It is essential for retail brands to remain current with the most recent trends and platforms in order to compete effectively in the ever-evolving world of ecommerce. A recent study conducted by CivicScience found that fewer adults in the United States are starting their product searches on TikTok compared to a year ago. This is despite the fact that TikTok has been making waves in the social media landscape. This decline draws attention to the dominance of Amazon and Google in the ecommerce search engine market and raises questions about the platform’s viability as an ecommerce search engine.

According to the findings of the study, the majority of online shoppers still begin their product searches on Amazon, despite the fact that this number has significantly increased from 46% in 2022 to 49% in the current year1. Google is close behind with a percentage that has only slightly dropped, from 35% to 34%. These statistics shed light on the continued popularity of these well-established platforms among consumers as well as the trust they inspire in them.

In addition, Amazon’s popularity has increased among younger age groups, with a rise of 45% among people aged 18 to 24 and a rise of 44% among people aged 25 to 34. Both of these age groups are younger than those in older age groups. This pattern exemplifies the platform’s adaptability and its capacity to entice customers from a diverse range of demographics.

Despite the fact that TikTok has seen significant growth in popularity over the past few years, a study conducted by CivicScience found that younger generations are using the app at a “steep decline” According to the findings of the study, between August 2022 and June 2023, usage among Generation Z users (18-24) experienced a decline from 18% to 11%, while usage among young Millennials (25-34) experienced a decline from 10% to 5%. This decrease raises questions about TikTok’s ability to maintain its appeal and relevance among the demographic that constitutes its core user base.

It is important to keep in mind that the majority of users in the age range of 18 to 34 years old begin their product searches on TikTok, Instagram, or Reddit. It’s common knowledge that members of this demographic are the ones who set new trends and are among the first to adopt emerging technologies and platforms. As a result, the decline in popularity of TikTok among people of this age group is cause for concern and may have repercussions for the platform’s potential future success as an ecommerce search engine.

Not only does Amazon’s popularity as a product search engine attest to its dominance in the ecommerce space, but also the company’s unabated growth and expansion demonstrate this dominance. The capability of the platform to provide customers with a streamlined shopping experience, a comprehensive product selection, and dependable delivery have contributed to the platform’s consolidation of its position as a preferred destination for online shoppers.

Amazon has made significant headway in expanding its ecommerce empire, in addition to the growing popularity it enjoys among people of younger ages. As a sign of its dedication to preserving its position as the industry leader, the platform has made the establishment of an ecommerce business worth $20 billion its primary objective. Amazon is well-positioned to continue its reign as the preeminent platform for conducting online product searches thanks to the vast resources it possesses, the technological advancements it has made, and its customer-centric approach.

Google is still a formidable competitor in the world of ecommerce, despite the fact that Amazon may be the most popular website for conducting product searches. Google continues to command a sizeable portion of the market as the initial destination for product searches, despite the fact that its usage has experienced a slight decline among online shoppers.

The capabilities of Google’s search engine and its capacity to provide users with information that is reliable and pertinent are two of the company’s greatest strengths. Google is able to provide targeted search results that are in line with the intent of users because of the sophisticated algorithms and extensive index of web pages that it uses. Because of this, it is an extremely helpful resource for consumers who, prior to making a purchase decision, are looking for information about products, reviews of those products, and comparisons of those products.

As an ecommerce search engine, TikTok’s popularity has been on the decline, which raises important considerations for brand managers and online merchants. TikTok may have a significant reach and level of engagement among younger demographics; however, the platform’s capacity for facilitating the discovery of new products and conducting research appears to be declining.

Because marketing and advertising budgets tend to follow users, brands need to carefully evaluate how effective TikTok is as a channel to reach the audiences they are trying to reach. There is a possibility that the platform is not the most productive option for some businesses and types of products, despite the fact that it may still hold value for some businesses and types of products.

Given the prevalence of Amazon and Google in the field of ecommerce search, it is likely that brands should place a higher priority on their presence on these platforms and the optimization strategies they employ there. Brands have the ability to expand their visibility and reach, ultimately leading to an increase in the number of conversions they drive if they take advantage of Amazon’s vast customer base and the search engine capabilities offered by Google.

Although it is clear that TikTok is losing popularity among younger generations, it is essential to keep in mind the platform’s potential for continued development and progression in the years to come. TikTok has stated that it intends to build an ecommerce business with annual revenue of $20 billion, which indicates that the company has the ambition to compete with established players such as Amazon and Google.

Despite this, it is possible that the market in the United States will not play a significant role in TikTok’s goals regarding e-commerce, at least not in the near future. According to the findings of the study conducted by CivicScience, TikTok’s falling popularity as an ecommerce search engine may be unique to the market in the United States and may not be indicative of its performance in other regions. As a result, businesses that operate in international markets need to conduct an exhaustive analysis of TikTok’s potential and take into account the platform’s performance in various nations before making any strategic choices.

As an ecommerce search engine, TikTok’s popularity among adult consumers in the United States has been shown to be on the decline, according to the findings of a study conducted by CivicScience. While Amazon and Google continue to dominate the market, it appears that TikTok is losing its ability to attract and keep users for product searches, particularly among younger generations.

TikTok is a platform that brands and marketers should evaluate to determine whether or not it is effective for reaching their particular target audience. Brands and marketers should take note of these trends. Brands can capitalize on the massive reach and powerful search capabilities of platforms like Amazon and Google by giving priority to their presence on those platforms. This will allow the brands to maximize their online visibility and drive conversions.

It will be interesting to see how TikTok adapts as the environment of ecommerce continues to change. Additionally, it will be interesting to see whether or not TikTok can carve out a niche in the future as a viable ecommerce search engine. For the time being, brands should concentrate their efforts on capitalizing on the strengths of established players such as Google and Amazon in order to maintain their position at the head of the pack in the cutthroat world of online retail.

First reported on Search Engine Land

John Boitnott

John Boitnott is a news anchor at ReadWrite. Boitnott has worked at TV News Anchor, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He's an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Venturebeat. You can see his latest work on his blog, John Boitnott