Generic Keywords and Easy Returns Spell Success Online

December 14, 2004

Generic Keywords and Easy Returns Spell Success Online

The use of generic keywords for Internet search engines (as opposed to brand names) boosts online response and sales, according to a recently released study of consumer shopping behavior, says Direct Newsline. Another recent survey showed having a convenient return policy increases repeat online sales.

Generic terms accounted for the majority of online inquiry conversions to sales – 61% – compared to brand name terms used for searches, which converted to sales 30% of the time, according to findings released by comScore Networks, which is sponsored by Overture Services Inc., a subsidiary of Yahoo Inc.

Eighty-three percent of consumers use generic terms for Internet searches, rather than a product-specific term. Roughly 40% of the inquiries that convert to sales occur within five to 12 weeks.

"Search cannot be thought of solely as a direct response marketing tool, especially in highly considered product categories," says James Lamberti, vice president of comScore Networks.

Ninety-two percent of adults who shopped online or by catalog said they are somewhat more likely to make another purchase if the return policy is convenient, according to a survey commissioned by Austin, TX-based Newgistics Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive. Roughly 85% said they would not likely shop again with a company that has an inconvenient return policy.

When returning a product purchased online or from a catalog, 88% of consumers surveyed also said they would be likely to take advantage of discount offer for another purchase, survey findings revealed.

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