Portable PC Shoppers: A Case for SEO

Joey Fung  

December 02, 2010

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Google released a study last week detailing the shopping behaviors of portable PC customers (laptops, netbooks, tablets, and eReaders). They found that the release of new devices fueled interest in the entire category, but with the uncertainty surrounding the newer devices, 85% of shoppers turned to the internet for research. Shoppers spent a month on average researching before making their purchases. The two main takeaways to point out were that customers heavily used web searches and retail sites to inform their decisions, and devices which are easily understood are less likely to be cross shopped against other devices.

Search-driven Sales

Google found shoppers of portable PCs to be heavy searchers. They made an average of 14 searches when looking for a portable PC, with 58% performing more than 5 queries. Shoppers increased the use of non-branded terms as they performed more queries, and as queries increased, so did conversion rates. Store or retailer sites were frequented by 65% of the shoppers, and search engine sites by 61%, compared to only 53% for brand or manufacturer sites and 44% for price comparison sites. This is a clear case to improve SEO relevancy to convert shoppers faster.

Understanding New Devices

Although there’s been a lot of talk about convergence of devices, it’s the devices with dedicated functions that become easier sells. Only 13% of eReader shoppers cross-shopped other devices compared to 66% of netbook shoppers. Far fewer eReaders were shopped for in-store than other devices, indicating purchasers got enough information online to make their decisions. Shoppers of eReaders did look at reviews significantly more than shoppers for the other devices. Assuming SEO relevancy is improved, the next step is to provide shoppers with enough information that they don’t need to research elsewhere. If they can understand a product as well as an eReader, and get reviews of it all in one place, they can make their purchase decision sooner.