How shoppers discover
Shoppers learn about products and stores from friends, media, endorsements, advertising and numerous other ways. How we discover the products or find the best store to buy them at continues to evolve over time. Here are a few of the ways people currently discover products and stores prevalent in eCommerce.
Search Engines (Google)
Real world / TV / Showrooming
How shoppers discover / Search Engine
Google is often the place shoppers start searching for product information and products they want to purchase online. With the invention of Product Listing Ads (PLAs), eCommerce has become very important for Google, online retailers, and customers alike. Google relies on eCommerce for a good portion of its revenue, retailers for much of their web traffic and customers for finding the best place for great prices, information, and selection.
Google considers many factors when listing results.
Device, location, type of product, past searches and any other signal shoppers have access to that may be useful are used as signals. These can determine what products shoppers see as well as how many or what type of ad or results they get.
How shoppers discover / Amazon
Many people are now moving away from Google as the starting point for their online product purchase. Often Amazon is the perfect place to start your product search. It offers competitive prices, extensive selection, a familiar interface, stored credit card and shipping information, product recommendations, reviews and more. Even if the price is not the best for all products, it may be easier to shop on Amazon instead of starting a new account at a different retailer just to save a dollar or two.
Many people think of Amazon when online shopping is mentioned. As of 2016, about 55 percent of online shoppers say they start on Amazon.
How shoppers discover / Social Media
People both discover and purchase on social media. Placing items for sale on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest is popular for some types of products. This will become more significant for online shopping as these networks continue to integrate the ability to purchase the items right into the platforms.
Social networks are perfect for discovering trends or products from people you trust such as friends, celebrities, or experts.
People are not generally using social media to shop and may not be in the mindset for buying the way they are when searching Google or visiting Amazon. Even when shoppers are not spending money while on these networks, the new methods of advertising to targeted customers will impact retail in many ways.
How shoppers discover / Real-World / TV
The ability to buy a product online as soon as it’s found in the real world, on a video, or in a different store is changing the way shoppers discover products and how they shop. Amazon lets you scan an actual product and if they can recognize it, you can purchase it from Amazon right then and there. This can be done by using your phone to scan the barcode, the box or sometimes even the product itself. This method encourages discovery and convenience and is a great new way to buy the products you see in everyday life with less effort. Some stores have been experimenting with letting people purchase products that are featured in a video, TV show or movie. This is relatively new and will continue to change as the technology, customer expectations and infrastructure evolves.