One of the most ignored segments of an e-commerce site is their search users. These shoppers are generally at the end of the buying funnel and they are visiting your platform with something specific in mind. They expect the search to be able to help them quickly and accurately. Yet, surprisingly, according to a study by the Baymard Institute, 70% e-commerce search experiences return irrelevant or zero search results.
Search users are your most valuable shoppers
Why should e-commerce businesses care about this number? Simply because search users are far more likely to convert than other shoppers. We’ve seen with our clients that search users are twice as likely to convert and contribute 30-40% of revenue to an e-commerce site. It would be a blunder to not be able to capitalize on this segment of visitors.
The surprising thing is that this revenue contribution is coming from only 20% of site users. A good site search experience can go miles in improving conversion rates. From the shopper’s point of view, the time spent with the onsite search must produce the results they want to see. If they find the search to be quick and accurate, then they will be more inclined to explore your site. Even if they do not convert in the first session, they have a high chance of converting in subsequent sessions.
A good e-commerce search should also be able to collect valuable search data from these searches. Using this data you can find out how your users are interacting with items that are popular or not converting well. It is also an important resource for future data-driven decisions like SEO and marketing strategy. After all, this is the most direct way your users can communicate with your e-commerce store.
5 ways you can improve your site search
- Easily accessible - The first step for any e-commerce store trying to improve search experience on their site has to be making the site search easily accessible. Typically, centred search bars have the highest engagement rates but you can try and experiment with how you want to position it. What is more important is making sure that it isn’t cramped by logos and is large enough to be spotted by visitors especially on mobile devices.
- Faster search results - While many e-commerce platforms use autocomplete or autosuggest to help search users complete their queries faster, studies have shown that the increment is minimal. If you want to accelerate your search, try implementing search as you type. This will show search users relevant results as soon as they begin typing. At SearchTap.io, this done using advanced language processing technology and can help reduce the search time to under 30 milliseconds.
- Quick refinement - Often a user doesn’t see the exact product they are looking for. This is when they can use the filters. Traditional filters need the page to be reloaded after applying the filters, however, try using smart dynamic filters so the user’s flow is not broken whenever they apply a filter. This further reduces the steps a shopper needs to take to get to the final product.
- Error tolerance -Not having any minor typing errors and misspellings interrupting a shopper’s journey is vital to a good search experience. Many e-commerce searches take users to a “did you mean…” page instead of showing them the results. This step has been made irrelevant with the technological advancement in search technology.
- Synonyms and alternate spellings - If you have search analytics enabled for your store, you will come across alternate terms that are used to describe products, colours, or some other attribute of a product. Setting up synonyms or tags with these alternatives will increase the discoverability of your products and can also give you new marketing and SEO ideas.
Remember that visitors can easily bounce off if they cannot find what they are looking for. Their expectation of search has been shaped by years of using phenomenal products like Google and Amazon. Today, your e-commerce store needs to have a search that can seamlessly guide search users to what they want to find more than ever.
If you want a lightning-fast search solution for your e-commerce store, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow this link to schedule a one-to-one demo.