The eCommerce landscape is in constant flux, with Amazon becoming more like a search-ads platform aside from being an eCommerce venture while Google seems to be doing the opposite. That's one of the key takeaways from Mary Meeker's annual Internet Trends report.
Meeker recently presented her report at Recode's Code Conference. Among the highlights of the talk was her observation that Amazon and Google are starting to evolve and converge.
While this convergence might seem strange to some, it's inevitable that companies evolve as eCommerce continues to grow steadily every year.
Amazon the Search Engine
There's no question that Amazon is lording it over in online sales. The company had a 28% share in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2017, a big jump from its 20% share in 2013.
The past few years has also seen Amazon becoming the start-off point for more product searches than Google. A reported 49% of shoppers begin their product search on Amazon while 36% opt for other search engines. What's more, Amazon shoppers are a loyal group. A PricewaterhouseCooper's survey revealed that 14% of shoppers use this site exclusively. The company is also perfectly suited to take advantage of these searches with key features like one-click purchasing, which allows customers to purchase from Amazon once they find the results they want.
[Graphic via MediaPost]
Amazon is also aggressively growing its advertising side. More marketers are investing in the company's paid search products, with 82% of Amazon Marketing Services users purchasing sponsored products while 65% buy headline search and product display ads.
Google as an eCommerce Platform
Google and Facebook continue to dominate ad revenues; Amazon is currently in fifth place. But with Jeff Bezos nipping at their heels, the Alphabet group is not resting on its laurels and has started to develop ways to ensure shoppers remain onsite. The company’s new AdWords feature - Shopping Actions – will ensure that happens.
Shopping Actions essentially turns Google Assistant and Google Search into marketplaces that retailers can tap into while also allowing users to make direct purchases. Shoppers can add what they find in their search to a common shopping cart and easily check out using payment data already filed with Google. What's more, the program works across various devices. This can provide Google a major advantage, given the increasing popularity of voice search.
Home Depot, Target, Ulta, and Walmart are just some of Google's retail partners. However, these partner retailers would have to sacrifice some of their sales and control of their customer's online shopping experience to Google, it's a small price to pay for being able to utilize the company's vast resources, technology, and millions of potential customers.