According to new research from market research company Survata, Amazon's grip on product search results is slipping. The figures found consumers used the eCommerce platform for initial product searches 49 percent of the time in 2017, a drop from the 55 percent it commanded last year.
As such, it seems search engines stole back some of Amazon's thunder, grabbing up 36 percent of initial product searches, up from 28 percent last year.
That represents searches when consumers know the item for which they are looking. When consumers are trying to discover products, Amazon's hold slipped even more notably. Approximately 46 percent of shoppers are now doing discovery by browsing via a search engine, 39 percent use Amazon and about 15 percent go to a non-Amazon retail site.
It is not the time to worry too much about Amazon though, as more than a quarter of respondents polled by Survata confirmed Amazon’s experience and easy navigation are preferable to use for discovery, 27 percent said they value the variety and selection of merchandise, 25 percent referenced price and 17 percent favored Amazon’s shipping.
Still, the change in consumer habits might seem to be some good news for retailers looking for an opening to get out in front of Amazon. It appears those retailers may get a chance to show consumers a better deal or a different shopping experience. Google, the internet's dominant search engine, stands to particularly benefit from Amazon's search decline, and its recent string of mega-retail partners indicates they see the opportunity as growing.
But Survata's study also revealed that Amazon’s ads are trusted slightly more than Google’s, though a fair number of customers rate them both exactly the same. Among those polled, 31 percent say Amazon’s ads more effectively show trusted brands, compared to around 22 percent that said the same of Google's ads. The largest share of responses (47 percent) found them to be equal.