Top 2018 Amazon Searches

December 18th, 2018

At MerchantWords we spend almost all our time analyzing how customers are browsing and shopping on Amazon. The results, as well as the oddities, continue to amaze us.

Understanding shopper search trends can help you learn more than just what keywords to use for SEO. Collectively, they can help you to recognize the lucrative patterns that manifest from this overarching consumer behavior. You can discover how, when, and why customers shop for a particular product on its own, as a part of a bundle, as well as within a category by following fluctuations in these patterns over time.

As a seller, you can leverage these trends to build momentum and gain success on Amazon and beyond.

Here’s an example:

The most popular search in Amazon’s toy category was “unicorns”...

Unicorn costumes for girls” had 10 million searches in 2018.

On the surface, favorite toy and top costume have some similarities: both are generally marketed towards children. However, costumes are typically a seasonal product, while toys are sold year-round. It gets interesting when you find out that both categories have the same winning keyword in 2018: unicorns.

The craze that swept the nation in 2017 continued to build momentum this year. Unicorns are a favorite for young girls, but their popularity spreads across all ages and genders with unicorn drinks, desserts, and slime hitting social media hard in 2018.

The Best of 2018

Reviewing top-ranking product search terms from month to month can help you discover trends and niches. Furthermore, you can improve your existing products and introduce new ones.

We reviewed billions of data points from the last twelve months and pulled together a selection of the top search trends on Let’s take a look at what we saw this year.

Favorite Toy: The most popular search in Amazon’s toy category this year was “unicorns”! These mythical, magical, horned horses garnered more than 50 million searches this year. This trend keeps on going, and we’re betting that unicorn products, from party supplies to blankets to giant inflatable sprinklers, will continue to sell on Amazon and at retail stores across the country well into the new year.

Top Costume: Unicorns bring home yet another win as the most-searched costume on Amazon. “Unicorn costumes for girls” had 10 million searches in 2018. Decade costumes were also popular, with “80s costume for women” and “70s costume for women” coming in second and third.


Photo by Mark Glancy

Who People Shop for the Most: People overwhelmingly search for their female relatives on Amazon. Mom’s had twice as many searches as Dads in 2018! This also holds as we move up a generation; “Grandma” received 1.5 times as many searches as “Grandpa.” Who receives the best presents is still up in the air.


Most Popular Color: As it turns out, orange is not the new black. “Black” was the most frequently searched color across all Amazon products in 2018, followed by red, blue, white, and pink. Do your products come in different colors?

Shoppers prefer iPhone over Samsung: Searches containing “iPhone” pulled in twice as many searches in 2018 as those containing “Samsung,” giving it the coveted place as the most-searched-for smartphone. Have you compared your inventory and sales to overall shopping search trends? For example, searches related to the once-mighty Samsung S7 are waning, but there are still opportunities to find a niche market among S7 accessories.

Photo by Plush Design Studio

Top Tech Gadget: Overwhelmingly, Amazon shoppers searched for “wireless headphones.” This category is an excellent example of customers using different words to search for a product. Wireless headphones were searched for over 120 million times. But customers also searched for wireless headphones by typing in “Bluetooth headphones,” “wireless earbuds,” “headphones,” and “Bluetooth earbuds.” Collectively, these keywords had over 400 million searches this past year! If you dig in some more, you’ll find brands dominate the top-of-the-funnel searches here. Does brand recognition drive your product category? If so, what keywords are you targeting to differentiate yourself?


Most Popular Pet: Dogs brought in over twice as many searches as cats! Dog owners also searched for “dog food,” “dog collars,” and “dog treats most frequently. While dog toys didn’t quite make it into the top three associated “dog” searches, we thought that the top toy qualities customers search for were interesting enough to share. Dog shoppers want their dog’s toys to be “interactive,” “indestructible,” and “squeaky.”


Most Popular Book: Oddly enough, the top book searched on Amazon doesn’t have a lot of words. We’re talking about “adult coloring books”! While this trend may be slowly declining, it still won out with the most book-related Amazon searches in 2018. It beat out runner-up, “Harry Potter” by a cool three million searches.


