Amazon Search: How Important Is The Top Result?

November 19, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Retail & E-Commerce | Search Engine Optimization

Compete-Amazon-Search-Click-Likelihood-by-Position-Nov2014Various pieces of research have illustrated the extent to which search rankings affect click-through rates, with a recent study from Marin Software demonstrating that the top result garners at least 30% of clicks across devices. But what about product searches on Amazon? A new analysis from Compete takes a look, noting that Amazon represented an impressive 22% of consumers’ desktop visits to any online retailer in September. (Last year, a study from Compete and GroupM Next found that when consumers visited a retail site online during the path to an electronics purchase, 1 in 3 went to Amazon.)

Those are compelling statistics which lead the analysts to note in the latest study that “for manufacturers of toys, diapers, groceries, auto parts, and everything in between, being on Amazon, and more importantly being seen by consumers on the site, is paramount to ecommerce success.”

So how about being seen? How well does have a product have to rank in order to have a chance of being noticed?

Not surprisingly, it helps to be on the first page. In its analysis of 75 million consumers who conducted at least a single desktop search on Amazon in September, Compete found that there was only a 19.7% chance that shoppers would view the second results page, a figure which then dropped to 12.6% for the third page and 8.5% for the 4th. Only about 1 in 50 searchers make it as far as the 10th page.

Clearly being on the first page helps for exposure, but what about clicks? As expected, the first result has the highest likelihood of being clicked on – with a steep decline thereafter. Specifically, Compete’s data indicates that there’s a 35.1% chance that searchers will click on the top result in any search (either first search or follow-on), a figure which is then more than cut in half by the second position (16.8% chance). There’s just a 3.5% chance that searchers will click the 10th result, meaning that they’re 10 times more likely to click on the 1st than the 10th result.

It’s worth noting that the decreased likelihood of clicking on results further down the list may be related to a decline in the relevance of the results, at least for some searches. It’s nonetheless interesting to see how the top-heavy nature of the results on Amazon – often used as a price-comparison tool – is strongly reflective of consumer behavior on Google and other search engines.

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