Sorry, Search Engines…Shoppers Still Look To Retail Sites First.

It’s no secret that Google is penetrating the retail space – swallowing retailer and brand dollars and spitting out shopper-friendly ad units (Product Listings Ads) within search results. According to ClickZ, there were over 1 billion products advertised on Google Shopping last year, and that number is growing. The PLA model makes total sense for retailers trying to drive traffic to their sites in hopes of driving sales.

If retailers are putting more and more money into PLA’s, they must find them valuable. But let’s not forget about what really matters, the shopper – are shoppers happily adopting this format? Our findings don’t seem to indicate so.

With the help of mobile survey provider Qriously, we surveyed 300 consumers across America to find out the answer to a very important question, “Where do you look first when shopping online?”

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Only 37% of online shoppers say they go to Google first when shopping online, leaving the other 63% to Retail Sites and Amazon (29% and 33% respectively). The proof is in the data; certainly. But what do shoppers say –why are Retail Sites and Amazon their preferred destinations?

Here are a few reasons why consumers still make retail sites their number one online shopping destination:

“It depends on what I’m looking for.. if it’s clothing or handbags, I’ll try all the flash sites first (rue la la, gilt, ideeli…)” – 30 year old female Art Director, New York 

“I usually go directly to the retail website, because I know where I like to shop…I would say I usually use this method because I normally shop online already knowing what I am shopping for.” – 33 year old housewife, Delaware

“I go to Amazon first. My fiancee’s brother lets me use his Amazon Prime so I usually don’t have to pay for shipping.” – 32 year old Associate Director, Operations, Atlanta

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