November 29, 2001, 12:00 AM

The importance of search to sales can’t be understated, says study

How important is search to online shopping? Very, says a report from Georgia Tech. A whopping 87% of Internet users begin their sessions with a search, a survey of Internet users by Georgia Tech reports.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

How important is search to online shopping? Very, says a report from Georgia Tech. A whopping 87% of Internet users begin their sessions with a search, a survey of Internet users by Georgia Tech reports. More specifically, Jupiter Media Metrix reports that 42% of online shoppers start their shopping sessions by typing the name of product, brand or store into a search engine. That is nearly twice the 23% who type in a store’s URL directly.

Getting shoppers to come to the right place through search, then, becomes extra critical. "We ran a test on AOL in 2000 and found when we looked at our log files that the amount of traffic coming to us from search engines was increasing," says Bridget Belden, e-commerce director of Lucky Brand Jeans.

More retailers are finding that they must take steps to land their sites higher in search results. Thus they are turning either to pay-for-placement models in search engines or re-designing their pages to come up higher in the search results. “We thought, People are looking for us, and we have to make it easier for them to find us," Belden says.

Lucky Brand chose both methods-pay for placements and where it couldn’t buy placement, page optimization. While not providing details, Lucky has been pleased with the results. “We’re trying for maximum distribution, so we use both methods,” Belden says.

 

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