amazon. It is more and more difficult to sell books on your own website and the small alternatives, sad to say  

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Mar 28 09:49:22 2012

Google was late to the game with its shopping searches and hasn't done very well in making them more useful or accessible to either side (Froogle anyone?) What they ought to do is follow a model like Amazon and CNET shopper (computer and electronics search/compare site) with reviews from users and experts as well as complete specs and as many price comparisons as possible. The one advantage Google has is that it touches so many different sites, but they haven't seemed to be able to leverage this very well.

Amazon is doing a great job, but still has issues with too many separate listings for the same items and a lack of information in those listings. Even when I start my shopping on Amazon, I find I still have to go elsewhere quite often in order to get complete specifications on the items I want (for computer and electronics gear, anyway).

It is very difficult to standardize the vast number of specifics on so many different types of items -- and to do so in an automated fashion -- since every item has its own set of characteristics. As a software engineer, I've actually worked on such tasks in the past and it wasn't easy, even when restricted to a small subset of item types. Google and Amazon both have great data mining expertise and talent in-house, however, so I'll be interested to see how they evolve in this area.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: BetterThingsToDo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 12:08:05 2012

Most of my online shopping is done at retailers websites. I don't need google to lead me to them.

I haven't shopped at Amazon or Ebay since the first of the year. Its a new years resolution not to shop at the junk joints anymore and so far I'm winning.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: tmooreseller This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Mar 28 18:23:06 2012

In that case, customers are losing out on great deals on other sites, and other items which are not carried on Amazon. If most consumers go straight to Amazon, this puts me and a ton of other independents out of business for good. You won't find my jewelry and art there at all, and only my print books, which have not sold on Amazon in years thanks to its padded catalog full of junk getting in the way. What is the point in staying in business when people won't shop elsewhere? When Amazon becomes a monopoly, it will be broken up into smaller pieces, and there won't be a thing you can do about it. I am sick and tired of people preening about going to Amazon while they are putting their local shops and stores out of business. When you need to shop, then you might as well go to Amazon for your groceries, your clothes and everything else, because nobody will be there to sell to you in person. Good luck with that.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: RapidlyDescendingUp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 28 19:17:51 2012

The thing about Google is they want to be everything. The result is that they are now mediocre in an area they were once great.

Google and Ebay have always been at odds with one another to the point where once Ebays products were indexed naturally and then Google would change the algorithm or policy.

It was only natural for marketplaces to become their own search engines. Google is still great for free information, but they need to be the driving force for product searches or they become irrelevant.  

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Mar 28 20:37:27 2012

@RapidlyDescendingUp,

There are other uses for Google and indeed "information" is far more important than "goods" ...

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: Mary This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 29 09:36:59 2012

Amazon is amazing. I have never had a bad purchase 300+ in over 8 years. Best price period. Hoping Etsy starts auctions soon, and I will be in pure heaven!

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Thu Mar 29 09:42:23 2012

Yeah, google is prettymuch useless for me as far as shopping.  If I do search google for something to buy, I use the image search.  And I don't use the 'shopping' menu at all.  

..... OK since I posted that (above) I just went over to see what google>shopping was like now.  They have bigger pictures and a gallery view.  20 to a page with one paid ad on top and three underneath.  I did a general (non specific) search for my items and got a bunch of Etsy items.  They were relevant, so that's cool.

I didn't see anything from my own google feed, guess I better go check it :D  

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: Kip This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 29 14:49:44 2012

If I'm looking for a book, I search amazon and ebay first to compare deals. If the book's not there, I search addall, then google. DVDs pretty much the same.

In the past, it was my experience that the better deal was to be had on ebay. A couple of years ago, the balance switched to amazon (I suppose as more ebay sellers migrated there).

IMO, google shopping used to be much more useful than it is now.  

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Thu Mar 29 16:20:15 2012

Google Shopping could whip the pants off Amazon and for that matter Ebay, if they would come up with a vibrant and functional Category Browse like ebay used to have. I will say to my dying breath that it was this Browse that built ebay, and the underlying magic ingredient was that Time Ending Soonest river of stuff, much of it one-of-a-kind.

So many people used to log into Ebay, pick a category, and think to themselves, "Okay- Surprise me." And the old category browse did not disappoint.

A key characteristic of that wonderful experience was that the items presented were never the same way twice. The items just churned and churned all day long, you could hit 'refresh' and be continually amazed by the breadth and depth of the offerings.

Nowadays, the only entity with enough items, enough sellers and enough brains to pull off a decent simulation of this experience is Google. They could do it, too, if they would step away from their drive to personalize and instead just for one minute, just on this one thing, randomize.

Now THAT would be cool.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Mar 30 16:30:06 2012

More surprised this hasn't happened sooner. If I want to go to Amazon, I can quickly narrow down size, color, price, even shipping, department and on and on. I needed a present for my nephew. 5 minuteds, find a lego truck, buy using prime, have in 2-3 days. done. No slogging from site to site, trying to push thru the jumble of Google shopping. And Google is just the beginning, now you have to go to the sites.
Amazon 1 stop, all done  

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 30 16:33:33 2012

Just one last tidbit, since Google insists on remembering where I've been - it shoots me with stuff from places I would already go. No use searching when they personalize so much, they don't return things outside of my usual. The same goes for their usually search. If I want to see new responses to typical searches, I'll go to Bing and I usually don't bother there

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Mar 30 21:21:52 2012

So if 30% of searches start with Amazon and 13% start on Google, where do the rest start on ?
Ebay
Online auction sites
Online Retailers ?

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Sun Apr 1 10:37:25 2012

Probably Google organic. really the only place anyone ever found my oddball items anyway.

Perminate Link for Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon   Consumers Bypass Search Engines and Go Straight to Amazon

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 1 11:37:31 2012

"Consumers by-pass search engine and go straight to Amazon"

Guilty...I've learned to go straight to Amazon and then most likely I buy there.  Why?  I haven't had one problem with them.  In fact, I called them about my Kindle Fire going bonkers the last week.  They never said send it in for repair....instead, they apologized and said "I'll create another one for you and send it express-2 day mail"....They did and it came populated with everything my old kindle had.  All free of charge including the return of my old one!  Ebay can't even come close to that!

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.