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SLISystems-Use-of-Site-Search-Data-in-Other-Marketing-Programs-Nov2013Almost 6 in 10 e-commerce executives from around the world say that they don’t use site search data such as keyword reports and most popular items to enhance their other marketing programs, finds SLI Systems [download page] in a recent study. The research indicates that roughly one-quarter integrate site search data into email marketing campaigns or create SEO landing pages populated with site search results, while only about 1 in 10 integrate the data into other channels, including retargeting ads, display ads, or social media.

Lack of integration of this data doesn’t appear to be owing to problems with site search itself. Rather, when asked why they’re not currently using site search to enhance other campaigns, half blamed limited resources, while about one-quarter admitted that they’re not sure how to do it.

The study similarly finds only half of respondents to be using site search data or data analytics to enhance any of a number of business drivers. Some are using the data for inventory selection (28.4%) and customer service (26.2%), but very few are using it to inform supply chain visibility (7.8%) and dynamic pricing (5%).

It doesn’t look like e-commerce execs are gearing up to make any wholesale changes before the holiday period hits, either. Just 37% said they plan to incorporate site search data into their holiday marketing campaigns, although another 28% are unsure.

While respondents may not be using site search data in other campaigns, site search itself is a key priority for next year. Presented with 10 e-commerce site priorities for 2014, respondents ranked SEO and e-commerce platform first and second, putting site search in the third spot, ahead of mobile.

Site search is certainly a priority for online shoppers: in a recent survey from LivePerson, respondents from 7 major markets ranked ease of browsing/searching as their top reason for favoring one e-commerce site over another.

Other Findings:

  • Respondents’ top 3 priorities for choosing a site search solution are: relevance of results; ease of use; and total cost of ownership.
  • In terms of site search features that respondents already have, auto complete (62.5%) is the most widespread, followed by refinements (42.6%) and auto complete with graphics (28.2%). Only 15.9% offer personalized search histories.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 160 global e-commerce professionals. A slight majority are based in the US and Canada, and about 40% claim online revenue of at least $10 million. Roughly one-third of respondents say that less than one-quarter of their business is conducted online.

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