The Latest 2018 KPIs & Site Search Survey from Algolia and Internet Retailer Shows 88 Percent of Respondents Prioritizing Site Search to Advance Performance Metrics
Algolia, the leading Search and Discovery API for websites and mobile apps, released the findings of a new survey that evaluates the impact of site search on performance metrics for e-commerce and digital retail businesses. Data shows the search function is a critical component to revenue metrics, but 70 percent of companies continue to struggle with budget and staffing constraints.
Conducted by Internet Retailer, the goal of the research was to understand how online retailers utilize their site search functions, identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and navigate challenges leading to slow progression in the search maturity model. This report analyzes data based on responses from over 100 e-commerce businesses.
The “2018 Internet Retailer KPIs & Site Search Survey” findings indicate that the search function is a critical component to any e-commerce website, and companies are increasingly seeing the link between their site search and their top-line and bottom-line metrics. Previous research has shown that on-site searchers are over 200 percent more likely to convert to sale than a user casually browsing, and over 88 percent of respondents of this survey said advancing their product search and discovery strategy is important or somewhat important in order to improve consumers’ overall site and search experience.
However, the results reveal a disconnect between the urgency of understanding users’ search behavior, and investment in related technologies. Over 40 percent of respondents – including those whose organization’s revenue exceed $100 million – lack budget and resources to address the challenges they face with their search functions. Despite the acknowledged importance of search functions, one-third of respondents don’t know how many visitors are using search because either their technology doesn’t provide such insights, or they overlook the relevance of the information.
“Many retailers are still struggling to get the most out of their site search tools. Search speed, relevance of search results and findability of the products customers are looking for are the most important aspects of the search function for advancing retailers’ performance goals,” according to Internet Retailer. “However, many retailers find these to be among the biggest obstacles within their existing search tools, showing there are still organizational and technical hurdles to overcome in order to build and maintain a mature search engine.”
Summary of key survey findings:
Search technology functions feed into KPIs for overall revenue and business goals.
- The top three KPIs that impact the business include total sales (84.5 percent), average order value (66 percent) and conversion rate (62.1 percent).
- When asked which KPIs are impacted by site search at their organization, the top three responses were revenue per visitor (52.4 percent), time on site after search (51.5 percent) and highest bounce searches (39.8 percent).
No matter their budget, organizations still face obstacles to achieving site search performance goals.
- Over 42 percent of respondents, including those with revenue more than $100 million, cite lack of budget as their biggest obstacle, with about 40 percent blaming lack of budget for staffing specifically.
- Almost 36 percent of respondents say their search tool’s testing and analytics capabilities do not meet their needs.
- In order to advance site search strategy, the top-two demands were increased budget invested in technology and more user-friendly tools, with 44.7 percent each.
Organizations with the most revenue take the most sophisticated approach to search. However, most site search strategies are still in infancy stages.
- Search in the Box: Over 64 percent of respondents use search solely as a transaction for users to find exactly what they are looking for. User interface is a search box only.
- Search Beyond the Box: 32 percent acknowledge that search technology powers both search and discovery, including personalization and recommendations. User interface includes browsing, navigation and advanced faceting capabilities.
- Search Without the Box: Only just under four percent of respondents claim their search technology both predicts user needs and inspires them. User interface may include voice/conversation, in addition to browsing, navigation and advanced faceting.
“Regardless of segment or role, respondents indicated that search is tied to revenue in many of the key e-commerce metrics, such as basket size, revenue per visitor and average number of items ordered,” said Nikhil Balaraman, director of product marketing, Algolia. “It is surprising to see that despite industry awareness of the the value proposition of superior search capabilities, proper resources and lackluster technology are still restraining online retailers from progressing to the next step in the search maturity model.”