Yext, the AI Search company, has released research that shows 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 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 over 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 And another 35% believing that site search provides them with out of date or inaccurate information.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.
“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.” said Jon Buss, Managing Director, EMEA at Yext. “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 Businesses need to wake up to the damage that outdated search tools are doing to their brand and bring it into the 21st Century.”
What are businesses doing about this? Clearly not a lot, with 40% of UK users saying that businesses aren’t 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Outdated site search isn’t just failing customers but failing businesses.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.
In fact, 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.
What Yext’s research shows is that while consumers see site search as a vital tool in their digital arsenal, businesses need to take a more modern approach to site search. One that will allow them to cater for a 21st century consumer and save their businesses from technology that belongs back in the 90s.
• 58% of UK adults online use site search at least weekly
• 88% of respondents using site search agree it is important in providing them with accurate and up to date information
• 64% of respondents who use site search would be more likely to buy from a business that provided direct answers to their questions
• 26% of UK adults who use this tool feel site search infrequently provides them with the results they’re looking for first time
• 38% of UK adults who use site search become frustrated at least once a week
• 28% of respondents who use site search 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
• 56% of respondents surveyed believe site search provides them with unrelated search results
• 46% of respondents surveyed believe site search doesn’t understand their questions
• 35% of UK users believe site search provides out of date or inaccurate information
• 40% of respondents surveyed believe businesses aren’t doing enough to improve their site search
• 60% of respondents surveyed would be more likely to go straight to a customer’s website if they provided direct answers
• Industries such as retail (41%) and entertainment services (35%) were considered to have good site search
• Industries such as energy and utilities (24%), government services (24%) and Telecoms (19%) were considered to have poor site search
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2098 adults, of which 1703 use site search. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 7th May 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
Yext (NYSE: YEXT) is the AI Search Company and is on a mission to transform the enterprise with AI search.
With the explosion of information and data online, search has never been more important. However, while the world of consumer search has innovated over time, enterprise search has not. In fact, the majority of enterprise search is powered by outdated keyword technology that only scans for keywords and delivers a list of hyperlinks rather than actually answering questions.
Yext, the AI Search Company, offers a modern, AI-powered Answers Platform that understands natural language so that when people ask questions about a business online they get direct answers – not links.
Brands like Three, Tesco, Superdry and Marriott — as well as organisations like the U.S. State Department and World Health Organization — trust Yext to radically improve their business with answers-led AI search.
Find out more at yext.co.uk.