Reason #2 for Why Ecommerce Customers Leave Brands: Amazon’s Search Monopoly 

 September 20, 2022

By  HiFlyer

This ecommerce strategy article is an excerpt from our new book, The Ultimate Ecommerce Email & SMS Playbook. We’re diving into our ecommerce strategy chapter focused on the 7 Reasons Why Ecommerce Customers Leave Your Brand.









Reason 2. The Search Monopoly

Big fan of Nike? There was a time when Nike was listed on Amazon. Nike ran a pilot on Amazon to determine platform viability, but around the end of 2019, Nike opted to delist, simply preferring to go direct-to-consumer. 

The above graph reflects the ecommerce search trends for Nike products throughout 2020. Notice a trend? Even after Nike delisted in 2019, their brand still experienced a steady volume of product searches throughout 2020. 

Aside from one little dip in March 2020 – when everyone was searching for COVID-19 masks, sanitizers, and the like – Amazon was the go-to search platform for millions of customers seeking Nike shoes and apparel. 

Currently, 78% of product searches start on Amazon, not Google. This statistic essentially turns Amazon into the largest ecommerce shopping search engine, dwarfing Google’s monopoly. As evidenced by Nike, even if your products aren’t selling on Amazon, people are still searching there. Searches for “Nike sneakers,” “Nike apparel,” or “Nike leggings” and on all start on Amazon… not on Google.

WundermanThompson Where Online Shoppers Start Their Search May2020

Remember the in-store shopping experience we discussed earlier? Let’s recap it here: how many times have you been in a store and started searching on Amazon for similar or exact ecommerce products as what you have in your hand, researching if you can get a better deal, faster delivery, greater size selection, or better value?

We all do that… and it’s because Amazon has become a search engine for our products and shopping preferences. Google has become a search for “how to” and topical searches. As shown below, Amazon wins on headphone searches, but Google wins on the gaming-related searches (such as how to game, popular games, or gaming stores near me.)

For Google, it gets even worse. Amazon has the highest organic search market share for all apparel, fashion, and health and beauty searches, ranking number one across the board for multiple categories. 

That means, even on Google, Amazon owns the search for the most popular categories. And I haven’t even discussed their annual ad budget for paid search yet. 

Owning product search is yet another first-mover advantage for Amazon; it affords them the opportunity to own the customer experience at the very start of a product search. 

Owning the selection, search, and scale of the ecommerce shopping experience is how Amazon steals away your customers.

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