Online search rose 82% during lockdown

The average number of on-site searches soared, up 82%, during lockdown according to the latest data from Findologic, the leading search and navigation platform, which analysed 10million search queries across 1,000 UK and European ecommerce sites.

The original data, commissioned to mark the launch of Findologic’s ‘The Cost of Staying Hidden’ report, revealed that Health and Beauty was the top performing sector when it came to online search, up 134%, as Brits splashed out feel good treats to look good during lockdown.  Earlier this month, John Lewis reported sales of skincare had soared 184%, while make-up products surged by 51%, and IMRG-Capgemni’s sales index suggested online beauty sales rose 72.8% year-on-year in June.

Findologic’s data also shows a rise in searches for sports goods and DIY products during lockdown, up 133% and 89% respectively, as UK shoppers tried to stay fit and keep busy while staying at home.

Retailer, Sports Direct, said it had sold 218% more trainers during lockdown than the same time last year, while the Bicycle Association said its members experienced 60% more bike sales in April, as consumers swapped public transport for two wheels.   Kingfisher, owners of DIY chains B&Q and Screwfix, also reported that its e-commerce sales were up fourfold since the beginning of March.

However, despite the rise in number of on-site searches as consumers continue to shift spend to digital channels, Findologic’s report revealed a third of consumers felt let down by online search.

This, the report suggests, is because search techniques and technologies have not kept pace with developments in ecommerce, which means that the consumer is finding it harder than ever to find what they are looking for as the web explodes with new brands, products and channels – leading to poor customer experience (CX) and lost sales opportunities.

Jamie Challis, UK Director at Findologic, commented:

“With the rising cost of customer acquisition, retailers are investing more than ever before in getting customers to their website, only to let them down with poor on-site search experiences once they get there.  This doesn’t just risk losing retailers the sale, but also negatively impacts long-term customer loyalty and lifetime value.”

“This is where artificial intelligence, integrated into on-site search functions, can improve the way shoppers are served results online, as it can intelligently apply learning to base results on consumer intent rather than just keywords alone.  The application of understanding and personalisation into on-site search capabilities means shoppers discover the exact product they are looking for more quickly, improving their online buying journey and making conversion much more likely.”

To find out more on how retailers and brands can sell more by enabling their customers to find what they want more often and more quickly, download the full report:

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