28th August 2008, London, UK – The Search Works, the digital performance marketing company and the UK’s largest search specialist, today reveals the findings of research conducted in association with Yahoo! and comScore. The research – which comes from monitoring 150,000 key words used by comScore's panel of 100,000 consumers and a survey of 754 people – identifies the search trends and buying patterns of people looking for consumer electronics, the largest search category (29% of all searches).

The survey categorised searches into three different retail groups: brown goods, portables and white goods. Users looking for portable goods conduct an average of four searches before making a purchase while in the brown goods and white goods sectors, brands have fewer opportunities to engage with only two searches conducted before making a purchase. Overall, only 2-6% of searchers purchase during the initial search while 14% of searches do not convert until the third month.

The importance of brand terms in search was particularly evident in the portables sector:
Of all searches for portables 89% were for specific brands or products and only 11% for generic terms. In the brown goods and white goods sectors generic search terms were more frequently used (53% and 51% respectively).

Gavin Ailes, Deputy MD, The Search Works says: “The findings are particularly interesting in light of Google's trade marking policy changes as this research sheds some light on the types of companies that need to protect their brand and product names, and which should focus their resources on lead-generation rather than brand building.”

Mark Rabe, vice president and managing director of Yahoo! UK sales adds: “Based on the findings of this research and our user insights, I’d recommend consumer electronics marketers ensure their keyword portfolio reflects the entire spectrum of consumer search terms – from generic to brand-specific.

“Millions of consumers use Yahoo! as the essential starting point for their day online, so making sure we use any research we conduct to help our advertisers get maximum exposure to this audience is key.”

Other key findings from the research include:

•Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are when the majority of brown goods and portables searches occur while Sunday is the day when white goods searches peak.

•Search is just as likely to result in an offline purchase (46%) as an online transaction (54%).

•Of the generic search terms used “mobile phone” was the most popular. Other common terms include: “TV”, “MP3”, “digital camera” and “fridge freezer”.

“As retailers and FMCG brands prepare their marketing strategies for the Christmas season they must consider the buying patterns of consumers and look to shape their approach accordingly” continues Ailes. “This data confirms the importance of search in the research-purchase journey, but to harness its potential vendors must understand exactly how and when it is being used.”

About The Search Works
Headquartered in London, England, The Search Works is a digital performance marketing company and the UK’s leading search engine marketing specialist. Founded in 1999, the company provides pan-European digital and search marketing campaigns using TSW Searchware 4 technology and the unparalleled knowledge and expertise of its client services team, enabling clients to achieve higher online visibility whilst measuring and maximising returns from online marketing spend. The Search Works continues to build on its success of the past nine years to deliver considered and highly-targeted search marketing solution services, first rate customer service and technological expertise on behalf of its broad range of blue chip clients including Asda, Debenhams, easyJet, Estee Lauder, Eurostar, First Choice, Interflora and The Carphone Warehouse.

In the latest New Media Age Marketing Services Guide, The Search Works was named as the UK’s top search marketing agency with a turnover of £88.62m, over £10m more than it two closest rivals combined.

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/boilerplate

For further information, please contact:
The Search Works Team
Firefly Communications
+44 (0)20 7386 1554

Published on: 12:00AM on 28th August 2008