New RichRelevance Study Finds Site Search Can Make – or Break – the Omnichannel Experience

New research shows site search is critically important – especially with the upcoming holidays – and retailers leave sales on the table when site search fails Retail’s Digital Summit — Dallas, TX — September 27, 2016 — RichRelevance®, the global leader in omnichannel personalization, today released new research that drills into how U.S. consumers search for and find products online. While site search is critically important to shoppers, the study suggests that many retailers have not evolved site search to meet the demands of an omnichannel world. The result is that frustrated web and mobile shoppers are likely to go elsewhere when retailers don’t get it right.

“This is an important wake-up call for the retail industry,” said Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance. “Site search is tremendously important to shoppers, but under-delivers when it comes to all the channels where consumers shop today. The reality is that there hasn’t been major advances in site search in a decade, and it’s hurting retailers’ bottom lines.”

The study of more than 1,000 American shoppers finds that:

Search Is Critical to Shoppers

  • 8 in 10 Americans (83%) say that the search box is extremely important or important when shopping on a retailer’s web or mobile site.
  • Less than 1 in 10 (5%) say site search is not at all important. Comparatively, 6 out of 10 (56%) say that the search box is extremely important.
  • 3 out of 4 shoppers (76%) always or often use the search box when shopping on a retailer’s site.
  • In contrast, a mere 7% say they rarely or never use the search box.
  • 3 in 4 Americans (73%) are likely to leave a retail site that doesn’t provide good search results – and 37% say they are not at all likely to return.

Gift Giving Raises The Stakes

  • Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans (37%) state site search is ‘more important’ when shopping for gifts than it is otherwise.
  • Half of all shoppers (48%) rank the ability to ‘easily search and find products’ as the single most important thing when shopping for gifts on a retailer’s site.
  • In contrast, product ratings and reviews (the second most popular features) received 26% of the vote.
  • Curated gift ideas, a traditional holiday staple, are far less important to shoppers with only 5% of respondents ranking these as most important when gift shopping.

Room for Omnichannel Improvement

  • More than a third of U.S. shoppers (35%) are generally unsatisfied with the search results they receive on a mobile device.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) say they get worse search results when shopping on their mobile device than laptop or desktop.
  • Consumers cite ‘irrelevant product results’ (28%) as the #1 frustration with site search.
  • More than 1 in 3 (36%) would like to see search results personalized to them based on their previous shopping behavior.


The survey of 1,006 U.S. shoppers was conducted online in September 2016.



Renee Newby

BPR for RichRelevance



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This post was written by RichRelevance

ABOUT RichRelevance
RichRelevance is the global leader in experience personalization, driving digital growth and brand loyalty for more than 200 of the world’s largest B2C and B2B brands and retailers. The company leverages advanced AI technologies to bridge the experience gap between marketing and commerce to help digital marketing leaders stage memorable experiences that speak to individuals – at scale, in real time, and across the customer lifecycle. Headquartered in San Francisco, RichRelevance serves clients in 42 countries from 9 offices around the globe.
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