The good folks at BloomReach shared some data with me recently. This data showed how “gift” oriented search queries differ from other types of queries. In the process of reviewing this I realized that it provides an excellent example of how drawing premature conclusions from data can cause you to make bad mistakes.
As background to the source of the data, BloomReach provides a product called BloomSearch that is in use by a large number of e-commerce web sites. The product enables those sites to scalably modify their product pages so that they can capture a lot more long tail search traffic, resulting in significant incremental revenue.
As a result of this, BloomReach has access to lots of information on how these sites perform. Let's take a look at a sample of the data!
This shows data for 9 anonymous e-tailers. We see the bounce rates shown for 2 different types of queries – “gift” and “non-gift”. BloomReach found that gift queries contain certain obvious terms like “gift” or “present”, or sometimes not so obvious things like “mother's day flowers” or “Valentine's Day chocolates”.
Some gift queries occur at the same time every year, while others are unpredictable and ongoing (i.e. birthdays and anniversaries). For example, “housewarming wine basket” is another example of a gift query that was included. “Non-gift” queries represent all other queries.