Study: Generic Search Terms Drive Purchase Decision

Oct 20, 2011 9:22 PM  By

New research from GroupM Search shows that 86% of buyers who purchase in-store use generic terms on search engines to inform their purchase decision.

The study, featuring consumer electronics retailer RadioShack, luxury automotive brand Audi, and a national entertainment brand, also shows that when a shopper conducts a search online and clicks on a link, 90% of those clicks are on the organic listings of a search engine results page.

According to the study, 93% of all buyers, online or in-store, use search. Nearly 80% of buyers who use search rate search as very or extremely useful.

The most interesting insights, according to GroupM Search, are data around consumer usage of search for in-store shopping, and the intent and activity surrounding these actions. Specifically:

· For in-store buyers, search is about discovery via generic keywords.
· 86% of buyers who purchase in-store search on generic terms versus brand terms.
· For search campaigns focused only on direct response, online return on investment (ROI), this understanding presents an opportunity to challenge conventional wisdom and drive greater overall retail sales.
· In-store buyers click on organic listings.
· In addition to the significant percentage of organic clicks that occur when a shopper searches, in-store buyers show a greater propensity to click on a generic link, at a rate of 144% over the general shopper (2.5 times more).

  • · Brands have a strong mandate via this data to further invest in their organic search efforts.
  • · There is increased store locator visitation among buyers who use search.
  • · More than 5% of traffic measured to an advertiser’s site is store locator activity.
  • · Consumers want to visit relevant destinations, whether it is a store locator page, or a third-party site. Brands must direct shoppers accordingly.
  • · Tablets are already an important means by which consumers shop.
  • · 10% of shoppers report using tablets during the retail shopping process.
  • · The rapid adoption of mobile, and subsequently tablet-driven shopping, is an opportunity that brands must activate against, immediately.

The methodology for the research included clickstream analysis of data captured over a 13-month period, as well as a behavioral survey developed for each of the three brands. Conducted with research partner Kantar Media Compete, and detailed in the white paper “From Intent to In-Store: Search’s Role in the New Retail Shopper Profile.”