5 Points About E-Commerce Sites and Search

September 14, 2020

SEMRush US ECommerce Site Traffic Sources Sept2020Traffic from search tends to produce a strong conversion rate for e-commerce sites. As e-commerce continues to grow, especially during the global pandemic, it’s beneficial to look at what part search is playing in driving consumers to e-commerce sites. Here’s a look at a few data points provided by SEMRush.

1. Search Generates Close to One-Quarter of E-Commerce Site Traffic

The lion’s share of US e-commerce traffic is direct, with 62% of visitors heading directly for e-commerce websites during the period of SEMRush’s analysis (18 months between January 2019 and June 2020).

Search accounts for the second-largest share of traffic at close to 24%. This is compared to other sources such as referral (8%), paid (3.5%) and social (23%) which are responsible for a much lower share of traffic in the US.

2. Amazon Amasses the Most Monthly Traffic

Amazon sees the most e-commerce website traffic, with average monthly traffic of 2.7 billion during the 18-months ending June 2020. That’s almost 2 billion more visits than eBay.com, which saw average monthly traffic of 784 million during the same period.

Amazon’s dominance over other online retailers, insofar as traffic is concerned, is not at all surprising considering it tends to be the first place consumers go to search for a product as well as the place many go for shopping inspiration.

3. Free Shipping’s the Top Trigger in Online Ads

Free shipping is the emotional trigger or call-to-action (CTA) that advertisers use most to grab the attention of consumers. It’s no wonder, considering that past research found some 77% of shoppers chose to buy online because of free shipping.

Furthermore, in the case of fashion e-commerce retailers, the CTA of free shipping is used more than 3 times as often as the next most-used trigger of free returns, echoing earlier findings from CPC Strategy that shows that fast and free shipping is by far the driving factor in shoppers buying apparel on Amazon.

4. Top-Searched Products

In the roughly yearlong period between May 2019 and June 2020, laptops were the top searched for items in the category of Consumer Electronics, averaging 811K searches per month.

Here are some other top-searched products by category during that time.

  • Pet Products: Dog beds (174K per month)
  • Kids Products: Puzzles (348K per month)
  • Groceries & Food: Coffee (3.2 million per month)
  • Fashion: Shoes (1.4 million per month)

5. COVID-19 Inspires a Rise in Some Product Searches

As covered in the past few months, COVID-19 has changed many consumer behaviors, including what they are searching for online. SEMRush data shows that between March and April of this year, Google searches for products related to the pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders saw substantial year-over-year growth. For example, searches for frozen bread increased by 414% y-o-y, while searches for items such as cheese gift box (+379%), webcams (352%), yoga mats (323%) and puzzles (318%) increased significantly, as well.

Even more telling, Google searches for certain hygiene items increased dramatically. Searches for hand gel were up a staggering 19,038% over the same time last year, while searches for hand wipes and hand wash saw a y-o-y increase of 3,032% and 1,268%, respectively.

About the Data: All data is based on SEMRush analysis.


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