Study: Impact Of Engines on Consumer Buying

Comscore is out this morning with a study (sponsored by Overture) about the impact of search engines on consumer buying. You can read the full release here.

Highlights include:

+ Using a combination of online behavioral observation and consumer survey data, comScore estimated that 92 percent of all buying activity following a CE/C [a consumer electronics or computer] search occurred offline.

+ Generic product search terms (e.g. “camera,” “plasma television” or “PDA phone”) accounted for more than 70 percent of total search volume, while trademarked retailer terms (e.g. “Best Buy,” “Gateway.com”) accounted for 20 percent and specific product terms (e.g. “Canon digital camcorder,” “HP notebook nx9010”) accounted for 10 percent. The study found that while generic terms accounted for the majority of purchase conversion (61 percent), branded terms (either retailer or product terms) were approximately 30 percent more likely to result in an online purchase.

+ The comScore research found that while 85 percent of searchers do indeed conduct additional CE/C searches later in the shopping process, the majority of consumers continue to use the same search term type (either generic or branded) with which they began the search process. Since 83 percent of consumers start their search process with a generic term and only a relatively small percentage later search using a product-specific term, retailers or manufacturers that invest solely in product-specific keywords will miss more than 80 percent of CE/C searchers.