Shoppers want to buy — and they want to buy now. A new study released by the United Parcel Service, “The Pulse of the Online Shopper” reported not only are consumers searching more for products on a single platform — Amazon, namely — they’re checking out on their smartphones, too.
The study analyzed consumer shopping behaviors from pre-purchase to post-delivery. The researched spanned the first quarter this year and included the responses from more than 5,189 qualified comScore panelists who completed at least two online purchases in a three-month period. UPS worked with Astound Commerce to finalize questions, perform the analysis and dictate retailer suggestions.
The research found that despite desktops continuing to be the dominant device for purchases, its position is beginning to decline. Purchases on desktops dropped from 96 percent market share in 2015 to 93 percent this year. Meanwhile consumers are increasingly buying off their smartphones — 41 percent purchased off their phones in 2015 compared to 48 percent this year.
This is likely tied to consumers’ maintained preference for efficiency over experiences within digital search activities. “Efficiency is the driving force in search activities,” the report said. “This explains why more shoppers prefer to begin their searches at robust marketplaces, and why single-channel browsing and buying behavior is on the upswing.”
And where else to find a booming marketplace than Amazon? Twenty-nine percent of product searches began on Amazon — 27 percent started on the e-commerce site in 2016. Accordingly, product research on retail channels — web sites, stores and apps — has declined year-over-year (31 percent in 2016, 29 percent in 2017).
Search engines have remained steady, securing 15 percent traffic in both 2017 and 2016. This means Amazon is surpassing Google and its competitors in product research. Amazon’s dominance is primed to only increase as it adds more categories — and companies — to its portfolio. Generation Z shoppers — who prioritize efficiency nearly above all else — will also contribute to a rise in Amazon’s corner on product searches as they enter the workforce and acquire more purchasing power.
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