How the digital shopper is changing…
Most people presume that Google is the primary point for user searches. Whilst historically that may be true this behaviour is changing and research suggests that onsite search and navigation is the first point of call for many consumers. Now two-thirds of buyers begin their product journey on retail sites.
The SERP (search engine results page) is now saturated with ads and this can be confusing from a consumer’s viewpoint. However, the consumer knows the best way to get the most reliable information about products or services may be directly from the retail site. The ‘ComScore 2013 Digital Future’ confirmed that searches on specific sites were up 8%, while searches on traditional search engines were down 3%.
This may mean that the role for traditional search advertising is evolving, as the consumer gets smarter. Traditional searches are used for consumers searching broadly, when researching the general market (brand awareness). This results in a number of retail sites fighting for space on the SERP.
There are some new suppliers like Hooklogic now entering the space, which offer paid ads within the Retail sites. They are calling this offering ‘Paid Retail Search’.
Onsite Paid Retail Search is further down the funnel for a sale and best used for targeting category shoppers. Therefore, the keyword is descriptive and leads directly to the product description page, from which the user can research everything they need to know to ‘add to cart’.
What does this mean for our clients?
We need to be aware of the changes to online search behaviour. This may mean rethinking how the search budget sits and if there are ways to support the other content platforms which the consumers are visiting.
It is important to understand that the search box within retail sites has evolved massively. This enables a more effective consumer online shopping experience when searching for specific products. Through a combination of top performing and relevant keywords, consumers are able to navigate more efficiently to their desired destination.
Google has responded to this shift in behaviour, with the release of the Sitelinks Search Box. This search box enables people to reach your content more quickly from
search results. The Sitelinks search box removes that extra step from the consumers’ journey.
An example of this is below. With Argos – 30,000,000 results (0.49 seconds) allows for an organic search box to appear:
This takes the user directly to the deep linked page that they require:
With more consumers now relying on site navigation it’s important to be aware of how our clients can gain incremental volume.
We are currently testing with Hooklogic and have seen some great ROAS so far. We will be doing some A/B testing to have more of an understanding on the incremental benefit so watch this space for a case study.