A recent study shows that Amazon.com, Inc. is the preferred starting point for product search. The study, which involved 1,000 U.S. consumers, found that 38% of shoppers start with Amazon and 35% start with Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc . The survey, conducted by PowerReviews, also found that most shoppers ultimately purchased their desired products in physical retail stores.
According to the study, shoppers choose Amazon as starting point for product search due to variety of products, free shipping, and better deals. Additionally, more than half of shoppers who started their shopping journey on Amazon cited the presence of a large volume of reviews as a key factor. Almost all of shoppers read reviews on Amazon before making to a decision to buy products.
Moreover, 35% of shoppers choose to begin their purchase journey at a search engine. More than half of these shoppers click through to Google Shopping results. Also, the study found that after conducting a search, shoppers go to a retail site or Amazon in equal numbers.
How Retailers Can Compete With Amazon
PowerReviews, which provides ratings, reviews and question-and-answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in the U.S. to release Mapping the Path to Purchase: How Today’s Consumers Navigate the Shopping Journey.
“In this study, we found that while many consumers choose Amazon because of its variety of products, low prices and free shipping, retailers and brands can effectively leverage user-generated content, including ratings and reviews and Q&A, to offer a superior shopping experience that wins consumers and grows advocacy,” PowerReviews CEO Matt Moog stated.
Retailers cannot compete with Amazon on product variety or free shipping, but they improve their positions in search engine through ratings and reviews. They can improve click-through rates with rich snippets displaying star ratings and review information in search results, according to the study.
As the study shows, ratings and reviews are very important. Amazon.com, Inc. is now taking actions against merchants who bought fake reviews to boost their sales.
The e-commerce giant recently filed lawsuits against three sellers operating on its website for creating fake reviews about their products. The sellers, which also include a Chinese company, were using ‘sock puppet’ accounts to post fake reviews about their products, according to the e-commerce company.
The cases, filed with the American Arbitration Association, blamed sellers of creating or paying for fake reviews. The sellers were creating the reviews themselves with fake accounts, according to a report from The Seattle Times. The false reviews represent 30-45% of the sellers’ total reviews, according to the company. The sock puppets can be defined as made-up people created to post gushing comments.
The e-commerce company wants the defendants to be banned from selling on its website or accessing its services. The company is also seeking the profits the sellers made on Amazon, attorneys’ fees, and damages exceeding $25,000.
In April, the e-commerce company sued in King County Superior Court several websites operators for allegedly selling fake reviews for books and other products.
As we reported previously, Britain’s vote to leave the European Union would impact Amazon’s expansion plans in the UK. Hiring could become difficult for the U.S.-based online retailer, which relies on low wage immigrant workers to staff its fulfillment centers.
Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. closed up 1.41% on Friday. Year-to-date, the stock is up 5.31%.