Search Fails May Cost Retailers as Much as $13.8B in Sales This Holiday Season

Search Fails May Cost Retailers as Much as $13.8B in Sales This Holiday Season

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MULO (multi-location) retailers struggle to compete with Amazon, the online giant.  But they are never going to win that battle if they don’t focus on search for the holiday season. A new study by Nosto reveals that as much as $13.8B in sales may be lost on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) because when consumers visit e-commerce sites:

  • 42% leave after not seeing any relevant results at all
  • 31% after being shown out-of-stock products
  • 31% after results take too long to load
  • 31% after results return too many options without enabling any narrowing of the search results

Younger shoppers (25 to 34 years old) rely more on search bars to find the products and services they are looking for and are quick to leave a site if they are disappointed by their search (out-of-stock products, items that count be found, slow load time, etc.)

In a press release issued by the Nosto, Jan Soerensen, General Manager, North America asserts, “Retailers know that search results have to be relevant and quick. But they’ve also got to tackle the other big search frustrations that drive customers to bounce. Make sure your search isn’t listing out-of-stock products and include filters so shoppers can narrow down results when there are too many products to choose from. Adding personalization to search results can help you elevate the overall search experience by making it more relevant. And if you can display helpful content, especially UGC (user-generated content) from other customers, shoppers will be more confident in making purchases.”

This is not the first study to focus on the impact of flawed SEO and customer experience neglect in revenue deterioration. A recent study by SOCI revealed that failure to respond to basic search queries results in a $2.5B loss in sales.

We already know that more consumers are searching local retailers for specific products nearby.

The only way MULO retailers will thrive this holiday season is if they begin to look at shopping through the eyes of the spender.

Before the holiday season even begins (which is starting even earlier this year), consider hosting a “search party” with your marketing team and digital agency or specialists. See which products will be most in demand for the holidays and put your website to the test by viewing it through the consumer’s eyes.

If you are in that 42 percent who can’t find what you’re looking for, you need to get your holiday elves working more diligently on your local search strategy!

Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.