Brands: Site search as important as search engines
Metrics firm comScore conducted the study, which can be downloaded in full here.
While search engines are still a very important way for consumers to navigate to recommendations, reviews and product information, this study indicates that being able to search on-site with a brand is just as important.
“Search engines and retail websites are the first places consumers turn to when they are ready to shop, whether they are looking for a new laptop, a toaster or a camera. And they are tapping into search engines to find more than just a retailer’s product page…they are searching for customer and expert reviews, competitive pricing and third party product recommendations,” said Robert Murray, CEO of iProspect. “[Brands] cannot afford to have their offerings fail to show up in the search results…they must have a holistic search strategy that understands and addresses a variety of information for all of the products they sell.”
According to the report 66% of shoppers begin product research online with 20% of those beginning at a retail website; search engines and manufacturer websites are also popular beginning places.
For those who start at a retail website, 19% purchase direct from the retail hub or hop to a manufacturer website for more information. After visiting a manufacturer website, many will then query a search engine for information or visit a brick-and-mortar store.
For those shoppers who begin product research at a search engine 37% move on to a retail hub; about half of those shoppers make a purchase from the retail website.
Before you rush to update your on-site search options, take heed. The study also found:
â€¢ Pop-ups and other ads should not be display during site searches
â€¢ Pricing and product information should be clearly listed
â€¢ Product comparison tools are needed