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62 % of urban internet users research for products online before purchase: GroupM & Amazon report

The Search Advertising Playbook captures changes in consumer behaviour amid pandemic.

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Mumbai: Consumer behaviour and purchase patterns have undergone a drastic change over the last year. Around 62 per cent of urban internet users now prefer to research for products online, before making any purchase, according to the first-ever Search Advertising Playbook released by GroupM and Amazon Advertising India on Wednesday.

The comprehensive report - ‘Decoding the shift in consumer behaviour to win on search’ details how an increasing number of consumers are leveraging online platforms for not only buying products but also for conducting holistic product research. Be it personal hygiene, skincare, electronics, wireless accessories, or large appliances, urban consumers are researching the product on at least two platforms before making a purchase decision.

Online product research influences offline sales since 50 per cent of offline shopping across categories involves prior online product research, stated the report, which also found that at least 60 per cent of ads’ influenced purchase journeys are inspired by search ads.

The playbook also showed that Amazon.in has emerged as a preferred platform for product research and 52 per cent of urban internet users who research online, visit amazon.in to research products before making an online or offline purchase. Total 89 per cent of consumers discover new products and brands on amazon.in.

GroupM South Asia president – growth and transformation Tushar Vyas said. "The last year has seen a rapid shift in purchase decision making and channel preference for purchases with more consumers now researching and purchasing online. This trend is only accelerating with not only metro consumers but consumers from smaller cities and towns. Furthermore, the role of e-commerce platforms in the purchase funnel is undergoing a change with more consumers relying on them from a product research point of view.”

The pandemic has led to an increased focus on health and wellness since personal protection (PPE kits, masks), home sanitizing products (disinfectants, floor cleaners), and health supplements (protein, vitamins) have seen quite an upsurge. This is followed by searches on WFH setups, laptops and fitness equipment, gaming accessories, smart TVs and home theaters, UV sterilizers, DIY toolkits, dishwashers, etc. 

Amazon Advertising India director-ad sales Vijay Iyer said the playbook aims at helping brands understand the behavioral trends with respect to consumer demand and discusses recommended strategies to drive awareness and performance on amazon.in. “With the drastic increase in media consumption, online and e-commerce platforms have become the go-to destination for urban consumers to make a product and brand choice before making a purchase online or offline. The search environment provides brands the opportunity to reach ‘intent’ consumers and create awareness in the early phase of the purchase journey. Native search advertising formats aid in establishing a seamless connection with researching audiences,” he added.

This playbook shares a holistic approach to marketers and on-platform advertising execution teams on how to plan, evaluate performance, and follow best practices from a search execution point of view, with the support of case studies, said the agency in a statement.

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