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.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

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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