If your users can’t find products on your website, they can’t buy them. And if they can’t buy them, you won’t make any money and your business could suffer. Knowing what features and tactics to add to your site will make sure your site is a success.
Some People Like to Browse
A rule of thumb for ecommerce sites is that about half of your customers prefer to browse using your navigation menus, and you’ve probably put a lot of consideration into the customer’s progression through your product catalog.
While Others Prefer to Search
Some statistics show that “searchers” are up to 90% more likely than “browsers” to buy your product if they can find it. On the flip side, surveys also show that one-third of them will leave your site altogether if they can’t find the product they’re looking for.
The “searchers” may seem like a fickle bunch, but researchers say all they want is control over their shopping experiences. Searchers can actually become more loyal customers if they’re offered user-friendly site search tools.
Welcome to Searchandising
Searchandising, or search merchandising, refers to the practice of incorporating merchandising strategies into a search experience on a website.
The “searchers” have found your site and are now looking for something specific. To keep them engaged, you’ll need to provide the same kind of functionality that’s available on the large search engines.
Your product search should include these features:
- Make sure you account for misspellings, typos, and other grammatical errors to allow users to find your product even if they don’t spell it correctly.
- Provide an autocomplete feature so that as the user types, available keyword options appear for selection.
- Offer suggestions if the customer’s initial search returns no results.
Use analytics to learn what search terms customers entered on a search engine to reach your site. Those terms should be used on your site’s product search too.
For the best customer experience, you need to provide some sort of custom search to make it easier to filter results by brand, color, price, popularity, etc. Also, make your results visually appealing with product imagery, descriptions, or even customer ratings.
Don’t forget, even if there are no results for a specific set of search terms and filters, you can still display suggestions for other products or even list your best-sellers.
Advanced Search Tactics
Remembering that “searchers” value control, providing them with a quick way to re-order previous purchases can garner more loyalty.
Including upsell items, in addition to primary search results, can be an effective strategy. However, these items should be segmented from those returned from the customer’s search terms. Make upsells an option, but don’t risk turning your customer off by forcing them to be shown among the results that would normally be returned.
Accessories and cross-sell items should be treated the same way. Display them, but don’t let them interfere with the customer’s primary task of purchasing the product they want.
We can Help You Build a Better Product Search Tool
Using Algolia as our default search tool in our last two hackathons, we have been able to rapidly implement all of the above searchandising features. Algolia is a very reliable platform for building search into your business website. We can also advise you on the best way to use advanced tactics to increase your online sales. If you are looking to enhance your ecommerce website with a more robust product search tool, contact us for more information.
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