Posted June 2, 2011 12:10 am by with 2 comments

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Pictures can be worth a thousand words so take a look at the chart below provided by SAI. Bank of America Merrill Lynch conducted a study that found the most common first stop for online buyers is Google.

Of course, it is important to note that this study is about the first step, which is extremely influential in any decision process. If Google places a brand first in the mind of a potential buyer that is a powerful ‘endorsement’.

Does that make Google more influential overall? I have no idea. I suspect though that as people use Google to establish the contenders in a potential purchase they may be using social media options like Facebook to pare down their choices. And who better to help make a hard decision easier than your ‘friends’ of which you really know about three but who’s counting?

Bit who’s the REAL big loser in this one? Bing. Bing has the partnership with Facebook but can’t get past Google in the search game so it’s a perpetual also ran. This is despite the fact that even Google’s own Eric Schmidt admitted that some searches on Bing are indeed better than Google’s.

A question for our readers. What is the more important part of the process that a buyer goes through to make a purchase? Is the first action more critical than the rest of the process? Is it all equally important? Are we making too much of this?

Let us know. We did a search and found that you have an opinion so we are starting with you to get to the bottom of this.

  • Amazon, Ebay, and “Direct to retailer site” have a combined share of about 60% if I’m reading this right. I will expect that number to continue rising in the next few years.

    Here’s where things start to spin in circles. Even “direct to retailer site” by itself lays waste to Facebook’s numbers. Yet, did anyone recall the site’s name in any part due to repeated exposure in social media? What if Facebook is at around 2% because company profiles are doing their job? Something got the site’s name to stick in their heads.

    Interesting, though… almost two thirds of people not even thinking to use a search engine first. It really puts the “common sense” tactic of Internet marketing in its place.

  • For me the most important issue when buying a product is price, presuming the product will be identical wherever I buy it. The best way to find the cheapest price of a product is to do a google search and I suspect that is why google accounts for nearly 40% of people’s first step.