Product Information? Search Comes First

    August 15, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Visitors to one’s online retail website have a great likelihood of starting from a page of search results, as shown by last holiday season’s activity.

Product Information? Search Comes First
Product Information? Search Comes First

Search continues to dominate the habits of web surfers when they go looking for product information during their holiday shopping time. Online retailers who ignore the search powers like Google do so at their peril.

eMarketer cited the Mplanet survey by the American Marketing Association for that continued search-using trend with consumers. 43 percent turned to search engines first for product information, while 29 percent began their quest with a direct visit to a retail site.

The entertainment and toys & games categories proved the most likely for people to start with search to find out more about them. Real estate and jewelry followed those; with both being capable of supporting high-ticket items, those marketers really need to look closely at their search campaigns.

It’s been said that advertising is the proper response to a down market. Real estate in the US has suffered from not enough buyers for homes where homeowners expect to pull in premium prices circa 2005. A potential buyer may be a query away from converting, but not if they can’t find a seller’s listing.

Recent news about massive recalls of toys manufactured in China will certainly drive parents and other gift-buyers to the Internet to find more information. Those searchers will want to find safe alternatives, and now is the time to start thinking about marketing to those customers.

On the entertainment side, a winner hasn’t emerged for the de facto next-generation DVD standard. Blu-ray and HD DVD movies and players have arrived on store shelves both on- and off-line.

It’s a tough sell, as no one wants their choice of player to suddenly become obsolete in six months. But Sony and Toshiba, and their respective Hollywood backers, have dragged the format fight out for years now, with no unifying resolution in site.

Marketers in entertainment should look at that as a need to educate as well as advertise to searchers. Available content and advantages of the format for the content being promoted may be helpful in holiday advertising.

We understand it’s mid-August with scorching weather forecasts in play (we’re supposed to see 99 degrees this week), but waiting too long to get the marketing campaign ready to roll could mean missing some opportunities today.

The concerned parent browsing for safer toys now may be a buyer later, and he or she will probably remember, and maybe bookmark, good resources found through search.