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Research Shows How to Increase Online Shopping Sales

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Roger Montti
Roger Montti SEJ STAFF
Research Shows How to Increase Online Shopping Sales

Many consumers are shopping with mobile devices. How successful consumers can search on a website increasingly determines whether these shoppers will make a purchase or shop somewhere else. A new survey of consumers reveals important data that underlines the importance of getting search, for mobile and voice assistants right.

Significant Mobile Search Shoppers Dissatisfied

Most shoppers reported they were successful. However, almost a third of shoppers reported dissatisfaction with their mobile shopping experience when it came to searching for products on a website.

The question posed to consumers was:

“Are you generally satisfied with the search results you get when you search on a retailer’s mobile site or mobile app?”

68% of respondents reported they were happy. But 32% reported they were not happy. It is very important to test your website’s search ability and fine tune it so that it returns the most accurate results. Fixing weaknesses in the mobile search experience may help increase sales for mobile shopping.

The survey reported that 95% of consumers were likely to leave a retail site because of the poor search results. Improving the mobile search function may be something to investigate if you are experiencing lower conversion rates as consumers increasingly shop with mobile.

95% of shoppers likely to leave if search results are unsatisfactory.95% of shoppers likely to leave if search results are unsatisfactory.

Desktop Search vs Mobile Search

The research survey asked consumers:

How do product search results on your mobile device compare to the ones you get on laptop / desktop?

30% reported they received worse results in a mobile device over desktop.  Only 7% reported they received better results on their mobile device.

While the majority of respondents (63%) reported they didn’t notice a difference, it’s notable that the strongest opinions were about the poor quality of search on mobile devices.

30% Report Worse Search Results on Mobile

Most Frustrating Part of Using Search Functionality

The most frustrating part of the search experience is related to relevance. 51% of consumers reported being unable to find what they’re looking for as the leading complaint.

Of those who answered they couldn’t find what they’re looking for, 27% reported that the search results were irrelevant. The rest simply couldn’t find what they wanted to purchase.

Irrelevant product results 27%
Cannot find the product you’re searching for 24%

Voice Assistant and Search

Google Assistant is the most popular voice assistant used for shopping, closely followed by Apple Siri. Consumers chose Google Assistant 14% and Apple Sir 13%. Amazon Alexa was close behind in third place at 9%.

It’s possible that the popularity of Google Assistant and Apple Siri is due to their ubiquity on mobile devices while Amazons Alexa is tethered to Amazon’s home device.

Perhaps because Google Assistant and Apple Siri are likelier to be at hand when the consumer wants to shop explains their popularity for shopping over Amazon’s Alexa.

NOTE: There is overlap between consumers who use Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, which explains why the percentage numbers don’t add up to 100%. Some users who use Google Assistant also use Amazon Alexa, for example.

In total, 30% of consumers reported using voice assistants to shop, while 70% have not. Voice Assistant devices are currently entering a mature phase of development. That 30% are already using voice assistants to shop may indicate a growing trend.

This means it will become increasingly important to make your stores voice assistant friendly. In order to do that this means avoiding creating web pages that cannot be easily read.

For example, displaying pricing information in tables could keep your site out of voice assistant search results. More information on optimizing for voice search here.

What Age Group Uses Voice Assistant

Apparently the older a consumer is the less likely they are to use a voice assistant for shopping.
This doesn’t let ecommerce sites catering to older consumers off the hook. This only means they have more time to update their sites before older consumers adopt voice search in greater numbers.

Ages of Mobile Shoppers

Here are the age demographics of consumers who reported using voice assistants to shop, rounded up.

  • Consumers aged 18 – 29 were 43% likely to shop with a voice assistant
  • Consumers aged 30 – 44 were 38% likely to shop with a voice assistant
  • Consumers aged 45 – 60 were 25% likely to use voice assistants to shop
  • Consumers greater than 60 were 19% likely to use voice assistants for shopping

Online stores will likely find it beneficial to focus on becoming voice search friendly. This is especially important for stores that cater to younger consumers.

Research data produced by RichRelevance

Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author
Screenshots by Author, Modified by Author

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Roger Montti

Roger Montti is an SEO Consultant with nearly 20 years of experience. I specialize in Site Audits to help sites ... [Read full bio]

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