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Amazon...The Starting Point for 44% of all Online Shopping

According to surveys conducted by Forrester and Bloomreach (by Survata), a rapidly growing number of consumers now go directly to Amazon when they are shopping for products online. The portion of straight-to-Amazon shoppers, (44 percent), outstrips the percentage who turn to search engines (34 percent). If you are guilty of presuming that most will head straight for Google, the number is only 13 percent. For brand loyal shoppers, actually, only 21 percent rely on specific retailers' sites to begin their product search, preferring instead to benchmark against Amazon first.

Amazon's market share of the online shopping market is impressive, but more impressive is the rate of growth in the share of E-commerce search. Just three years ago, Forrester Research released the percentage of shoppers who went directly to Amazon when hunting for products online and this was 30 percent.

If you are wondering, how these search trends have shifted among Amazon and search engines, the press release about the BloomReach study pointed to a 2013 Forrester report found that 30 percent of online buyers use Amazon to research products first, while just 13 percent started on Google. Looking more closely at what the studies show, it seems clear that search has at least held pace with Amazon's growth.

There are quite a few factors that drive people to amazon to start their buying journey. Here are the few top ones that as a retailer you can not ignore.

Similar studies performed here in the UK, showed an overwhelming number of consumers have the opinion that nobody does

personalization better than Amazon. In fact, 75 percent of U.S. consumers polled by Survata said Amazon knew them best, while only 9 percent said was the best at personalization and 8 percent picked eBay, which considering the the C2C nature of the online auction site, is perhaps concerning.

Amazon reviews
Amazon Product Reviews have a significant impact on a product's ranking, traffic, and sales performance on Amazon.

Return Policy
Studies performed in the U.K. and U.S. have found that buyers like the hassle-free return policy of Amazon and prefer to purchase goods from stores who offer cost free and quibble free returns.

Delivery Speed
Amazon Prime is a major factor for people preferring Amazon. Currently there are 63 Million Amazon Prime customers and the numbers are growing rapidly

Mobile usability
Recent Morgan Stanley research showed that more than 50 percent of Amazon's mobile traffic growth is coming from its app. Yet it also noted that overall mobile-browser traffic is twice the size of the app market and growing 1.2 times faster, demonstrating how consumers are using mobile for shopping, but still have some lack of trust towards apps, preferring instead, traditional search engines.

While retailers might find this new trend a challenge, the trend is there for a foreseeable future and your online growth strategy can not ignore the fact that customers might prefer to buy their products from Amazon rather than directly from you. This might not be all bad, as you can re-align your strategy to use Amazon as a quick customer acquisition tool and/or a great way to increase your target market.

What are your thoughts? Continue the conversation with Engineer on Twitter @digitalpaintweb using #DPblog #Amazon

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