Key Findings Show That Google Has Lost Ground to Amazon for Product Search, Growing 54 Percent in Sponsored Product Views Since Last Year, and That the Top 10 YOUTUBE Influencer Channels Drove 21 Percent of Amazon’s Influencer Conversions
Jumpshot, the only company that unlocks walled garden data, released the Retail’s Emerging Toolbox: Sponsored Search, Affiliate Marketing and Influencers Report, which finds that affiliate marketing sites, influencer marketing and on-site product search have all grown rapidly during the last year, giving brands and retailers more opportunities to connect with consumers in new, authentic ways.
Jumpshot studied anonymized US consumer actions on eCommerce sites and marketplaces along with search engines, affiliate retail sites and YouTube; analyzing visits and transactions for different brand categories across these sites. The data ranges from January 2016 through March 2019.
“Marketers are leveraging the digital path to purchase more creatively than ever before,” said Stephen Kraus, Ph.D., head of digital insights for Jumpshot. “This report details three key trends to help marketers shape the digital journey: the shifting of product search to Amazon, the changing tides of referral traffic and the growing ROI of influencer marketing.”
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Major takeaways from the report include:
- Google has lost ground to Amazon as a product search channel.
- Google referrals to eCommerce sites have fallen 17.6 percent since 2016.
- On average, the percentage of referral traffic from Google to 10 leading eCommerce domains has fallen from 48.6 percent in January 2016 to just 40 percent in March 2019.
- On the same domains, transaction volumes have increased by 20 percent on average since 2017, suggesting Google traffic is not driving consumer product discovery as effectively as it once did.
- Search terms that include brand names, such as “Apple TV” and “Hydro Flask” tend to draw higher volumes from Google than from Amazon. Meanwhile, non-branded terms, especially for CPG products such as “toothpaste” and “paper towels” tend to draw higher volumes on Amazon.
- YouTube influencers drive steady engagement and conversions on Amazon.
- The leading 1,000 influencer channels on YouTube drove 84 million product views and 2.2 million purchases on Amazon.
- Visits to Amazon influencer stores doubled year-over-year in Q1 2019.
- Non-advertising traffic to Amazon from YouTube influencer channels result in a sale 2.7 percent of the time, higher than the estimated conversion rate for views from traditional ads on YouTube, which is close to 0.5 percent.
- The leading 10 influencer channels alone accounted for 21 percent of Amazon purchases driven by YouTube influencers.
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- Sponsored search on retail sites like Amazon and Walmart has increased, but sponsored listing volumes on Amazon may be plateauing while Walmart has yet to truly grow.
- Views from sponsored search listings on Amazon increased 54 percent year-over-year in Q1 2019.
- Amazon product views from sponsored search in Q1 2019 were nearly six times more than Q1 2016 levels; purchases grew almost nine times higher in the same time period.
- Walmart’s sponsored views have grown, but still drive less than two percent of all product views, likely because it is not offering the same amount of inventory as Amazon.
- Consumers are using multiple affiliate sites with more frequency.
- Year-over-year, 16 percent more Amazon shoppers visited multiple affiliate or coupon sites during Q1 2019.
- 40 percent more Walmart shoppers visited multiple affiliate sites during Q1 2019.
- Leading affiliate marketers drive traffic to distinct retailers.
- Nearly 70 percent of referrals from Slickdeals and RewardStyle went to Amazon; 83 percent of Bizrate’s referrals went to Walmart.
- Walmart and Amazon both received 40 percent of Ebates traffic; Target received 18 percent of Ebates traffic.
- Bizrate excels in Home and Electronics referrals to Walmart.com, but Bizrate’s conversion rate on that traffic is three times higher on Amazon.com.