5 Interesting Points About Amazon Shopping Behavior

September 17, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Cross-Media & Traditional | Digital | Industries | Paid Search | Retail & E-Commerce | Search Engine Optimization | Sponsorships

Where is Amazon’s product category dominance highest? And how does Amazon compare with Google in terms of product search share and time from search to purchase? These and several other answers are provided in Jumpshot’s recent Q2 2018 report, “The Competitive State of eCommerce Marketplaces” [download page].

Here are 5 interesting points from the report.

1. Amazon Tops 80% Market Share in Several Categories; Lags in Women’s Clothing

Jumpshot’s report relies on an analysis of anonymous consumer actions on mobiles and desktops within 500 e-commerce sites and marketplaces, as it bills itself as “the only company that unlocks walled garden data.”

The data reveals that Amazon’s dominance is particularly high in certain categories:

  • Health (Medicines): 92%;
  • Electronics: 89.9%;
  • Spots, Fitness & Outdoors: 89.6%;
  • Household Essentials: 88.8%;
  • Home Improvement: 83.8%; and
  • Food: 81.8%.

Perhaps this dominance shouldn’t be surprising given that people spend more time on Amazon than on the rest of the top 10 online retailers, combined.

However, it hasn’t fully kicked out its competitors in all categories, gaining less than 50% share in Furniture (47%) and Women’s Clothing (42%) e-commerce sales. To be fair, it remains the dominant leader in both categories (Wayfair is next in Furniture with 13.5% share, Kohl’s in Women’s Clothing with 9.1% share).

2. Amazon’s Sales Growth Trails Rivals

Perhaps as a result of its already dominant position, Amazon’s sales growth is trailing that of its rivals, and category growth overall.

Interestingly, that’s especially true of the areas in which it already lags in product share. For example, it’s year-over-year growth in Furniture sales was less than half that of the category overall (20.3% vs. 45.7%), and its sales growth in Women’s Clothing was even further behind (11.9% vs. 50.4%).

Top rival Walmart is enjoying e-commerce growth rates that are at least twice as fast as Amazon’s in 7 of the 8 categories measured. Food, Beauty and Household Essentials are 3 categories in particular where Walmart’s growth far outpaces that of Amazon.

3. Product Search Shifts From Google to Amazon

There have been conflicting reports about whether search engines or Amazon are favored for product searches. But at least in Jumpshot’s view, it’s Amazon that’s gaining ground.

Looking back to 2015, and it was Google that led with 54% of product searches beginning on the search engine, compared to 46% of searches for Google. Fast forward to 2018, though, and that switch has flipped, with Amazon seeing the majority of product searches (54%) to Google’s 46% share.

4. Amazon’s Product Search Is… Really Powerful

We’re going to cheat and include 3 interesting takeaways about Amazon product search into this single section. Here they are:

  • Close to 9 in 10 product views on Amazon come from its product search rather than from merchandising, ads or product aggregators, with the percentage of clicks coming from search acutely high for Health & Personal Care, Pet Supplies and Video Games;
  • Product views are growing from sponsored placements, but these still only constitute around 6% of all product views; and
  • About two-thirds of product clicks come from the first page of Amazon results, and more than one-third (36%) are from the first two rows. Column position is more important than rank in some respects, with the 4th-ranked product (1st on the second row) earning more clicks than the second- and third-ranked spots (in the first row).

Got that? OK, let’s move on.

5. Amazon Shoppers Are More Careful Shoppers?

This could be a result of the wide variety of products on Amazon (analysis paralysis?), but the time to purchase from first search is longer on Amazon search than on Google search.

Specifically, 35% of Google searches that led to a transaction in Q2 did so within 5 days, versus slightly less than one-fifth (19%) of Amazon searches.

And on average, Amazon search averages close to a month (25.9 days) from search to purchase, compared to 19.6 days for Google search.

The full report, which contains more data and analyses, can be downloaded here.

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