Online buyers are increasingly using search engines to do research prior to purchases. ComScore Networks on behalf of DoubleClick tracked the search activity of online buyers over the 12 weeks prior to purchases in four major product categories. The results give online search marketers cause to rethink their strategies. ComScore found that most searches are run using generic terms rather than brand or brand + item terms. Heavy searching begins as early as 10 weeks prior to purchase. As consumers move closer to purchase, they tend to shift from generic to branded searches. Some buyers even stop short of conducting brand searches all together. ComScore's research, as well as other consumer behavior surveys, is examined in eMarketer's latest report on retail e-commerce trends in the U.S.
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