I was googling to find resources to analyse “internet purchase behaviours” and came across to a survey examining pre-purchase search activities across different sectors like apparel, sports, travel, computer hardware…

According to the survey, every one out of two internet purchases has been finalised after making a research in search engines and shoppers complete their purchase-related search engine research two or more weeks before their online purchase.

About half of all internet shoppers conducted a product research in search engines before making a purchase on the internet. The brand search terms were only the minority of all purchase research process however their click through rates are high and most of these searches are peaking during the purchase session–searches.

“For apparel buyers, 10% of clicks-throughs occurred during the purchase session, and 89% of these click-throughs were brand-specific. The same behavior held true to a lesser degree across the other categories: 9% and 54% for Computer Hardware; 9% and 49% for Travel; and 11% and 57% for Sport & Fitness.”

I believe this research points out the importance of Search Engine Optimization and online reputation. Companies competing to have the highest return on their online investments should make sure that their target market can find them by using search engines not only by typing their brand names but also typing generic product names like “running shoes” etc.

Pay Per Click campaigns are another good medium to use in order to appear at the top of search engine result pages and attract shoppers to the company’s web site.

Managing online reputation is vital and bad reputation should be kept under control. Shoppers make researches, they read forums, join related groups and take in to account each comment they read about your products before making their decisions. Search for your company, your products, follow forums, social networking sites, price comparison sites …and see where your customers are, what they are up to and most importantly what they are telling about you.

If you are lucky, bad reputation might be turned in to good after some efforts like contacting with the site owners and asking them to delete related posts or replying to those type of threats and ensuring the users know that you have taken action against those drawbacks of your services . Offering discounted or free products for a while can be helpful in some cases to win those customers back and even can increase good revenue by bringing shoppers in to the web site.

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