A new report has shed some surprising light on how consumers undertake their product discovery and revealed that Google is facing some strong competition from a formidable ecommerce force.

When it comes to SEO for ecommerce, most efforts will be directed at how to dominate Google, improve Google SERP positions and generally, rise to the top of the search engine. However, brand new research from Kenshoo suggests that this mindset could be flawed.

According to its report, online marketplace Amazon is becoming one of the top destinations for product research and discovery – a finding that has huge repercussions for SEO for ecommerce strategies. In a survey of 3100 American, British, German and  French consumers, 72% of consumers visit Amazon when searching for information about a product before making a purchase.

The marketplace was a close second to Google, which plays a role in 85% of pre-purchase consumer journeys. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram also played a notable role in the discovery phase, with 36% of US shoppers turning to Facebook for product information and product ideas.

amazon product

In contrast, only 38% of shoppers said they were likely to use eBay to find product details. 36% said they were likely to go to a retailer’s own website.

Of the 72% of shoppers who said they use Amazon for product discovery purposes, over half (56%) say they look on Amazon first, before any other online site including Google. 22% also say that they won’t look elsewhere if they find a product that seems suitable on Amazon, making it clear that incorporating Amazon optimisation strategies is now crucial to winning SEO for ecommerce approaches.

Even in-store shoppers turn to Amazon, with 27% of the 72% likely to use the marketplace to find product information saying that they’ll also use it to check out a product they’ve found in store in more detail. They’ll also use it to source alternatives to those items viewed in a bricks and mortar location.

Amazon is especially strong in the consumer electronics category, with 73% of all shoppers saying they’re likely to use it when searching for product ideas and information for products such as televisions and computers.

Factoring in Amazon optimisation all but guarantees product exposure and, with Amazon playing such a key role throughout the customer journey, it’s arguable that Amazon optimisation presents a raft of sales opportunities for ecommerce brands.