User expectation and experience for web search and eCommerce (product) search are quite different. Product descriptions are concise as compared to typical web documents. User expectation is more specific to find the right product.
The difference in the publisher and searcher vocabulary (in case of product search the seller and the buyer vocabulary) combined with the fact that there are fewer products to search over than web documents result in observable numbers of searches that return no results (zero recall searches).
In this paper we describe a study of zero recall searches. Our study is focused on eCommerce search and uses data from a leading eCommerce site's user click stream logs.
There are 3 main contributions of our study: 1) The cause of zero recall searches; 2) A study of user's reaction and recovery from zero recall; 3) A study of differences in behavior of power users versus novice users to zero recall searches.