June 29, 2006, 12:00 AM

Web retailers make site search a top spending priority

Online merchants are making significant investments in better site search technology. A May Internet Retailer survey reveals that 25% of retailers plan to install an enhanced internal search engine within the next year.

In order to keep customers glued to their pages and increase conversion rates, web retailers are making a significant investment in better site search technology.

A May Internet Retailer survey of 175 chain retailers, catalog companies, web-only merchants and consumer brand manufacturers reveals that 55.6% of companies in the market for more effective search tools or services will buy a new system within two years. 25% expect to install such technology within the next year and 14.5% within six months.

Improved site search also was rated by 38.5% of all web retailers as their third most important e-commerce technology spending priority in 2006, right behind a new e-commerce platform and web performance monitoring tools. Among specific merchant categories, the survey found that 61.4% of consumer brand manufacturers expect to purchase a new site search application or service within 24 months, followed by 45.9% of catalog companies, 39.5% of chain retailers and 35.5% of pure-plays.

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