August 19, 2010, 10:37 AM

Shoppers key in on a retail site's search box

More shoppers use the search box than browse through the initial landing page.

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40% of shoppers in the market for computers, consumer electronics and other related products use a retail web site’s search box to find the product category, brand or model they’re looking for, according to a poll conducted by web monitoring firm comScore Inc. and sponsored by search marketing firms Searchandise Commerce and iProspect. That’s twice the percentage of shoppers who browse the initial page they land on.

The poll, which is part of the report “The Value of Retail Search and Position,” found that the first results page is particularly important. Among shoppers in the market for computers and other related products, 21% said they generally only click on the first one or two results. Another 23% say they click on the first three and 16% say they click on the first four results.

Similarly, 15% of shoppers looking for consumer electronics said they generally only click on the first one or two results. Another 21% say they click on the first three and 20% say they click on the first four results.

Moreover, 94% of all shoppers click between one and 10 products delivered in site search. That’s because shoppers said they believe those products best fit their needs, are of the highest quality and are most relevant to their search.

“With the majority of shoppers clicking one to 10 products from the first page, search position becomes more important as marketers look to engage the most active buyers and leverage their perception that products on the first page are most relevant,” says the report. “Much like the in-store merchandising practice of securing shelf space at eye level or on an end-cap display, marketers should strive to obtain first page, ideally in the top section in site search. The better the position, the better the results.”

The findings are based on surveys of 1,167 consumers conducted in May.

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