June 29, 2006, 12:00 AM

Product labels crucial to site search

Developing the right vocabulary for site search is critical if a retailer wants to keep shoppers from jumping to another site, says Kim Weller, prinicipal consultant, user experience, at Molecular.

Developing the right vocabulary for site search is critical if a retailer wants to keep shoppers from jumping to another site, says Kim Weller, prinicipal consultant, user experience, at Molecular Inc.

Weller cites as an example Yankee Candle’s labeling of a candle in a jar as a “housewarmer” in its search vocabulary. “Fewer than 10% of Yankee Candle’s customers called this object a housewarmer,” she says. “Over 90% referred to it as a jar candle or simply a candle.”

It’s important to get search terms right because up to 40% of shoppers use search to find products, Weller says. “It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have,” she says. “Forty-seven percent of searchers who failed to find what they were looking for tried only one search. If they don’t find it on the first attempt, they’ll look somewhere else.”

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