Retailers have leaned on search engines to reach consumers for years, but despite all the spending, the vast majority participating in a report released today by RSR Research and Coveo say they do not get the returns they hoped to see.
Nearly one in three retailers with the highest sales performance say they spend too much on search engine marketing and optimization efforts to garner new prospects, with the remainder most likely to say they are spending slightly too much.
The research examines this and other business challenges. One lingering major challenge, consumers are less likely to begin their buying journeys with retail sites. When asked where consumers begin their shopping journeys, 34% cited Amazon as the top destination.
Some 28% cited their brand’s website, while 23% named Google Search, 10% said manufacturer’s website, 3% cited affiliates, and 1% cited either social media or other search engines like DuckDuckGo or Bing and Yahoo.
Some 55% of retailers said everything available on their own website is also available to purchase on Amazon, compared with 23% that said only part of their product line is sold through Amazon.
RSR Research, and Coveo, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to support search, recommendations, and personalization across digital, released a report — Customer Acquisition in the Digital Shopping Age — that provides insight into what ecommerce success will look like for retailers in 2022.
Survey participants were asked to identify their priorities for 2022, and provide insight into the strategies believed will have the biggest impact on the bottom line. About 99 retail executives participated in the survey, from brands selling apparel, footwear, consumer goods, general merchandise, and more. The companies have annual revenue ranging from $5 billion to less than $250 million.
What are the most important ecommerce priorities to drive revenue and profitability in 2022?
Findings from the report also include:
Ironically, according to the data, 40% of all retailers surveyed use technology five years old or more. Some 77% of respondents use AI or machine learning for search and product discovery, and 21% plan to do so within the next 18 months.