iProspect Search Engine Marketing Study Reveals Nearly Half of Holiday Shoppers Who Researched Products Online Bought Those Products Offline

Share Article

Search Engine Marketers may be under-reporting campaign results by as much as half and missing out on budget dollars as a result.

iProspect Post-Holiday Online Shopping Study.

According to the new Post-Holiday Online Shopping Study sponsored by iProspect and conducted by Jupiter Research, 47% of Internet users who reported researching products online during the 2005 holiday season bought those products offline at a physical store, by phone, or via some other offline channel.

This search engine marketing study serves as a wake-up call to search engine marketers who do not have systems in place to link offline conversions to their search engine marketing initiatives. Marketers must develop such systems in order to more accurately report on the ROI their efforts produce, or otherwise cede as much as half their online ROI (according to this finding), and possible future budget dollars, to other marketing channels.

In addition to this finding, the iProspect Post-Holiday Online Shopping Study also reveals that 62% of Internet shoppers used general search engines (such as Google and Yahoo!) when researching products online, and that the use of shopping-specific search engines (such as Froogle and Yahoo! Shopping) is still not yet as popular with Internet users as the general search engines.

High-Level Findings Include:

  •     47% of Internet users research products online and then buy them offline.
  •     62% of Internet users utilize general search engines when researching products.
  •     26% of Internet users utilize shopping-specific search engines when researching products.

“This study contains some important messages for online merchants,” said Robert Murray, President, iProspect. “If the vast majority of Internet users are performing their shopping research through the use of general search engines, it is obviously critical that online merchants’ websites and products be easily found on branded and non-branded searches in the major search engines.”

“The study also indicates,” added Murray, “that though many search marketers have produced great results by inclusion of their website pages in the shopping-specific search engines, these engines are still playing catch-up with general search engines in terms of their popularity with holiday shoppers. It will be interesting to see how the use of these shopping engines grows over the coming year.”

“This search engine marketing study also sends a significant message to merchants on the importance of measurement,” continued Murray. “If nearly half of Internet users who research products online end-up buying those products offline, online marketers need to understand how important it is to measure offline conversions that are generated by online efforts, so they can more effectively manage their campaigns, take credit for the full online ROI that their efforts produce, and receive their organizations’ budget dollars consistent with their performance.”

Murray explained, “Unfortunately, far too few online merchants have mechanisms in place to link offline sales to their online marketing. When was the last time someone at the cash register asked you if you researched the product you were buying online? As a result, most online marketers inadvertently under-report the total ROI (online and offline) generated by their efforts, ceding credit for revenues which they actually produced to the channels through which the sale took place (in store, via catalog, phone, etc.) All too often, this results in a misallocation of future marketing budget to those channels through which the sale is transacted, when in fact that budget should be dedicated to the channel that produces the sale.”

iProspect works with many of its clients to develop systems by which offline conversions can be linked to search marketing efforts.

About iProspect

iProspect® is the Original® Search Engine Marketing Firm. The company helps many of the world's most successful brands maximize their online marketing ROI through natural search engine optimization, paid inclusion management as a Yahoo! Search Submit Certified Ambassador, pay per click advertising management via their own patent-pending bid management agent called iSEBA™, and Web analytics through their own SEM-configured version of WebTrends™. Located in Watertown, Massachusetts, the company can be contacted at 1-800-522-1152, or by visiting http://www.iprospect.com.

Proper attribution requires that the study is clearly identified as the “iProspect Post-Holiday Online Shopping Study." Copies of the study can be obtained at: http://www.iprospect.com/about/searchenginemarketingwhitepapers.htm

Questions regarding this release should be directed to iProspect Media Relations Manager, Colleen Reed, at 1-800-522-1152 x1203.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Colleen Reed
Visit website