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Generic Search Terms and Organic Listings Are Retail Gold

As retail channels become increasingly blurred, research reveals online search, particularly generic search terms and organic SERPs are influencing in-store purchases.

Research released in the US from GroupM Search, in partnership with Kantar Media Compete, indicates that generic search terms and organic listings are influencing in-store buyer purchase decisions.

The results of the 13-month study, ‘From Intent to In-Store: Search’s Role in the New Retail Shopper Profile‘ which in-part explores the influence of online search on in-store purchases and featured consumer electronics retailer RadioShack and luxury automotive brand Audi, indicated that:

  • 86% of buyers who purchase in-store use generic terms versus brand terms on search engines to inform their purchase decision.
  • 90% of in-store buyers click on the organic listings of a search engine results page (SERP) when conducting a search online and are 2.5 times more likely to click on a generic link.
  • 93% of all buyers (online or in-store) used search.
  • 80% of buyers rated search as very or extremely useful.
  • 10% of shoppers reported using tablets during the retail shopping process.

“This new understanding of the retail shopper represents a behavioral shift. The intent shown in search provides brands an opportunity to maximise their online revenues and encourage and cultivate greater in-store sales,” said Chris Copeland, CEO, GroupM Search.

“This research indicates retailers have an opportunity to rethink how their current search efforts – paid and especially organic – can pair with owned and earned media to bridge the gap to the trillions of in-store revenue potential.”

Michael Perlman, Managing Director Online Media and Search at Compete added, “These findings are consistent with the results of research we have conducted in multiple industries around the important role search plays in a consumer’s path-to-purchase. Many consumers clearly do not exclusively use either online or offline channels throughout the entire buying cycle, but rather navigate across channels at different stages of the consideration process.”

In bridging this gap, US department store Sears are encouraging shoppers to go online while in-store by offering free WiFi and iPad access.

Quoted by Marketing Pilgrim, Joy Liuzzo, Senior Director of Mobile Research at InsightExpress said, “These devices will allow floor sales people to engage with customers right where they are standing, sharing the screen rather than having a monitor in between them. It’s another way to break down barriers and make the sales process better for everyone involved.”

Nirosha Methananda

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Nirosha is a content creator for The Media Pad, publisher of Power Retail. Coming from a marketing and communications background (in the legal, retail and online industries), Nirosha is excited to be able to put her knowledge and experience to work for Power Retail. Recently engaged, Nirosha is immersing herself in the joys of wedding planning! She is also an avid reader (of mostly fiction), always keen to get onto the golf course, likes to paint, tries to sing and is able to recall useless celebrity facts at the drop of a hat!

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