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Data from the study shows that more shoppers are starting their retail journey on Amazon, compared to this time last year. Photo: State of Amazon 2016.
Data from the study shows that more shoppers are starting their retail journey on Amazon, compared to this time last year. Photo: State of Amazon 2016.

Five years ago, if you wanted to go Christmas shopping online, you might start by Googling products or visiting a retailer’s site. But today, chances are you start the same place as most other online shoppers: Amazon.

A study, titled State of Amazon 2016 and commissioned by big data marketing startup BloomReach, found that 55 percent of shoppers now start their retail journey on the e-commerce giant, an 11 percentage point increase from the same study conducted only a year ago.

Search engines took second place, with about one-third of shoppers starting on sites like Google or Bing, and only 16 percent of shoppers starting on a retailer’s site.

The study showed that Amazon’s search capabilities, its ease of navigation, and the overall experience it offers were important factors in shoppers choosing the site. However, shoppers also reported being concerned about inadvertently buying counterfeits on Amazon, and 20 percent of those surveyed said better personalization on retailers’ sites would make them more likely to buy directly from retailers.

The trend reflects the continued growth Amazon’s empire, but BloomReach says it hopes the data will help other retailers and services target their operations to challenge the company’s dominance.

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