Etailers invest in website search functionality to improve user experience and boost sales ...

London, 29 June 2006: The size of the UK market for Site Search technology on customer-facing websites will grow to £26 million by the end of 2006, a 30% rise from £20 million in 2005, according to research published in E-consultancy’s 2006 Site Search Buyer’s Guide (

Online businesses increasingly recognise that improvements in their online search functionality can bring an array of benefits, including increased site usage and sales as well as improved customer loyalty and better brand perceptions.

Online retailers have gradually increased their investment in site search after years of neglecting this important area. Research by E-consultancy in 2004 revealed that half of all onsite searches returned no results, even though products were actually available and could be found by clicking navigation links.

E-consultancy analyst Linus Gregoriadis said: “The surge of investment in site search, especially by online retailers, reflects the fact that users are no longer willing to put up with hit-and-miss on-site search functionality which fails to deliver the results they want.”

He added: “Companies recognise that getting this right is a key part of the user experience and, crucially, that site search must work closely in conjunction with website navigation. The business case for investment is becoming increasingly obvious, especially for retail sites which can increase profitability as a result of better technology.”

Chris Lake, E-consultancy’s editor, added: “As the e-commerce market begins to mature, it becomes even more important for online businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors with the best possible user experience. If customers can’t find what they want through navigation and on-site search, they will go elsewhere – it’s as simple as that.”

Key market trends in 2006

• Greater client-side awareness about the commercial benefits of best-of-breed site search, both for revenue and brand-building objectives.

• Increased focus on user experience, including emphasis on search in conjunction with navigation.

• Greater desire for more efficient information retrieval driven by explosion of content and need for regulatory compliance.

• Increased focus by etailers on measurement and optimisation to drive incremental improvements.

About this report

The focus of this report is the UK site search market and, more specifically, those vendors offering technology and tools which allow users to seek out and analyse information effectively on websites. The report covers on-site search rather than generic internet search engines.

The site search technologies profiled are also relevant for intranets and corporate websites although the focus of the report is more on customer-facing websites.

Which vendors/technologies are featured in the buyer’s guide?

Celebros, Endeca, FAST, Fredhopper, ISYS Search Software, Mercado, Tipue.

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Media contacts:
Linus Gregoriadis, Analyst, E-consultancy
(e: t: 0207 681 4051)

Chris Lake, Editor,
(e: t: 0207 6814052)

About E-consultancy
E-consultancy is the UK’s leading online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. It also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

Since moving to a paid-content model in 2003 E-consultancy has amassed thousands of paying subscribers, more than 35,000 registered users and 150,000+ unique users sessions per month. Its weekly newsletter is sent to 20,000 users. Subscribers pay from £149 per year to access the exclusive and highly practical content, which helps internet marketers get the most out of their websites.

E-consultancy has more than 100 events lined up for 2006, including roundtables and monthly Supplier Showcases, where six suppliers pitch to an audience of pre-qualified buyers (typically between 100-150) in a Central London venue. E-consultancy also provides a range of public and in-house training programmes, such as seminars and workshops.

Other E-consultancy reports

• Online Retail User Experience Benchmarks (2006)

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Best Practice Guide

• Search Marketing Buyer’s Guide 2006

Published on: 12:00AM on 29th June 2006