US Consumers Turn To Amazon And Google For Holiday Gift Ideas, New Searchmetrics Study Finds

20% say their phone is the only device they’ll use for researching gifts online this holiday shopping season

San Mateo, December 15, 2015 – 62% of US consumers will have researched Christmas gifts online by looking on Amazon this holiday shopping season, with 44% performing searches on Google according to a new study. Mobile phones are expected to play a big role, with around 67% of people planning to use their smartphones for researching gifts and 20% saying their phone will be the only device they use for the task.

The findings come from Searchmetrics, the leader in search and content performance, which polled 2,000 US adults¹ about how they will be researching seasonal gifts online this year.

The data suggests that social networks are an important place for holiday gift research, with around 27% of the survey sample saying they will be looking on Facebook for ideas this season. The same percentage of shoppers is also planning to use image sharing network, Pinterest, which revealed in November that it had accumulated 17.7 million holiday gift pins on its site. 16% of the consumers polled by Searchmetrics said they will be using Instagram to inspire gift ideas, while 12% mentioned Twitter.

Searchmetrics News: Gift researches 2015

“The way people look for seasonal gifts online is a big part of the multi-billion dollar product search market in which Google, Amazon, the main social networks, and major retail sites are fighting it out to be the go-to destination for consumers to research products before they buy,” said Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics. “Ahead of the 2012 holiday shopping season, Google overhauled its Google Shopping service to entice more consumers to use its search engine to research their holiday buys. This year, the search giant has taken the seasonal product search battle to the mobile platform by introducing new features just ahead of the shopping season that make it easier for shoppers to use Google Shopping to locate products using their phones.”

Google Shopping’s new mobile features are designed to streamline product search for phone users. As well as benefiting from a more user-friendly mobile phone interface, they can now more easily use Google Shopping to narrow down broad search queries to quickly identify what they are looking for and find out if products they see are available in nearby stores.

Searchmetrics News: Holiday Survey Devices 2015

“Our survey of the way people research holiday gifts indicates how product search is now a complex process that involves search engines, social networks and sites such as Amazon and eBay. Retailers need to be visible in all these areas. And if they are not selling on Amazon or other online marketplaces, they have to keep tabs on competitor activity on these sites,” said Tober.

With Google estimating that 30% of all online purchases now happen on mobile phones Tober was keen to emphasize the importance of mobile search for retailers:

“As well as having a presence on Google Shopping, retailers must ensure they have a strategy in place to ensure their product pages rank highly in organic search results displayed on phones. Our recent study of Google mobile ranking factors suggests you need to pay attention to a number user experience, technical and content elements to be successful in phone searches – and this is now key for anyone who sells or does business online.”

1 Searchmetrics ran an online survey of 2000 US adults using Toluna Quicksurveys on November 24, 2015