Amazon dominates the online shopping journey: study

A report by Catalyst looks at the changing e-commerce landscape and how marketers plan to keep up.

While the majority of shoppers turn to Google to find what they’re looking for, Amazon is emerging as a powerful platform for consumers to learn about products – which is presenting a huge opportunity for online advertisers.

That’s according to The Era of Ecommerce, a report from GroupM’s search and social specialist agency Catalyst that highlights consumer trends in e-commerce as they relate to digital ad platforms.

According to the report, there’s a 50/50 split between those searching for products on a retail site (such as Walmart or Amazon) and those using a search engine; however, 74% percent of consumers claim to “always” or “sometimes” research online before making an in-store purchase.

According to the report, 98% of consumers have visited Amazon within the last year, with 78% opting to visit Walmart’s website to view or purchase an item.

However, it doesn’t always start there. According to the report, 46% of consumers go straight to Google when they know what they’re looking for, with 20% going to Amazon and just 10% searching on Walmart’s website

The number of consumers turning to Google grows to 55% when they don’t know what they’re looking for, with 18% turning to Amazon first.

The report is based on a survey of just under 1,000 North American consumers, plus more than 600 business-to-consumer marketers across nine sectors including appliances, baby care, beauty and personal care, clothing and apparel, consumer electronics and more.

The marketer responses show that brands understand the importance of the increasing trend toward online shopping searches. According to the study, 61% of brands called increasing online sales a “strategic priority,” and 70% claim to have increased their e-commerce marketing budgets in the past year.

However, as of right now, only 25% have an ecommerce strategy for retailers beyond Amazon, and only 28% have one that includes Amazon.

Last month, Amazon repositioned its ad offering ┬áin┬áresponse to the site’s growing identity as an ad platform. The company pulled in $2.2 billion in global advertising revenue last quarter. Earlier this year, Walmart also rembranded its WMX ad platform as Walmart Media Group, following the redesign of its e-commerce site. The platform includes Walmart’s sponsored search platform and an audience targeting and measurement platform.

On the social side of things, buyers have also identified Pinterest as a major opportunity for advertisers to connect with consumers in their paths to purchase.