November 29, 2007, 12:00 AM

Shoppers abandon retail sites within minutes of not finding a product

Nearly three-quarters of shoppers will leave an e-commerce site within two minutes of not finding the products they are looking for, according to a survey sponsored by SLI Systems.

Nearly three-quarters of shoppers will leave an e-commerce site within two minutes of not finding the products they are looking for, according to a survey sponsored by SLI Systems, a provider of on-demand search services.

In addition, 36% of those responding said they would never return to that site and 56% said they would only come back if the site had completely unique items that couldn’t be found elsewhere. 96% of those surveyed said a web site’s search function is important to the online shopping experience.

“Consumers have become more adept at shopping on the web and as such they now expect a seamless e-commerce experience from the sites they visit,” says Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems. “Retail sites must present shoppers with what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds or risk losing a sale, and even worse, losing a customer for good.”

The survey also found that 87% of shoppers find retail sites through a major search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN or AOL. 86% said they are inclined to visit retail web sites that they’ve never heard of simply because the site ranks highly on the major web search engines. More than half of online shoppers plan to purchase more products online this holiday season than they did last year.

The survey was conducted online by Zoomerang, which in November queried 500 consumers between the ages of 18 and 65.

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