Most Popular Children’s Book Author: Grab Thing One and Thing Two, or maybe a Who. Dr. Seuss was the favorite author of 2018 – woo-hoo! Dr. Seuss and all of his beloved characters remain popular with Amazon shoppers. The November 2018 release of the new Grinch movie (and, of course, the holiday season) has led to an increase in searches in Q4. What kinds of market trends are powering searches for your products? Remember, a rising tide can lift all boats.

Photo by Tamarcus Brown

Top Adult Fiction & Non-Fiction Author: While the Things may have captured children’s imagination this year, IT has lured in adults. Stephen King was the most searched for adult author of 2018 with over 58 million searches! IT – King’s clown thriller turned classic cult film – was remade in 2017, and the release of two new novels helped boost searches. Thrillers and mysteries appear to be the order of the day, with James Patterson coming in second with nearly 45 million searches.

Most Popular Character: Don’t worry, Potter fans. It may not be the most popular book search compared to adult coloring books, but “Harry Potter” was the most popular character search in 2018 with over one billion searches – that’s even more than Star Wars searches this year! Harry Potter movies, books, and merchandise continue to pull in searches by those looking to re-watch, re-read or share the fantastical tale, and some looking to show their Hogwart’s house pride.

Most Popular Comic Character: Congratulations to “Spider-Man”! Spoiler alert: Not only did he finally become an Avenger but he was also the most-searched comic book-based character of 2018. We always knew Peter could do it! A special shout out to “Deadpool” and “Iron Man.” These fan favorites came in second and third respectively. If you’re able to consider bundling these characters together, you’ll be drawing customers in and distinguishing yourself from other sellers.

Most Popular Disney Character: While each of us has a Disney character that we hold close to our heart, “Mickey Mouse” brought in the most searches this year. Shoppers searched for this classic Disney character over 500 million times throughout the year.

Top Movie Franchise: There were plenty of hits at the box office in 2018, but “Star Wars” overwhelmingly won the search battle on Amazon with over one billion searches. With the release of The Last Jedi in late 2017 and Solo in May 2018, there were plenty of new characters and creatures to get fans shopping and inspire new generations of Star Wars aficionados. 

Photo by mnm.all

Most Popular Football Team: Turns out that the “Dallas Cowboys” really are America’s team. They were not only the most popular American Football team, pulling in 40 million more searches than the “Philadelphia Eagles,” but also the most searched-for sports team overall! It seems that winning the Super Bowl doesn’t mean you get the most searches on Amazon.

Most Popular Baseball Team: The fact that it took the “Chicago Cubs” 108 years to win a world series doesn’t faze their fans. The Cubs pulled in 98 million searches over 2018. That’s a lot of baseball caps and W flags.

(For those of you who are unaware, the Cubs fly a W flag over Wrigley Field when they win at home. Cubs fans throughout the country have taken up this tradition and will place these flags outside their homes or in their windows when the Cubs win.)

Most Popular Shoes: This award goes to “Nike” this year. The shoe retailer officially signed on as an Amazon partner in the second half of 2017 and brought in three times more searches than second place winner Adidas. As Amazon continues to bring in more brands by the month, how are you positioning your products to compete against them? It’s not all doom and gloom here if you can win by helping a shopper find exactly what they are looking to buy!

Most Searched City: While this doesn’t mean that it’s everyone’s favorite city, Amazon shoppers were overwhelmingly searching for “New York City.” Guidebooks, ornaments, novelty items, and souvenirs dominate the first page of search results

Photo by Colton Duke

How Did We Get These Numbers?

MerchantWords has been gathering and analyzing shopper search trends since 2012. We strive to help retailers make sense of the hundreds of millions of shopper searches that come out of the Amazon search bar every month. Our proprietary algorithm sorts through billions of data points to help uncover hidden shopping trends and opportunities more quickly and accurately than anyone else. Over 80,000 sellers worldwide have used our data to discover new product opportunities, optimize their marketing, and grow their businesses on Amazon and beyond.

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