Who Does Online Shopping Better? – Amazon, Google, or Bing

Facebook logo Twitter logo

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I don’t like shopping. Wandering around a store, searching for what I need has no appeal to me. As an Amazon Prime member, I find online shopping to be closer to my taste. I search for what I want, click “purchase” and I’m done. Yet Amazon isn’t perfect. The selection can be poor or the search results yield things completely unrelated. Do Google or Bing offer a better selection, or an experience worthy of paying a few bucks for shipping? I ventured online to find out.

I decided to shop for new lunchboxes for the kiddos to take back to school.

our nerds know all the little hole-in-the-wall shops of the internet!

Starting with Amazon I typed “lunchboxes” into the search criteria and was rewarded with … Tupperware. Huh? A company named “EasyLunchboxes” makes a Bento Box Lunch container and Amazon apparently thought that’s what I wanted. Results were not much better when I refined the search to “Kids’ Lunchboxes.” There were plenty of cute options on the first page, but there was also an assortment stuff that was definitely not a lunchbox. I only reviewed the first 24 results out of 2,150 returned, but I expect my search to hit pretty darn close to what I am looking for in that size of a sampling.

Microsoft’s search engine Bing is launched through www.shopping.com. My search for “lunchboxes” was rewarded with nearly all of the first 40 returns fitting my criteria. To the left was an option to sort by those options offering “free shipping,” which is a nice feature. Another difference: Bing lists the vendors, right on the search page, something you have to dig deeper to find with Google and Amazon. I found listings from JC Penny, EBay and Etsy. Bing even linked me back to Amazon. When you order, you do so directly from the vendor once you’ve clicked on the product link.

Google Shopping surprised me. Even though Amazon is my default shopping site, I still expected Google to offer the most robust and refined results. Yet I when typed “lunchboxes” into the search bar, over half of the first page (including the first 3 entries) were not lunchboxes at all, but plastic containers, and hardly any of the items on the page were kid-related. Really, Google? At a time of the year where nearly every other vendor is screaming “Back to School” you don’t refine results to such a common category? While Google returned the highest number of results (a whopping 143,000) their relevance left something to be desired.

Amazon’s robust rating system is hard to beat, too. This lunchbox has 181 customer reviews, as opposed to Google’s mere 4. Incidentally, searching specifically for “R2D2 Lunchbox” via Bing resulted in nothing remotely similar.

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.