Navigating the Web when You’re Foraging for Information
The coronavirus put a major crimp into the leisure activity of “window shopping.” The internet had already stymied casual shopping without purpose (except for a little exercise).
Internet search usually has a specific key word or end result in mind, but what about people who are just “foraging” for something new, interesting or useful. It is window shopping on the web. We are talking about scavenging for products, services, causes or information that catches your eye even though you didn’t know that you wanted it.
A study by Episerver, found 92% of consumers go to a brand’s website for the first time and leave without buying anything. The research found that of first-time website visitors only 45% of consumers were looking for a specific product or service.
According to nn/g’s research, “information foraging is the fundamental theory of how people navigate on the web to satisfy an information need.” This explains why window shopping on the web does not result in clicking every link on a page or mindlessly scrolling. Yet people do browse website looking for ques about what might be interesting or relevant to theme.
According to nn/g this is a simple mathematical equation: People want to “maximize rate of gain and get as much relevant information in as little time as possible.” Too many clicks is a cost in a consumer’s mind. Scrolling too long is a cost. Confusing site maps is a high cost. When the price gets too high to look for information, the person moves onto the next store front.