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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 04, 2016

Amazon trumps Google as starting point for consumer product research

Amazon trumps Google as the preferred online starting point for product research, according to a new study from ratings and reviews technology firm PowerReviews.

by Helen Leggatt

PowerReviews' survey of more than 1,000 consumers in the US found that 38% started their product research on Amazon compared to 35% who started on Google. The findings, outlined in the report 'Mapping the Path to Purchase', also found that most shoppers ultimately made their purchase in a physical retail store. Less than a quarter (21%) started research on a brand or retailer's website and 6% used other ecommerce marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy.

The reason for consumers beginning their product research on Amazon was, found the study, due to the huge range of products, good deals, free shipping and, just as importantly for a research activity, the sheer number of reviews. More than half of shoppers (55%) who started their purchase journey on Amazon said the large volume of reviews was a key factor for doing so. Almost all (99%) of these shoppers consult reviews on Amazon, confirming that ratings and reviews have become an expected part of the purchase process.

Of the 35% of consumers who cited Google as their starting point when conducting product research, more than half clicked on Google Shopping results. However, Amazon was also a destination for Google searchers with 41% clicking on an Amazon link.

"Consumers want to make informed decisions and are turning to sources that provide rich user-generated content like ratings and reviews. Retailers can improve the shopping journey across channels by making ratings and reviews easily and equally accessible to online and in-store shoppers," said PowerReviews CEO Matt Moog. "For brands, these findings echo the importance of making your product information such as ratings and reviews accessible throughout the entire path to purchase, including Amazon, Google and retailer sites."

Tags: research, reviews, search engine, search marketing, user-generated content

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