July 18, 2012

Search Myths: Loyal Buyers

You have to run this query.

What percentage of customers who are placing their fifth, sixth, seventh, ... , one-hundredth order are purchasing via Search?

Now, if you're a cataloger, and this percentage is a high percentage (say 15%), you have a whole bunch of explaining to do.

Why would a customer who has purchased from your brand five times use Search as part of the purchase process?

One camp will say that Search, among better customers, becomes a navigational tool.  "They can't remember our brand name, or they forget how to spell it", that's what we tell ourselves.  Except, that doesn't pass the smell test, does it?  Because if that customer is such a loyal buyer, then that customer has a catalog sitting right next to her, and on that catalog, we print our brand name, we offer URL information.


If you are a catalog marketer or an email marketer (hint, that's everybody), then the branded search hypothesis among loyal buyers fails the smell test.

Your loyal customers are using search to comparison shop, or to obtain supplemental information, or to find a promo code, aren't they?

That's not good, and that's not bad.

It is simply the reality of a customer in 2012.  She has a myriad of tools that she uses to conduct research.  This is how Jennifer behaves.