Two-thirds of consumers begin the shopping process online, and that half convert offline, according to a new study by comScore conducted for Searchdise Commerce.
The path to purchase generally starts with a combination of search engine and site search on retail websites for price, brand and feature information, with shoppers consulting an average of 4.1 information sources during the process.
“We’ve witnessed retailers getting better at providing a robust on-site search experience. It makes sense that consumers have come to rely upon the rich information provided by retail sites and that marketers embrace this new reality,” said John Federman, president and CEO of Searchandise Commerce.
“We wanted to better understand how retail site search worked as a complement to search engines, and we’ve now quantified our assumptions about the value and the ways retail on-site search mirrors search engine marketing. In both, attaining top position in search results is key to winning a higher share of clicks and sales.”
The study participants were asked a series of questions about their impressions of various retail sites. The findings drawn about retail sites from their responses are clear; they want less clutter and ease of use:
*Pop-ups or advertising should not be displayed
*Pricing and product information should be clearly listed
*Product comparison tools should be provided
Products appearing in the top section of a site search results page, or within the first 10 – 15 results after using the site search box, carry additional weight for shoppers. Those products were identified by shoppers as best meeting their needs, of highest quality, and most relevant to their search.
Shoppers who begin their search on retail sites (19%) either purchase directly on the retail site or navigate to a manufacturer site for further details, then either visit a search engine or physical store. Of this group, nearly half buy in the physical store, while 40% transact online.