Consumers are being driven to competitors by outdated site search

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Consumers are being driven to competitors by outdated site search
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

There has been a serious failure by businesses in communicating accurate and up to date information with consumers. 

Particularly during the pandemic, digital services have been vital to connecting consumers with brands online. Recent online research conducted by YouGov on behalf of AI search firm Yext found that 58% of UK adults use site search at least weekly, and that 88% of respondents using site search agree it is an important tool in providing them with accurate and up to date information online. 

Yet despite the importance of site search for consumers, Yext’s research found that more than half (56%) of UK adults using this tool believe that site search provides them with unrelated search results online. 

For many consumers, site search does not fulfil its aim of providing answers, with the research showing that 46% of users believe site search does not understand their questions. And another 35% believing that site search provides them with out of date or inaccurate information. 

With this level of competency and accuracy, it is no wonder that 38% of UK users become frustrated when using site search at least once a week.

Jon Buss, MD, EMEA at Yext, said: “The pandemic has proven that now more than ever, the availability of up to date and accurate information online is vital in not only making the public feel safe, but in being able to engage with new and existing customers, no matter where they are in their customer journey.

“Yet site search has been taken for granted for far too long. Businesses need to wake up to the damage that outdated search tools are doing to their brand and bring it into the 21st Century.”

40% of UK users say that organisations are not doing enough to improve their site search. 

For businesses, this has detrimental effects on customer loyalty and ultimately sales, with 64% of respondents using site search saying they would be more likely to buy from a business that provided direct answers to their questions via site search. 52% also agreed they would also be more likely to trust a business if they provided direct answers.

Outdated site search isn’t just failing customers but failing businesses. When customers can’t get the information they need online, they’ll simply go elsewhere. 

60% of UK adults who use site search functions would be more likely to go straight to a customer’s website if they provided direct answers, with 28% stating they have frequently bought a product or service from a different business than they intended, because they couldn’t find the information they were looking for online.

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