Shop Smart: Report Shows Using Better Search Words Can Lead to Better Purchases

A recent report says that the key to successful online shopping is in your search skills

A new report out from, an online shopping site, says that although we may be stellar shoppers when it comes to hitting up the mall or a cool boutique, we're a little less so when it comes to doing the same thing online. A little surprising, no?

According to the report, the problem lies in our tendency to try locating a specific item (like a pair of killer red stilettos -- and in a size 7) rather than broadening our search to something more general like "red shoes" and finding the stilettos along the way. It may seem counterintuitive, but it seems you can actually stifle your shopping success by searching too narrowly.

Here's what they suggest doing once you've cast a wider net:

Pay Attention to New Keywords
When you're doing your search if you notice a pair of shoes you like, take note of how that store has labeled them. Are they an evening shoe? Sandal? Platform pump? Once you've determined a more specific category you can incorporate those words into your new hunt. When I first did my original search for stilettos I found these Strappy Sandals ($13.99 at The price was right, but it wasn't quite the look I was going for. After searching for "red shoes" though I found these Carlos by Carlos Santana Prestige Heels ($89.99 at So much cuter, right?

Follow the Expert's Lead
Tons of e-tailers have categories you can click on to help you narrow your search (these are usually found to the left of the page or sometime right at the top). When I found my Carlos heels I looked at the top of the e-shop and saw they had a category for "fancy" so I added that into a new search (the new phrase being "fancy red evening shoes") and ended up finding these Red Satin Peep Toe Pleated Bow Heels ($20.99 at Also really cute!

I love how just taking an extra minute or two to look for more words to search with gave me some really pretty (and affordable) options that I wouldn't have found otherwise. I guess a little bit of homework really does pay off. And yay for some new red shoes!

What are your tips for shopping online? Chime in below!

Like this? Read These:
-Do You Buy Clothes but Never Wear 'Em?
-Have Online Shopping Anxiety?
-Affordable Alternatives to Carrie's Studded Pumps

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web