Although shoppers say they like to search retail sites by brand, price and style, only 55% of e-retailers offer that type of search, Jupiter Research says in a recent report. The report cites Drugstore.com, 1-800-Flowers.com and CompUSA.com as the top three retailers in site search.
The report, “Retail Site Search, Site Ranking and Best Practices,” notes that web merchants should use site search to direct shoppers to preferred products, because less than 50% of consumers know what item they will buy when the go online to research a purchase. “Retailers have a great opportunity to influence shoppers while they are searching for products,” Jupiter says.
The report notes that some retailers like J. C. Penney Co. Inc., No. 13 in Internet Retailer’sTop 300 Guide to online retailers, offer strong site search functionality late in the search path, but score poorly overall because their initial search pages provide too little product information and proactive messaging.
In contrast, the report ranks Drugstore.com, No. 36 in Internet Retailer’sTop 300 Guide , as the leader in site search because of the extensive information it provides on its first page of its search function. It says Drugstore uses the first page of search to highlight specials and best-sellers related to the term on which a shopper searched, allows for further navigation by both product attribute and sales information, and lists previously viewed products.
Jupiter said second-ranked 1-800-Flowers, No. 31 in Internet Retailer’sTop 300 Guide to online retailers, incorporates “as advertised” items as well as best-sellers and faceted navigation in its initial search result page. It said third-ranked CompUSA, No. 40 in Internet Retailer’sTop 300 Guide , includes merchandising content.