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Search Engines Remain Powerful ‘Funnels’, Even Against Amazon

While Amazon continues to be at the forefront of e-Commerce sales, online brands shouldn’t give up their quest to gain visibility among consumers, especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).

Even though 38% of consumers report starting their shopping journey on Amazon, 35% of them choose to begin their purchase journey through a search engine. Upon starting on a search engine, 52% click through to Google Shopping results, according to PowerReviews. PowerReviews conducted a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers to better understand the path they take when making a purchase.

Upon searching through Google:

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  • 41% said they’d click through to Amazon;

  • 41% would click to a retailer site; and

  • 27% would click to a brand site.

These results are encouraging for retailers, since consumers who start on Google are just as likely to purchase on a retailer site as they are to purchase on Amazon. This means retailers and brands must prioritize their SEO capabilities, particularly when it comes to getting their web site to the front pages of Google.

The report revealed that retailers can start leveraging ratings and reviews to improve SEO and increase organic traffic to their site. Ratings and reviews can provide information from qualified buyers directly on the product pages, where search engines can crawl the data, enabling consumers to more easily find it. These retailers can also add rich snippets that can help significantly improve click-through rates for Product Listing Ads.

For the shoppers that instead opt to start their purchase journey on Amazon, 55% cited the presence of a large volume of reviews as 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. In fact, consumers say they’ll turn to a search engine (45%), Amazon (40%) or another brand or retailer (20%) if there aren’t enough reviews already listed.

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