On-site search proves increasingly popular

On-site search proves increasingly popular

More consumers are using on-site search to find and purchase products online – purchases that are growing in value, according to an interesting new report by DoubleClick.

Based on research conducted in America, DoubleClick found that 9.3 per cent of all sales came through an on-site search function, compared to 6.6 per cent a year earlier.

In addition, the conversion rates (2.1 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent) and order sizes ($126 to $100) driven by those searches continues to increase, though it remains below average site transactions.

The data suggest that people exhibit different types of shopping behaviours.

Where customers are actively “searching” for a product they may be less subject to cross-selling because they see fewer pages and are in a mission-oriented mindset.

Whilst “browsing” customers may be just casually shopping and therefore more susceptible to cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

The average order amount purchased through an on-site search of an e-commerce Web site rose to reach $126 last quarter, up from $111 the previous quarter and $100 one year before.

Through there have been some quarter-to-quarter declines, the overall trend since Q2 2003 has been a significant increase in the average order amount.

Year-to-year, the value of an average on-site search-related order increased 26per cent.

However, the overall average order value still sits a bit higher at $146 and the average search-related conversion rate, 2.1per cent, is lower than the overall rate of 4.6per cent.

One area of concern for online retailers is that online consumers are devoting less time to looking at e-commerce Web pages compared to one year ago (4.4 minutes in Q3 2004 compared to 4.9 minutes in Q3 2003), but the number of pages they look at during each session has increased year-to-year (from 7.7 page views per session to 10.3).

This means that consumers are spending less time on each page. The marketer's task is therefore more difficult, as there is a smaller window in which to capture the consumer's attention and induce a sale.

Sources: DoubleClick, IAB

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