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Amazon Search vs Google Search

Has Amazon Search finally beat Google Search Numbers: 

Last year, a colleague and I speculated that we should be training ourselves on Amazon listings, media buying and search. We noted that a lot of our website traffic was being driven by Amazon and similar commerce websites.

Today, it has been announced that Amazon has beat Google in eRetail search.

While we should always take news like this with a pinch of salt, and do our own research, it’s another indicator of a meta shift in search.

A Response from Michael King: Head of Reprise Digital: 

Text that follows is from a press release I received via email from Michael King: Head of Reprise Digital South Africa, what is said therein, is not necessarily my opinion or should be considered the fact. 

When thinking ‘search’, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Google leads the pack. A global study has shown that consumers begin their retail-related searches on Amazon first (46%) followed by Google searches (34%). That may seem surprising considering that Google has traditionally dominated the online product search space – that is up until a few years ago when Amazon grew exponentially and became the front runner for retail-related searches. 

Between 2015 and 2018 Amazon grew from 46% to 54% with Google declining from 54% to 46%. Amazon is so popular that the site has grown 46% per annum with ad spend on the site reaching $6.3 Billion. These are impressive figures indeed, especially over such a short period of time.

Consumer purchasing behaviour has undoubtedly changed over the past few years with more and more people (87% in 2018) beginning their product searches on a digital channel vs 71% in 2017. If we look at local online behaviour here in South Africa we can absolutely see the same pattern emerging.

Amazon Search vs Google Search
2017 Data

It’s not all doom and gloom for Google though; they remain the search powerhouse with just over 1.2 trillion overall queries captured compared to Amazon’s 2.6 billion product-related searches. 35% of Google’s searches resulted in actual transactions within five days versus a 20% transaction rate from Amazon. If local brands follow the online purchase funnel, these results are not extreme in the least and can in fact only improve.

In the future, we predict that Google Images and image-based apps will play a bigger role in product searches. We’ve also seen an increase in voice search at a global level and it’s only a matter of time before this morphs into visual shopping.  What this new purchase behaviour will look like is still unclear but the capability to take a picture and get immediate product-related information already exists. This is before we even look at AI and how it has the potential to change the shopping game completely.

There’s no clear indication (yet) that Amazon will reach South Africa’s shores but this is telling consumer behaviour that retailers should be cognizant of. It’s interesting to note that as an example, Takealot has had been growing at a compound rate of 107% over the last few years, and by all indications, e-retail behaviour in South Africa is following the same kind of trend.

 It’s certainly an interesting space for brands to be playing in.

Developing your Online Skill Stack: 

While an online skill stack warrants it’s own article, adding some kind of certification with Amazon search, listings and tags should be a considered addition for you.

Like Michael, I agree that as websites and platforms evolve, we as social media professionals and media buyers, need to be prepared for a paradigm shift.

What do you think? Is there a future in this kind of thinking? Will Amazon beat Google in online shopping search? Let me know in the comments. 

What do you think?

Written by Brett Magill

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