Saturday, August 15, 2009


From the August 2009 WebWholesaler (page 18):


Search is driving more sales for online retailers, according to a new study by Google and web analytics firm, Compete Inc. However, consumers' online shopping and buying behavior has changed. Shoppers are taking more time to make buying decisions, Google analysts said. As a result, they pointed out that web retailers need to adjust their search strategy.

Using data from Compete's panel of two million online consumers, Google's analysis showed that in the apparel category, the search driven conversation rate increased to 4.5 percent this year, compared with 4.2 percent a year ago. At the same time, however, consumers are taking longer from their initial click on a search term to make a purchase. For example, in the first quarter of 2009, the percentage of apparel purchases made within two weeks of the first search click fell to 30 percent, from 30.4 percent a year earlier. The percentage of shoppers who made a purchase on the same day as the first search click fell to 54.5 percent from 55.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers who waited four weeks after the first click before making the purchase rose to 15.5 percent, up from 14.3 percent. These are all signs that consumers are researching longer before making a purchase. The Google study found similar results in office supplies, consumer electronics and other categories. "Consumers are investing more in research before they actually making a purchase. They are taking more time to think it through," said Sara Kleinberg, head of retail marketing at Google. "I believe this is coming from people being more careful about their purchases and doing more research before they spend their money." (inserted note: MetzyMom says Duh... and wants to remind OLA Radio listeners that she offered different words but similar thoughts on a recent OLA Radio program when she and Dave were discussing the Welcome Home Sale and early Holiday Shopping)

The Google analysts advise online retailers to take into account the lengthened time between initial search and purchase. One suggestion is to lengthen the amount of time they track consumers' behavior through cookies. "If you are not looking at four weeks after purchase, or if you are only looking at one week or same day purchases, you are missing some of the picture," Kleinberg said. She also encouraged online retailers using search to call out price guarantees, price matching or other key discount messages in their keyword purchasing strategies to attract and retain price sensitive consumers. "Not every retailer is a discount retailer, but they need to be aware that this is how consumers are shopping and thinking, and they need to think about how that applies to their own strategy and positioning," she concluded.

***End WW Article***

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