Google is no longer the preferred search engine for consumers in the USA

April 21, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

According to Jungle Scout's Q1 2023 Consumer Trends Report, consumers are increasingly turning to Walmart, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok in the USA, for information and online shopping. 

In contrast, Google is no longer the search engine of choice and, along with Amazon and Facebook, lost share in the first quarter of the year compared to last year, 2022.

Although Amazon is still one of the main options for searching and purchasing products online, the percentage of consumers opting for Amazon has decreased from 63% to 56%. Google has also dropped from 46% to 42%, and Facebook from 26% to 20%. On the opposite side, YouTube's share has risen from 24 to 25%; Instagram's from 18 to 19%; TikTok, from 14 to 19%; and Walmart, from 31 to 37%.

In its battle against Amazon, recently, Walmart announced a significant investment in its e-commerce to revamp its look and make it more attractive. "Walmart's new homepage features larger photos, live video, and a social media-inspired scroll so customers can browse our selection just as they would with their favorite social media apps," Tom Ward, Walmart's U.S. e-commerce director, wrote in a release.

Google is losing ground in the battle for Gen Z

In fact, according to a senior Google official - Prabhakar Raghavan - the tech giant’s internal data reveals that nearly 40% of Gen Zers prefer TikTok and Instagram over Google for searching. 

Google also isn’t the only Alphabet Inc. property TikTok is challenging. In addition to emerging as a major competitor to Google’s core Search product, TikTok is also gaining on YouTube, with projections suggesting the short-form video app will surpass its ad revenue by as early as 2024, according to research firm Insider Intelligence.

Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan first disclosed that TikTok and Instagram have been making headway among Google’s young users Tuesday at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference. 

"Something like almost 40% of young people, when they're looking for a place for lunch, they don't go to Google Maps or Search; they go to TikTok or Instagram," Raghavan said. Google confirmed to TechCrunch that Raghavan’s comments stemmed from an internal survey of U.S. users aged 18 to 24.

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media app, with the most significant appeal for Gen Z audiences. As a result of TikTok’s widespread popularity, Instagram and Snapchat have launched imitation offerings like Reels and Spotlight in an attempt to keep up.

Google is also trying to maintain its foothold by gearing its search features to younger users. It includes working on a function allowing users to hover their camera over a “wider scene” and receive information about the objects in that area.

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