Nearly half of product searches start on marketplace

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This article was provided by eCom News.

Marketplaces are now a starting point in 44 percent of all product searches. This is more than twice the number of searches in search engines. Brand loyalty seems to be less important to consumers, as marketplaces are almost 5 times more likely to be a starting point to research products than a brand’s own website.

In 44 percent of all product research, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are the starting point. They account for the largest share of search, compared to just 19 percent for search engines themselves. These are findings published in a new report from Inriver, exploring online shopping behaviors and preferences. The survey was conducted with 6.000 consumers across the US, the UK and Germany.

‘Trend mostly present in consumers aged 18-24’

Only 9 percent of initial product searches are done on brands’ own websites. This trend was particularly present in consumers aged 18-24, where up to 52 percent use marketplaces as a starting point and only 18 percent use search engines. Brand loyalty seems to become less important to customers, according to this report. Retailers selling on marketplaces need to make sure their content is optimized, if they want to be able to compete.

‘Consistent content necessary’

Only 14 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t switch to a competitive product of their first choice was unavailable. Not only unavailability is a factor here, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of shoppers decide against buying products with poor descriptions. Up to 83 percent of shoppers said that product information is an important factor in their purchasing decisions.

‘Brands can no longer rely on their name to seal the deal.’

At least 45 percent of those surveyed feel frustrated when they encounter bad product information and 82 percent of shoppers will look at multiple locations for information on a product. These findings indicate that it is important for online stores to optimize their product information and make sure that this content is consistent across channels.

“Brands can no longer rely on their name alone to seal the deal. Loyalty has shifted and brands need to ensure they’re meeting customer expectations both of the product and in the purchase journey to beat stiff competition on the digital shelf”, said Thomas Zanzinger, CEO at Inriver.

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