Google, Bing, Yahoo Still Anchor For Finding Information

Anchor-A2Many people begin their search for goods and services on Google, Yahoo or Bing, compared with 37% on Amazon and 7% on eBay. When it comes to mobile searching, 87% of respondents prefer to use a search engine such as Google or Bing when conducting searches on smartphones and tablets, compared with 13% who prefer to use apps from Yelp or Amazon.

The Raymond James survey data should alleviate some concerns by marketers over the move toward apps on mobile or more vertical search engines, like VerticalSearchWorks or Daybees -- where consumers can access information on events -- and away from traditional engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

The sample survey of about 268 consumers set out to determine the sites used most often and how they expect to change their use of several Internet sites and services during the next 12 months. Of the public companies the firm covers, Raymond James analysts Aaron Kessler and Kurt Batinich found the most positive feedback results for Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, Pandora, and Netflix -- although more mixed results for Facebook and Yahoo.

Some 62% of respondents don't think having the ability to make a mobile payment is important, compared with 25% who believe it is somewhat important, and 13% who believe it is very important. If consumers had the ability to use their phones to pay for items or service in a retail store, 46% said they would prefer to use a credit card; 27% would prefer PayPal; 15%, a Google Wallet app, and 9%, a mobile phone solution -- something integrated into iPhone or Samsung phone.

Facebook engagement expectations remain mixed. About 32% of respondents indicate they have increased their Facebook use compared with a year ago and 44% in a similar Raymond James survey done in September. Thirty-two percent have decreased usage vs. 23%, and 36% have kept usage steady vs. 33%, respectively.

Looking ahead during the next year, 22% of users expect to increase their use of Facebook, compared with the 25% noted in the September 2012 survey. Some 21% of users expect to decrease their use vs. 23%, and 57% expect no change in usage vs. 52%, respectively.

Privacy typically remains the most commonly cited reason for consumers abandoning or decreasing their use, with "getting tired of Facebook" a close second.

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