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Amazon and Google Battle For eCommerce Dominance

09/10/2012

The most interesting battle in retail this year is shaping up right now. What makes it interesting is the nature of the two contenders. It’s not Walmart vs. Target. It’s not Kohl’s vs. JCPenney. It’s Amazon vs. Google. But wait a second…Google isn’t a retailer!

Google is a search engine, not a store. But Google’s comparison shopping service and Google Shopping position Google to compete directly with Amazon. At the same time more shoppers are using Amazon as a search engine to find what they want to purchase.

This battle has building over the past several years and looks to be heating up in a big way. Back in 2009 25 percent of shoppers began their online purchases on a search engine like Google and about 18 percent began on Amazon. By last year those numbers flipped with about 1/3 starting on Amazon and 13 percent on a search engine.

Consumers are driving Google’s repositioning and consumers will determine which format, Google’s or Amazon’s, will prevail.

The winner is likely to be the one with the best mobile friendly applications. Recent research found that 51 percent of online shoppers would be more inclined to buy from an eCommerce site if it had a mobile site that was easy to shop via mobile device. With over half of America’s mobile owners toting smartphones, mCommerce is likely to drive much of this holiday seasons shopping.

Ironically, 90 percent of websites are optimized for mobile viewing…which is an immediate turnoff for mobile customers.

So, while the battle maybe between Amazon and Google, the weapon of choice will be the smartphone.

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