Yesterday we announced the findings of a customer site search survey we conducted using Zoomerang. We found that more people than we realized – 73% – said they’ll leave a site in just a minute or two of not finding the product(s) they seek. 36% said that they would never return to that site and 56% said they would only come back if the site had completely unique items. 96% said that an ecommerce site’s search function is important to the online shopping experience. We knew site search was important but were still surprised at how high this number was.
The results are timely, given the holiday shopping season is already underway. In fact, more than half of those we polled said they plan to purchase MORE online this year than last year.
In the press release, we list out 5 recommendations for how retailers can make sure they’re not left out of the holiday rush online:
- the items shoppers are looking for should show up on the first page of the site’s search results a majority of the time
- an automated SEO solution that determines what keywords to optimize for and automatically creates the appropriate landing pages is an easy way to drive more traffic
- “searchandising” (the combination of e-commerce search and online merchandising) gives merchants higher levels of customer satisfaction and return visits
- an effective approach to site search can be through an affordable, hosted solution that can be deployed in a matter of days (shameless plug for SLI)
- site search data can be used to see what visitors are looking for, the terms they’re searching with, and what they’re finding and not finding – in order to gain insight into the best ways to promote products and provide a personalized shopping experience
I’d be interested to hear what other retailers have done to improve the search experience of their customers. And if you’re ever looking to improve your search we would love to help you.