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The use of search engines dropped 15% in France over the last year. According to surveys conducted in consecutive years by location services company Mappy, those ages 18 to 64 used search engines to research products and services at a much lower rate in July 2016 than in September 2015.
Search engine usage declined 15%, with 63% of digital buyers in France saying they used it in July 2016 vs. 78% in September 2015. Likewise, the proportion of buyers who conduct research via a brand or store's site or app has dropped nearly 10 percentage points to 39% of respondents.
These shifts, of course, suggest that other channels may have become more popular as places to conduct research. And to a certain extent that's true.
Almost 5% more respondents in 2016 named classified ad sites or apps as digital channels to conduct research than in the previous year's survey. Social media sites saw a similar shift—with 16% of respondents going to social platforms to conduct research. While these shifts explain part of the decline in search, they do not entirely make up for the drop.
The channels through which digital buyers in France conducted their research may have changed. They are researching and buying online at just as high a rate as they were last year.
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