Founder and CEO of Growisto, a rising e-commerce marketing and technology company.
The effective and enhanced site search function on an eCommerce website is an increasingly important factor to enhance user experience. According to a report by Econsultancy, conversion rates through efficient site search are up to 50% higher and site search users convert 4x more than average. The ability to guide users to the right product is essential for the success of an eCommerce website and the search feature is one of the most used tools for this by users.
Websites tend to scale up over time, by adding more products. However, this wide range of new product collections can prove to be a hindrance in product discovery, if the search functionality is not properly optimized.
In this article, I discuss keys techniques to build an enhanced search function on your website:
According to e-commerce times, 50% of visitors prefer to use the search bar. Therefore, you need to extensively focus on your search box. Design it in such a way that it stands out graphically and is easily recognizable by visitors.
Popular searches should be shown below the search box. Similar searches can be showcased at the bottom of the search results as well. With the help of an optimized site search functionality, you can customize the result pages for your visitors depending on what they are looking for. Your search engine will help you understand what keywords the customers are using, what products they are looking for, etc.
This data will help you design customized result pages that provide customers various options to filter search results. For example, if the users type “red” in the search box, they receive a list of red products to choose from. Then, they can filter or sort the products based on different options like new items, sales, categories, sizes, prices, and other features. This will enable them to refine the products on the basis of new arrivals and sale products, then make a purchase accordingly. Moreover, tags like popular products/best sellers for the search terms can be shown on the result page.
Auto-complete site search facilitates a seamless search process and saves shopper time. The auto-suggest function should be able to complete everything ranging from, related searches, categories/collections, products, to blogs and articles. For example, if the consumer types “bag” then suggestions will be displayed like “bag for women”, “bag for kids”, etc.
This has a lot of advantages. It fastens the search process for the users, avoids misspelling, and ensures that the search returns with a result. Make sure that your advanced auto-complete has the ability to add-to-cart directly, this significantly boosts the conversion rates. Moreover, attaching thumbnail pictures and prices of the products in autocomplete provides more information to the users. Autocomplete or autosuggest for website search is very essential, especially for those brands that have numerous items under the same category.
According to a report by Retail Integration Online, websites with semantic site searches have only a 2% cart abandonment rate, as compared to a 40% rate on websites with plain text searches. While popular searches should be indexed and pages should be cached for faster rendering and SEO, long-tail semantic searches are quite helpful to understand the intent behind a user’s search.
They are also essential for showcasing specific results on a website. For instance, if a user searches for “men’s long sleeve shirt for dinner parties size L”, it is more likely to display accurate results than just searching “men’s shirt”. Therefore, make sure that your website can handle long-tail semantic searches as it improves the search function significantly.
Avoid sending your customers to “No result” or “Zero results” pages. There are instances when your search engine is unable to return with a complete match for the search term. In such cases, make sure that the visitors are given other possibilities such as similar products and categories close to the search term. When you are providing alternatives to the search term, be sure to inform your customers about the same. For this, you can use pop-up messages such as “Search not found, alternative results provided.”
Moreover, the no result pages can be a valuable source of information and data for the brands. Terms that your customers' type into the search bar can provide huge insights into user behavior. Companies can use this to discover new products that the customers are searching for, which are not available in stock. If used effectively, this data can improve customer retention and increase conversions.
All in all, a brand’s success significantly depends on the usage of an optimized site search functionality. By employing the above-mentioned techniques, you can formulate an effective digital strategy for increasing your conversions.
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