Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Offline behaviour driving online search

The results of a new research study reported by MediaPost look at data published by JupiterResearch on behalf of iProspect. The survey claims that 67% of the online search population is driven to search by offline channels. It also showed that 39% of online searchers who are influenced by offline channels ultimately make a purchase, suggesting that there is a close relationship between search and the various offline channels.

Using the hypothesis that search engine searches are growing more important to the majority of online users, the study set out to identify the importance and frequency of searches as well as the offline influences driving the prospect to the Internet, concluding with the behaviour of searchers in converting to a purchase.

The vast majority of the younger age group reported a growth of importance in performing queries on search engines, and a significant percentage of online users 25 and older reported the same. Almost 75% of online users who have been using the Internet for less than a year report that search has grown in importance to them, while more than 50% of online users with more than one year of Internet experience also agree with this statement.

Offline channels clearly influence a significant percentage of online search users, says the report, with TV and word of mouth influencing over one-third of online search users to perform a search, which is perhaps not entirely surprising and reflects the impact of brand awareness which we've noted before, as well as the growing influence of social networking and other Web 2.0 sites.

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