Online Retailers Focusing on Site Search

Online sites are proving to be a solid sales tool for pure-​play operators and those who sell across multiple channels. Surviving as an online retailer these days means optimizing the website, integrating the site with mobile, and  tweaking digital marketing strategies like email and social media. websiteSLI Systems’ new survey shows that online sellers plan to enhance their e‑commerce platforms in 2014 and will pay extra attention to site search.

Currently, 57% of marketers are not using site search to enhance their marketing. Those that do are employing the site search data as follows:

  • Integrate into email marketing to personalize offers 25%
  • Create SEO landing pages to show custom banners 27%
  • Using site search activity to power mobile search 13%
  • Integrating site search activity with social media 11%

The marketers who are taking advantage of the data they collect as shoppers search their site benefit from improved inventory management (28%), better customer service (26%), and streamlined predictive analytics (18%).  In addition, marketers can use the data from site search to target visitors as they moved from page to page. The most popular applications are auto-​complete features (when the user is typing) 62% and refinements (43%). In the next year, retailers may roll out other features designed to snag users’ attention like mouse-​over pop-​ups and floating search bars.

At least 50% of retailers have held back on implementing more site search tools because of budget reasons and another 30% lack expertise in this area. As the online competition for shoppers heats up in 2014, it’s likely more retailers will be rolling out tools based on site search history in an attempt to boost sales.

Have you been working with your marketers to grow their use of site search data?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.