Our experience with search is defined by how Google and Amazon show up search results for a search query. Similarly, your visitors’ experience is also defined by the same tenets of the search functionality.
Why should this bother you as a business? The reason is simple, you should be displaying search results in less than 0.25 seconds to match the level of expectations set by Google. It also means having a search solution built on your website that can give your visitors a feeling that you are as good as any leading eStore in showing up what your visitors are looking for.
But why is it so important to show the online shoppers what they are looking for?
Shoppers like to browse, explore and buy products at their own convenience and ease, and when your site gets difficult to navigate, your business loses a customer and that’s money left on the table.
Global eCommerce retail sales are likely to hit $4.9 trillion by 2021, which means there will be more shoppers visiting your eStore searching for products they want to purchase.
Take a look at how the eCommerce industry is expected to grow in the coming years.
Search users are among your most valuable users
For e-commerce websites, search users are certainly among the most valuable users. Site search users are usually in the later stages of their own buying cycle. They have gathered all the information they need, and they are now comparing eStores in order to make a purchase. In simple words, they know what they want, and they are on a mission to find it.
We analyzed search-related user behavior and captured statistics for 500 online stores from over 28 industries. It was found that the visitors that came to a site and engaged with the search bar were 500% more likely to convert. This is because these users have high motivation and are likely to know what they are looking for.
However, there are 2 key areas that could impact the conversion probability of highly motivated users:
The relevance of search results
Analyze user engagement levels within the search results served for various search keywords. If users tend to scroll through the results and engage with the items that are high in position number of search results, your search results may not be relevant enough.
Importantly, sites that showed the highest conversion performance served results where users would click results in the first 7 positions. Over time the relevance of search results can go up if results are derived from user engagement behavior instead of just keyword matching.
Search terms with ZERO results
Check how many search terms return ZERO results on your site’s search. The higher the number, the more revenue you are prone to losing.
For example, for a fashion retailer to assume that customers may not be searching for synonyms of product categories is pure oversight, The same site is likely to see very similar searches for product category but with totally different search outcomes, like in the case of sweaters, a user may be searching for jumpers, pullovers, etc.
An analysis of over 1200 eCommerce sites by a major web analytics provider revealed that only 50% of all site searches were successful and 40% of all responding companies were not even aware of their search success rates.
Challenges with a poor site search solution
An easy way to fix this is to serve intelligent recommendations within search results that show ZERO results. While it is important to consistently analyze search data and find anomalies, auto served recommendations within search are an easy way to engage users at a time when they are most likely going to lose interest and go to your closest competitor.
What happens when you get all this right?
When you serve the products that your website visitors may be looking for, right when they search for it, you leave an awesome impression in their minds. Not only will they end up buying what they see, but they also know where to go when they’re looking for something similar the next time.
Econsultancy recently conducted an examination of 21 different stores. As per their study, when visitors searched for a product, they were 1.8 times more likely to convert. In addition, they also found that shoppers using the search feature can generate as much as 13.8% of a site’s overall revenue.
An intelligent search system lets you inside the mind of the shoppers by telling you which products to stock by search queries resulting in zero search results. It also gives you an idea about what items the users search for the most, and helps you gauge the latest shopping trends and behavioral patterns.
Our search solution must clearly understand the way your shoppers think, their affinity to a brand or a category and analyze their shopping behavior and accurately predict what they are most likely to purchase. This will help you produce relevant search results in front of your shoppers. As a result, this will help your visitors convert their casual interest into a confirmed purchase.