Search Online First And Save Money, Study Finds

by , Staff Writer @lauriesullivan, July 5, 2016

If consumers save 25 cents per search page, how can marketers help them save more?

Back-to-school shopping has begun to ramp up. Online is key with search as the top online research resource, according to recent data. In fact, online articles are used by more than 50% — and online videos by 30% — of back-to-school shoppers while researching their next purchase. Surprisingly, the data doesn’t come from Google.

The data comes from Yahoo. Shoppers are going mobile, per the data. More than 50% of back-to-school shoppers use a mobile device during the process and more than 90% find the mobile Internet helpful when making decisions.

After all, the average back-to-school and back-to-college shopper plans to spend 37% more in 2016, up from $343 to 2015, per Yahoo.

And while consumers may be willing to spend more this year, they also want to save more. Another recent study suggests that those who search online before making a purchase save money, according to the research.

In fact, people who search “a lot” before they buy save on average 36 times per transaction. About 5% of those who were searching when the study began were still searching 30 days later.

The initial study from eBay and the universities of Chicago and California, Berkeley focused on the activities of about 500,000 eBay users for 30 days beginning July 27, 2014. 

The study defined one search as an individual typing in “Sony Internet television” into the eBay search field and hitting enter. Adding the word “connected” and pushing the Enter key counts as another search.

One economist estimates that 36 individual searches conducted for an average transaction might take between 10 minutes and 60 minutes.

Interestingly, the economists worked backward six weeks from the same date in 2014 to trace 14,331 purchases and the searches that preceded them. “Using the difference between what heavy eBay searchers paid and the average price for an item, the researchers were able to come up with a plausible estimate of the value of searching. ‘Consumers save, on average, 25 cents per search page,'” according to the research.

While the research doesn’t delve into how marketers can help consumers save more, it does infer ways for brands to become more attractive to consumers during branded and non-branded searches on mobile and desktop. Search Marketing Daily