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  • The quest to be shoppers’ No. 1 destination has two tech giants pitted against each other.
  • After losing ground to Amazon, Google is doubling down on Shopping to be customers’ first choice.
  • Some of its efforts are starting to pay off, but Amazon may have a head start it can’t overcome.

This is the fifth in a 10-part series publishing over the coming days that examines Amazon’s booming advertising business: The people driving it, the ripple effects on other companies, and what’s next.

Google — the owner of the world’s most popular search engine and most-used browser, and the biggest seller of online advertising — isn’t used to being in second place.

But in 2016, a worrying stat reverberated around marketing conference panel sessions and plastered e-commerce company pitch decks: For the first time, a study found, more US consumers said they began their product searches on Amazon rather than on Google.

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