Jumpshot, a supplier of digital intelligence has released Retail’s Emerging Toolbox: Sponsored Search, Affiliate Marketing and Influencers Report. The report indicates affiliate marketing sites, influencer marketing and on-site product search have all grown rapidly during the last year. This gives brands and retailers more opportunities to connect with consumers in new, authentic ways.
The company’s real-time, anonymised global panel tracks five billion actions a day across 100 million devices to deliver insights into online consumer behaviour. Jumpshot studied anonymised US consumer actions on eCommerce sites and marketplaces along with search engines, affiliate retail sites and YouTube. Jumpshot analysed visits and transactions for different brand categories across these sites. The data ranges from January 2016 through March 2019.
“Marketers are leveraging digital path to purchase more creatively than ever before,” said Stephen Kraus, Jumpshot’s Head of Digital Insights.
“This report details three key trends to help marketers shape the digital journey. The shift of product search to Amazon, the changing tides of referral traffic and the growing ROI of influencer marketing.”
Major takeaways from the report:
Google is losing ground to Amazon
- Google referrals to eCommerce sites have fallen 17.6% since 2016.
- On average, the percentage of referral traffic from Google to 10 leading eCommerce domains has fallen from 48.6% in January 2016 to just 40% in March 2019.
- On the same domains, transaction volumes have increased by 20% on average since 2017. This suggest 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” 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.
YouTubers drive steady engagement
- 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% of the time. Higher than the estimated conversion rate for views from traditional ads on YouTube, which is close to 0.5%.
- The leading 10 influencer channels alone accounted for 21% of Amazon purchases driven by YouTube influencers.
Sponsored search on retail sites like Amazon and Walmart has increased. However, sponsored listing volumes on Amazon may be plateauing while Walmart has yet to truly grow.
- Views from sponsored search listings on Amazon increased 54% 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. This is because it is not offering the same amount of inventory as Amazon.
Consumers are using multiple affiliate sites
- Year-over-year, 16% more Amazon shoppers visited multiple affiliate or coupon sites during Q1 2019.
- Fourty percent of Walmart shoppers visited multiple affiliate sites during Q1 2019.
Leading affiliate marketers drive traffic
- Nearly 70% of referrals from Slickdeals and RewardStyle went to Amazon; 83% of Bizrate’s referrals went to Walmart.
- Walmart and Amazon both received 40% of Ebates traffic; Target received 18% of Ebates traffic.
- Bizrate excels in Home and Electronics referrals to Walmart.com. Bizrate’s conversion rate on that traffic is three times higher on Amazon.com.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business?
Jumpshot research suggests Google is losing ground to Amazon for product search. However, Google isn’t going away. Sponsored placements on marketplaces will continue to play a bigger role on consumer product discovery. Furthermore, the top 10 YouTube influencer channels are driving Amazon’s influencer conversions.
Over the last few years, sponsored search, affiliate and influencer marketing, have all grown rapidly. This report demonstrates the complexity of today’s digital marketing. Businesses have to totally understand the nuances of how marketing channels drive engagement and purchases. They are required to fully understand what search strategies are driving users to a specific brand or keyword. Or what search terms are driving product views on different retail sites.
The big players are even trying to provide a helping hand. For instance, Amazon’s influencer programme provides a platform for social media influencers to curate products on branded storefronts. However, businesses have to monitor and manage the impact channels have on the way consumers research, compare and buy online.