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BizReport : Search Marketing : July 28, 2010

Site search key tool in online shopping process

Recent research from Searchandise Commerce and iProspect shows that site search, the search engine located on a retailer's website, is a key element of the online shopping process.

by Helen Leggatt

If your e-commerce site doesn't already feature site search then perhaps a recent survey, conducted by comScore, will convince you to implement it ready for the holiday season.

Whether buying online, or in-store, it's common knowledge that consumers are using the Internet to research prices and products.

As well as stand-alone search engines consumers are increasingly making use of site search and respond similarly to the results.

For instance, products returned as the first 10-15 results of a site search will, as per search engines, carry the most weight and be seen to be the products that will most likely satisfy their need. Three-quarters will go on to click on up to five of the items listed in the results.

As a result of the integration of site search into major retailers' websites the activity has become a key part of the online shopping process. Consequently, the number of consumers using site search is rising. The survey found 40% of shoppers use search to find products on a retailer's site, whereas only 20% browsed the home or landing page.

"We've witnessed retailers getting better at providing a robust on-site search experience," said John Federman, president and CEO of Searchandise Commerce. "It makes sense that consumers have come to rely upon the rich information provided by retail sites and that marketers embrace this new reality."

Tags: buying process, online shopping, search marketing, site search

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