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A new study from Elastic, the company behind the Elasticsearch big data analytics and search engine, reveals insights into the e-commerce shopping experience. Called “Product Over Price: The Critical Role Personalization Plays in Converting Online Search to Sales,” the study illustrates how online retailers can convert searches to sales by providing shoppers with personalized product recommendations quickly and at scale. .
In addition to the 84% who prefer personalization, 88% of online shoppers said they were more likely to continue shopping at a retail website that offers a personalized experience, including 96% of Gen Z and 97% of millennials.
The study also found that 95% of shoppers are likely to take cost-cutting action in response to rising prices and that 53% still prioritize finding the right product over the lowest price, even in uncertain economic times.
Finding products online can be frustrating
Online shoppers recognize that buying directly from a retailer offers significant benefits
that outperform other options: 92% would start looking at a retailer’s website, especially
for better prices (48%). But when they do, nearly 2 in 3 (65%) say it’s not very easy to find
your desired product.
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Overall, 78% encounter obstacles when searching a retailer’s website, including 27% who have difficulty comparing different products. Another 24% are frustrated by having to know specific product names to find preferred products. More importantly, 30% are frustrated by irrelevant search results, while nearly the same number report needing to scroll through multiple pages of results before finding the desired product (28%).
These obstacles cause customers to spend a lot of time refining their search. More than 2 in 3 online shoppers (70%) say it usually takes multiple tries to find what they’re looking for. When shoppers slow down, their frustrations mount and retailers lose business. Three quarters of online shoppers (75%) would abandon a website that did not display the desired product.
Other study findings include:
- 68% purchased an item on a retailer’s website that they initially did not intend to purchase based on recommendations.
- 50% of shoppers said an easy-to-navigate website was the most influential factor in their purchase decision, followed by 42% who said specific promotions and sales notifications were theirs.
- More than 2 in 5 shoppers (41%) are willing to share personal information for a more personalized experience.
The study was commissioned by Elastic and conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older, June 22-28, 2022, via email invitation and online survey.
Read the full Elastic study.
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