Using search is the first interaction that 25% of visitors make on an e-commerce website. Yet, site search analytics has been ignored by most e-commerce platforms for far too long. Most people assume that its scope is limited to giving better search results and not in converting users. On the contrary, the reality is that focusing on site search analytics can help increase e-commerce revenue and conversions.
Studies have found that 47% of all e-commerce businesses don’t even consider site search analytics when making marketing and promotion decisions. And even more surprisingly, only 7% of businesses have a dedicated team to look after search optimisation and analytics.
Because site search analytics seems to be such an underdeveloped field, most people don’t know what data to look and how to make use of it. We hope to cover some key elements here.
10 ways to increase e-commerce revenue and conversions with site search analytics
Your search bar serves the role of salesperson for your e-commerce store and “talks” to your customers. Tapping into this communication can give you deep insights into visitor expectation.
With these learnings, you can begin the journey to increase your e-commerce site’s revenue metrics. To get started with where improvements can be made, let’s cover some best practices that businesses should follow to improve conversion rates using data from site search analytics:
- Zero Search Results – If your search user is routinely getting zero search results because of simple errors like misspellings or typos, then you are stumbling at the first hurdle. E-commerce search technology should deliver relevant results as soon as a user starts typing without breaking their train of thought. The purpose of a competent e-commerce search is to get the visitor to the desired product as fast as possible to capitalize on buying intent. More steps in this journey mean more opportunities for customers to exit.
- Specific & Generic Queries – Most e-commerce platforms may be well set for generic queries as an SEO exercise like optimizing for “laptops”; but when a high-intent visitor comes to your site to purchase a laptop, the actual query might be more specific like “lightweight laptop” or ‘touchscreen laptop”. Make sure that you serve them well.
- Market Trends – Some trends are predictable, but there are some that are harder to capture because of either short time frames or rare occurrences. Make your stock keeping decisions easier by checking increases or decreases in search trends and conversions of products on your e-commerce platform. You can also get new product ideas by looking at zero search results.
- Searchandising – Use search analytics keyword data to promote certain products basis of revenue, stock, or any other criteria to show up when a user searches a related keyword. These results do not show up as “advertised” products when a user enters a search query and does not disrupt a visitor’s flow. The rules of what weight is to be given to what criteria can be changed manually and at any time.
- Marketing-Related Insights – Use different synonyms of your products as keywords in a new PPC campaign. They can also be a part of your e-commerce platform’s SEO efforts by adding them to descriptions or tags. Speak like your customers to communicate better and increase site traffic.
- Reduce search exits – Take a look at how a user on your e-commerce store finds a product using the site search. Look at how many times does a user needs to rephrase or edit the search query before they exit. Ensure that users are getting to the right products with search in a minimum number of steps. Check product tags to make sure they are in line with customer expectations.
- Misspellings and Synonyms – A fair number of queries can also be coming from misspellings, alternate spellings or alternate names of the products your store is offering. Ensure that you have these covered by investing in a search solution that supports misspellings, synonyms, plurals and concatenated queries e.g. searching for “i phone” instead of “iPhone”, “t-shirt” or “tshirt” or “tee-shirt”.
- Long Tail Keywords – While these keywords have a high rate of conversion; the challenge most e-commerce platforms have with long tail keywords is picking out which to focus on given their low search volume. Eg. “black formal shoes with laces” could be a keyword that is converting better than just “formal shoes”. Look at patterns in long tail keywords and optimise search to handle them well eg. colour, material and category combination such as “red cotton shirt”.
- Search Bounces – There can be a situation when a highly searched item is not converting well and causing users to exit. These bounces are not only lost revenue opportunities but are also holding back your SEO efforts. Focus on what is causing this and take steps to limit them.
- Findability (Bonus Tip) – Make sure that your search bar is easily accessible. A hard to find search bar is going to make navigation that much more difficult and this will have a negative effect on your site’s search experience.
We have seen cases where enhancing the e-commerce site search has helped to increase the revenue growth by 15-20%. The simple reason being that search users typically have high purchase intent. A fast and accurate search will only increase their satisfaction with your website and help them convert quickly. Site search analytics can help you capture what these high-intent users are searching for and can lead to an unmatched growth in conversion rates.
In today’s hyper-competitive e-commerce environment, an e-commerce store needs to look beyond the tried and tested in order to gain an edge over their competitors. The underestimated site search analytics could be a perfect fit for your business.