How People Search PAGE 24

How Shoppers Search PAGE 29

Search as a Multichannel Experience, by Pete Bell PAGE 39

Before talking about designing the perfect search user interface for customers on your ecommerce site, it would help to understand how people search. Search is a fundamental activity for descendants of hunter-gatherers, so explaining how and why you and I manifest various search behaviors is an interesting and complex problem. Building on the general principles governing our search behaviors, this chapter introduces a framework of search roles that provides a useful foundation for understanding the basics of the ecommerce search process. This role-based framework is a powerful and flexible tool that you can use throughout the design process of the ecommerce Web site or mobile app.


Search is not a predictable, step-by-step activity. For instance, it wouldn't be unusual for a shopper's search to start on Google, move to, jump to a brand site such as Pottery Barn, and then to eBay or Craigslist—where people look for lower prices—and finally to return to Searches can also span multiple devices, physical locations, and both virtual and physical networks. A single search might start on a mobile phone; continue by asking for friends' advice, and then explore various social networks on a computer at work—and finally end with making a purchase on a computer at home. (See Pete Bell's perspective on this matter ...

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