Have you ever questioned yourself about what the biggest constraint of today’s online customer is. Believe it or not, it is information overload. Nowadays, the average online customer is processing as much as 100 000 online words daily!
This may not be that surprising if we remember that we are living in a world of content. This is what remains one of the most powerful tools to add value to our brand and make it sell well.
And yet! Are there any ways to ensure premium user experience while avoiding customers’ feelings of information surplus? The good news is that technology is here to help.
Today, we are discussing the importance of site search in ecommerce. We will focus on what makes the ecommerce search engine a powerful tool to help us raise sales in particular. Then, we will move to some key best practices for improving search effectiveness.
There are different ways to include search functionalities in our websites. They may present both simple and advanced ecommerce features. With the recent increase in online shopping, however, the inclusion of a dedicated search tool for ecommerce becomes more and more common.
What is an Ecommerce Search Engine?
To put it simply, an ecommerce search engine enables customers to match their search queries with our store products. It usually displays a search bar/box and further functionalities.
Depending on the search solution that we use, these functionalities may offer keyword matches, search interface, product filters, etc. You may even find recent solutions which make use of advanced ecommerce search features by machine learning and artificial intelligence.
An ecommerce search engine may be enabled in different ways. You may install it by a plug-in to your regular ecommerce platform but you may also use a third-party service. One way or another, it is always good to pick up a solution that offers good ecommerce search engine optimization.
For instance, if you are running your website on WooCommerce you may be interested in seeing a comparison among the options its top search plug-ins offer. We recommend that you run independent research on third-service providers, based on your specific needs and preferences.
Should you need any expert help here, do not hesitate to give us a call.
Why Site Search Matters in Ecommerce?
Ecommerce search engines have an enormous positive impact on personalized customer experiences, their overall satisfaction with our service and conversion rates. And this is even more true when we consider mobile. Here, the presence of a search engine feature may be critical.
Let’s look at some recent highlights which triggered this development:
- Around 80% of customers abandon sites due to poor search experience;
- About 30% of website visitors are likely to use internal ecommerce site search;
- Conversions for the site search visitor are likely to be 5-6 times higher.
For these and other highlights, take a look at the complete research that we use here.
You may argue that deciding on a search engine depends on the site specifics. If you are still wondering if an onsite search is what you need, do not worry.
You may fancy the idea of analyzing your real customer search behaviour. Then, why do not you take advantage of these free trial tools to help you out?
Which are the Top 5 Best Practices for Site Search?
As we mentioned above, different ecommerce search engines let us empower different search features. That is why ecommerce search engine optimization is equally important to the overall effect we will achieve at the end.
Just remember, the simple inclusion of a site search functionality to your website does not mean that you have unlocked your search engine potential. Do not take effective searches for granted because they require constant work.
To ensure your ecommerce search engine is working to your goals, it is always wise to check out what best practice says. Speaking from our research and experience, these are the top 5 picks we have selected for you to consider.
1. Pay Due Attention to Your Search Bar
Since your search bar is the entry point to your customer search journey, you must plan it well.
For example, you may make it stand out effectively by putting it in a different colour or shape. You may also decide to differentiate it by another visual sign, icon, word, etc. Do not also forget to spell out a clear search instruction to your visitor.
Here is how we integrated an ecommerce search engine for a favourite client of ours. As you may see in the picture below, we incorporated a targeted icon, a different bar shape and the clear instruction of “Search for products”. Yet, we managed to preserve the overall design and visual brand representation too.
Source: Tochici Project
2. Improve Your Results Page
Your results page is what customers arrive at after they submit their search request. Thus, it is of key importance to guarantee their satisfaction.
To ensure the optimal effect, think about including filters which can lead the customer a step further in their buying journey. This way, you tremendously support conversion.
Let us look at the way Polaroid does this. In the example below, you can see how you can pick up a pair of sports sunglasses by searching for the category, further filtering by shape, lens and colour. This way, even if you do not find at once what you would like to buy, you are more likely to stay on-site and continue searching.
3. Go for Long-Tail Semantic Search
The careful selection of advanced ecommerce search features is sure to help you out. Using long-tail semantic searches here appears particularly effective. It has been proven that people who type in detailed searches for a product are much more interested in actually buying as opposed to simply browsing.
Now, imagine that you are interested in getting a digital camera for beginners for your kid. Then, let’s go to a place where you can find anything – Amazon! In the picture below you can see how our search hits immediate results. Best of all, you can continue filtering by brand, rating, price, etc.
4. Take Advantage of Autocomplete
Smart functionalities such as autocomplete are certain to provide your customer with a direct shortcut to your specific products. Thus, you increase the chances of conversion by guessing potential purchase choices.
In the illustration below, you may see how we integrated the whole product range of a client by autocomplete. There is hardly anything more tempting for a customer than focusing his attention on specific products related to his original intention.
Source: BioTrade Project
5. Examine Your Breadcrumbs
Finally, never leave your customers unaware of their position on your website. Never use descriptions such as “Home > Search > Your Search Result”. At least, this is what Neil Patel advises and we fully agree with him along all lines.
If you wonder how to resolve this, take a look at our case below. This is a simple solution we invented for a client to provide customers with a straightforward and clear indication of their location at the shop.
A well-done ecommerce search engine is certain to raise overall conversation rates. We should also never forget that it is a site feature truly anticipated by customers.
Ecommerce search engine optimization is a must for attaining your conversion goals. The top 5 best practices from above may help you significantly in this endeavour.
If you are wondering which advanced ecommerce features may be best for your online store, do get in touch to speak to us.