The newly released annual look at the digital world from online and mobile measurement firm comScore makes it quite clear that retailers better be ...
Descriptive phrases returned correct results 89% of the time. But misspelled words and searches for customer service information killed the correct-response rate, says a survey of 91 sites by The E-Tailing Group.
Online retail sales may be booming, as any number of recent surveys report, but e-retailers will continue to leave sales unfulfilled until they fix their site search functionality, says a new survey from Chicago-based consultants The E-Tailing Group.
As long as customers were specific in what they sought and spelled words and names correctly, the site search performed acceptably, says the Mystery Shopping survey from The E-Tailing Group. Descriptive phrase searches returned correct results 89% of the time, with relevant results generally showing up on the first page. The E-Tailing Group gives descriptive phrase search a first page relevancy rating of 4.11 out of 5. But if a customer misspells a word, the rates fall dramatically to 51% and first page relevancy falls to 2.29 out of 5.
Customer service queries fared even worse, with only a 46% correct return rate and a first page relevancy rating of 46%.
“Shoppers demand a search solution that comprehends their questions and delivers intelligent answers using all the available information within an organization,” says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group. “When a search solution fails to meet these challenges, merchants face barriers to ROI. If shoppers can’t find product they often abandon a site, seek out its competitors and/or utilize more expensive support channels.”
The company conducted its research across 91 sites in 15 categories. It describes first page relevancy ratings as:
• 5 = Exact match
• 4 = Correct category, correct item within top 2 results
• 3 = Relevant category, correct item not high in results placement
• 2 = Accurate category, correct product buried
• 1 = Wrong item delivered/no results found
“Search is a work in progress,” The E-Taling Group concludes. “A handful of sites have made great strides while many players still have room to grow.”