November 25, 2013, 11:50 AM

Nearly half of e-retailers say they will improve site search in 2014

47% say they’ll use search data to improve marketing programs.

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Delivering better site search results is on e-retailers’ to-do lists for 2014, according to the results of an online survey conducted among 160 e-retailers by site search technology vendor SLI Systems Ltd.

E-retailers ranked site search third on their list of e-commerce site priorities for 2014, following search engine optimization and e-commerce platforms. The site search improvements e-retailers say they will focus on in the next year include adding A/B testing capabilities to site search (cited by 28.8%), adding quick-view windows to search results (25.0%) and incorporating search histories to personalize results (20.0%). 

Further, SLI says 47% of e-retailers say they intend to start using site search data to improve other marketing programs, such as e-mail (24.8%), search engine optimization (26.8%) and mobile search (13.1%). Fewer e-retailers say they will use site search data to help improve ad retargeting (11.1%) or integrate site search with social media channels (11.1%).

One e-retailer that is already blending site search and social data is, the e-commerce home for the e.l.f. Cosmetics brand, No. 488 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Consumers can view all the relevant blog posts, tweets, videos and Facebook posts for products they search for on the site. Search results are categorized under five tabs: products (the default view), as seen in (highlighting e.l.f. product mentions in the popular press), video (from its YouTube channel), social buzz (Facebook and Twitter) and beauty blog. Consumers searching for the term "mascara," for example, can see what e.l.f. and consumers are saying about e.l.f. mascara on Facebook and Twitter, and watch an e.l.f. YouTube video to see how to apply it.

Time on site for visitors who click on the tabbed search results is nearly 30 minutes, compared with a seven-minute average for consumers who do not click on the tabs. Consumers who click on the tabs also view more than three times as many pages during their visit as those who do not.


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