About a year ago, the number of consumers searching Amazon for products was pushing 50 percent but not quite there yet — the numbers clocked in at 44 percent.
But, it seems, Amazon has managed to turn that corner, and now, more than half of all U.S. consumers start their online product searches on Amazon, meaning, going into holiday 2016, Amazon is the first online stop for digital shoppers. It is a situation we are sure both Google and Walmart find less than wholly inspiring.
The latest figure indicates that a full 55 percent of consumers start on Amazon. This comes via a Labor Day weekend poll released by internet marketing firm BloomReach Inc. Google, Yahoo and retailers have all lost ground to Amazon. The search engines captured 28 percent of product search, declining from 34 percent a year earlier. Specific retailers were the starting point for 16 percent, down from 21 percent.
“Amazon has become the reference point for shoppers,” said Jason Seeba, head of marketing for BloomReach. “Shoppers will go to Amazon first to find a product and check prices.”
The news is particularly bad for Walmart and other retailers trying to break down the wall on Amazon’s digital sales fortress — especially going into a holiday season where online sales are expected to come in around $385 billion this year, a 13 percent pick up from last year.
“Amazon keeps adding layers and is innovating at a faster pace than everyone, especially with Prime,” one analyst noted. “Prime members have the Amazon app on the front screen of their smartphones. That definitely hurts Walmart.”
Google doesn’t love losing ground to Amazon, but given the wide diversification on its advertising revenue engine, it isn’t hurt too badly by the decline.
Ali Mogharabi, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Service, noted:
“This trend has been taking place for the past four or five years, and it has still not hurt Google search,” he said.