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Curious about how important site search is for e-commerce? Look no further. We compiled some of the most interesting and important statistics about site search, and its direct or indirect impact on critical e-commerce KPIs.

Without further ado…

Site search: the door to your e-commerce property

More than 4.5 billion global internet users are searching for anything and everything online, and 87 percent of shoppers begin their product searches online.

64% of people use search to address the “I-want-to-buy-moment”

43% of users on retail websites go directly to the search bar.

Consumers who use search are 2.4 times more likely to buy. Searchers also drive more revenue, spending 2.6x more across mobile and desktop compared to those who don’t use search.

34% of users tried to search for non-product content.

Up to 30% of e-commerce visitors use internal site search, and we’ve all seen this one: site searchers are 2-3x more likely to convert.

39% of purchasers are influenced by a relevant search.

12% of users will bounce to a competitor’s site after an unsatisfactory search.

The frustration involved in the overall product search experience results in an unacceptable level of churn and burn: to the tune of 68%, according to Forrester.

20% of people who used search went on to refine their searches (submit another search) and 21% exited the website from the search results.

61% of all sites perform below an acceptable search performance that is misaligned with user’s actual search behavior and expectations (and 15% have a “broken” search query type performance).

72% of sites completely fail site search expectations.

Clearly, we need better e-commerce search engines.

When done right, site search makes conversion rates soar

Conversion rates nearly doubled from people who used on-site search and found what they were looking for.

Amazon’s conversion rate shoots up 6x when visitors do a search (2% → 12%). Walmart’s 1.1% conversion rate goes to 2.9% with a search, a 2.4x boost. For Etsy, site search boosts conversions at 3x.

Conversion rates through site search can be up to 50% higher than the average.

Desktop conversion rates are 2x higher for retailers with advanced search vs. basic search capabilities.

Case studies have shown increased conversion rates of 43% from site search optimization.

[Search] visitors converted at 4.63% versus the websites’ average of 2.77%, which is 1.8 times more effective. 

50% of retailers said that they saw an increase in revenue as a direct result of site search technology. (and that was dramatically higher at 93% for companies with advanced site search).

Autocomplete can boost sales and conversions by as much as 24%

On some sites, searchers account for roughly 40% of total revenue.

See how Lacoste increased their conversion rates by 37% using site search

Top KPIs for e-commerce search

53% of retailers with advanced search capabilities have defined KPIs for site search versus only 13% of those with basic site search.

In 2018, KPIs impacted most by site search were revenue per visit (52.4%), time on site after search (51.5%), and highest bounce searches (39.8%).

Most common site search KPIs in 2020 are: conversion rate from search, click-through rate from search terms, and eliminating searches that return zero results.

Top 3 functions that own site search — marketing, product, omnichannel — should take note. 60% of advanced search companies give these functions tools to manage and optimize site search without IT.

Bonus: 5 Actionable Analytics Reports for Internal Site Search

Personalization and e-commerce search

59% of online shoppers believe it is easier to find more interesting products on personalized retail stores.

When personalization and proprietary customer data are integrated, revenue increases by 6% to 10%.

48% of consumers spend more when their experience is personalized.

59% of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business.

Personalization, relevance, and filtering/faceting were top 3 site search features with biggest benefits for business. 

51% of consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase from a brand if the content is personalized.

See how Decathlon saw a 50% increase in conversion rate for personalized search queries.

Mobile e-commerce search

In “I-want-to-buy” moments, most used device is mobile at 65%.

Mobile app shoppers spend 20x more time shopping than website users.

53% of mobile users leave a website that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Better UX increased mobile contribution to sales by 50% for Cdiscount.

Better UX increased mobile traffic by 20% and mobile revenue by 80% for ClubMed.

Voice search

52% of voice-assistant users say they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day, compared to 46% before the COVID outbreak.

Roughly 36% of consumers have smart speakers.

91% of companies are making significant investments in voice.

76% of surveyed companies reported achieving measurable benefits from voice and chat initiatives.

40% of millennials research products through voice before purchasing.

71% of users would prefer to search through voice than use a keyboard.

Nearly twice as many U.S. adults have used voice assistants in the car (114 million) as through a smart speaker (57.8 million) outside of it.

The takeaway

Despite conversion potential, only 15% of companies have resources dedicated to optimizing site search, and only 7% of companies report learning from site search data and using that data in other areas of their business.

But those are also the companies with dramatically better KPIs.

The key takeaways: set your site search KPIs, start measuring your search, and allocate your investments accordingly. 

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