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.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

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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