Paid clicks have recently overtaken organic clicks when it comes to the keywords that drive traffic to retail sites within the furniture, appliances and garden categories, according to a new Hitwise report.
There are multiple reasons behind the shift, says Rochelle Bailis, Hitwise’s global director of content. To start, Google has spent more than a year rolling out changes to its search results to drive consumers to click on ads, rather than unpaid organic results. At the same time, competition has intensified within these categories as consumers are growing increasingly accustomed to buying furniture, home goods and other products online.
“Digital increasingly factors into every purchase decision for consumers—even for items like appliances that they may not ultimately buy online,” she says.
Within the furniture category, Wayfair Inc., No. 16 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, drove the most traffic to its site from furniture searches. However, Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) made a rapid gain as it boosted its share of search clicks 1.55 percentage points year over year. Paid search’s share of traffic grew for each of the five furniture players that drove the largest share of traffic from search ads, according to Hitwise, a division of Connexity.
Amazon’s growing share of furniture keyword traffic may mean that more consumers are turning to Amazon to research and, in some cases, buy products that they otherwise would have bought elsewhere just a few years ago, Bailis says. That’s particularly clear when looking at Amazon’s ability to drive a larger share of traffic from appliance and garden keywords.
“Most people wouldn’t think of buying a dishwasher or garden supplies from Amazon,” she says. “But we can see that Amazon is making inroads in those spaces, even for big-ticket items that most people might not think of buying online.”
Retailers need to be aware of Amazon’s growing influence, Bailis says. After all, “Amazon is often thinking 10 steps ahead.”