comScore: Search Marketing Vital for CPG Companies
A majority of U.S. consumers visited Web sites for consumer product goods categories during the three months ending April 2007, with search driving a significant percentage of visitors in all the categories.
This was a key finding from a comScore study titled The Digital Shelf: the Opportunity for Search Marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, which was conducted in partnership with Procter & Gamble, Yahoo! and the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization to help the CPG industry better understand the opportunity to grow sales using search marketing.
The study found that food products represented the largest search marketing opportunity, with nearly 44 million category site visitors searching. Baby products attracted 15.7 million searchers, followed by personal care products with 9.8 million and household products with 1.7 million.
The study also found that a substantial percentage of the visitors to category Web sites arrived as a result of a search query. Among visitors to baby products sites, 60 percent arrived via search, followed by 47 percent in food products, 27 percent in personal care products and 23 percent in household products.
As part of the study, comScore conducted a survey to determine the attitudes of visitors to CPG Web sites, dividing respondents into two segments: those who use search to find these sites and those who do not.
The survey revealed that searchers were significantly more involved in obtaining information and demonstrated higher category engagement than non-searchers.
Specifically, 73 percent of searchers were motivated by product research; 64 percent were seeking help with the purchase decision; 47 percent were looking for promotions; and just 29 percent were specifically looking for the company Web site. Conversely, nonsearchers' top motivation was to obtain information on promotions (59 percent), conduct product research (58 percent) or obtain help with their purchase decision (44 percent).
In addition to quantifying the extent of search activity and measuring consumer motivations, the study also profiled consumers across a variety of dimensions, including category purchasing, attitudes and demographics. On every dimension analyzed, packaged goods category searchers represented a highly attractive target segment. Perhaps most compelling, searchers spent approximately 20 percent more than nonsearchers across the four categories studied, further confirming the importance of search as a potential driver of offline purchase behavior.