Traditional Retailers Missing the Online Search Potential

A recent study by ‘Internet-Engine’ revealed that traditional retailers are extremely behind their online counterparts in typical online searches. At the same time, e-tailers have a sturdy base in search queries. The growing importance of search among online population depicts its remarkable potential to enhance business opportunities, which the traditional retailers are not focusing on.

Brick-and-mortar stores performing lower than e-tailers
According to the study, brick-and-mortar stores have the weakest online search presence compared to any group. Information related to brick-and-mortar retailers shows up only 12% of the time in search queries. It is 30% in case of e-tailers who are considered to be the group with a stronger base of online search presence. Brick-and-mortar retailers are even lagging behind the product manufacturers who don’t sell their products directly to consumers.

The potential of online search
Many researches conducted recently show that online search has a significant potential to increase sales. Firstly, the US search query volume, according to comScore, is running above 10billions per month consistently over the past year. Another research from Forrester research says that 24% of all US online purchases are influenced by Internet. Recent statistics from Nielsen report an amazing 615% increase in MSN/Windows Live Shopping search. According to eMarketer, US search marketing investments are likely to reach $14.1billion this year and $23billion by 2013. All these statistics depict the importance of strong search presence.

How behind are traditional retailers in search battle?
Though traditional retailers have improved their search presence over past 3 years, they are still far behind online retailers in share of search listings. E-tailers accounted for around 35% of total search share in 2008. It is only around 12% for brick-and-mortar retailers. Traditional retailer websites are far more behind in organic or free search listings in 2008 with only 2% share of total listings than e-tailer websites (17%).

It is high time for traditional retailers to change their marketing strategies according to the consumer behaviors. The potential for online search to generate business opportunities has improved dramatically over the past years. Many e-tailers, much lower in size compared to brick-and-mortar retailers, are developing their businesses a lot with the help of search marketing. Traditional retailers have the potential to perform much better than many of the e-tailers by enhancing their search presence.

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