October 15, 2002, 12:00 AM

Site search still needs work, says new research

On a scale of 1-5, site search usability and relevance ranked a 2.3, says the E-tailing Group, which studied 25 merchant sites.

 

For all the attention that the importance of site search has gotten as a key driver of successful retail web sites, the search function at retail sites is still pretty dismal, reports Chicago-based consultants the E-tailing Group Inc.

In a test backed by site-search vendor iPhrase Technologies, the E-tailing Group studied 25 merchant sites across six product categories. On a scale of 1-5, site search usability and relevance ranked a 2.3. Even when searches were performed on a specific product brand name, only 72% of the searches delivered correct results. The results dropped quickly when testers searched on customer service inquiries--36% correct--and misspelled words--28% correct.

In addition, online retailers are making it hard to find shipping charges. Only one-third of the sites returned results when testers searched on shipping charges. To make matters worse, only a third of those sites presented correct information, the E-tailing Group says.

Even after relevant search results were displayed, customers have to go through additional steps to find what they need. When viewing results from a category search, customers had to view an average of 2.64 to 2.79 pages to reach the product. Even from the results of a specific product search, customers had to view another 1.26 to 1.79 pages on average to find the product.

 

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

From IR Blogs

FPO

Deepak Agarwal / E-Commerce

Back-to-school insights from a Top 100 online retailer

It’s the second-largest online shopping season, and one nomorerack.com CEO pays close attention to. Here ...

FPO

Kevin Sterneckert / E-Commerce

The ghost economy: an $800 billion retail data disconnect

A new twist on a classic holiday story that online retailers will relive in the ...

Advertisement