Amazon vs. Google Search: What Retailers Should Know

Online retailers want to know: How exactly do online shoppers discover the products they want to purchase? Do they search for them on Google, or do they head straight to Amazon to browse?

Of course, there’s no simple answer to this question, but by considering some of the data, we can come away with some key implications for ecommerce marketers. And as we’re now headed into the heart of the holiday shopping season, these considerations couldn’t be timelier.

In this post, we’ll consider three questions that retailers and ecommerce marketers should be asking themselves: Where do consumers look for products online? How do those consumers behave differently when they’re on Google versus Amazon? And can search and Amazon marketing efforts somehow work together in tandem?

First, where do consumers look for products online?

It is often said that the majority of online retail searches happen on Amazon—but this isn’t exactly the case. While it is true that Amazon is an important research for consumers, it’s used primarily for certain kinds of online queries.

For example, let’s say you’re in the market for a coffee maker, but aren’t sure which one to get. You might do a search for best coffee maker, what’s the best affordable coffee maker, or most popular coffee makers—just three examples of top-of-the-funnel queries that you might use to narrow your search.

These queries make a lot of sense for Google. They don’t necessarily make a lot of sense for Amazon. Once you get some information and determine which brand or model you want to buy, that’s when an Amazon search might come in handy.

The bottom line here is simply that marketers can’t rely solely on Google or on Amazon; they’ll need to consider both, and understand how consumers actually use these different platforms. And that brings us to our next question.

How do consumers behave differently on Google versus Amazon?

Here it is important to note that not every Google search takes a consumer to Amazon, or vice versa. What’s more, consumers might use these two platforms to search for different kinds of things.

Here’s an example of what we’re talking about. Unsure of which coffee maker to buy, you do a Google search, find one you like, and make a note to buy it the next time you’re at Target. Then you head to Amazon to buy some books for your nephew’s upcoming birthday. These two searches are, of course, unrelated, and show that there isn’t always a one-to-one connection between a consumer query on Google and a consumer query on Amazon.

In short, Google and Amazon are not only used at different stages of the consumer journey, but they may also be emphasized differently just depending on the type of product being sought.

Can marketers use search and Amazon in tandem?

To wrap things up, we come to our final question: What can marketers do to use search and Amazon harmoniously?

It all comes down to that sales funnel, and considering the ways in which you can appeal to buyers at every stage of their journey. That might mean ensuring ample brand visibility through organic SEO and PPC, but then also ensuring you have Amazon listings that are optimized to convert. Both elements are necessary if you want to be present for the entirety of the consumer decision-making process.

And that’s certainly a goal worth aspiring to. We’d love to help you achieve it. To learn more about harmonious, integrative online marketing, we invite you to contact us. Reach out to the Driven2020 team today!

Reach out to the Driven2020 team today to talk about the best retail marketing strategies.