The hidden search giant

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If I say ‘Search Engine’, what comes to mind? Google, obviously. For over a decade, Google has monopolised online search and it is hard to imagine someone else taking over.

Well, things are changing. The latest search statistics point in a different direction and it seems like an adversary is quietly chipping away at the search armour surrounding Google’s castle.

Today, consumers who are trying to find a product (and let’s be clear about this, ‘a product’, not a brand) start their search on Amazon. In fact, 55% of all product searches begin at Amazon, and 28% at Google.

And it is not only the platform that has changed but also the customer’s behaviour. Conventional thinking describes a users purchase path in several steps that are simply not happening anymore. Brand searches are down year on year, users do not look for or research a product on a brand site. They make a generic product search, a process that is powered and enabled by Amazon.

Once they have completed their search, users refine it applying filters to the results to shorten the vast inventory list Amazon has presented. Have you asked yourself which filters? What is more important to the majority of consumers? Perhaps the brand, colour, price or size? Logic it would seem does not apply. The most favoured filter and the decision-maker is ‘Amazon prime’.

Amazon has set expectations high, and that means purchasing anything you want with only one click and have it delivered the following day.

On its 3rd quarter earnings call, Amazon announced that its ad sales business was over one billion dollars. Their revenue is still far behind Google and Facebook, who together account for 84% of the global digital media spend, but it is growing year on year. In 2017 ad sales grew at a staggering 58%, in a market where most other channels are declining.

Amazon is no longer only a shop front but also a search engine, advertising platform, media company and studio. It offers solutions to increase your sales, app downloads, ebook sales and even driving traffic off to your site for other products or services.

If your products are on Amazon, you should definitely consider their advertising tools. If they are not, stay close anyway because the hidden search giant is getting stronger.

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