One of the most important things you can do for your e-commerce site is to optimize onsite search. There’s a reason successful companies like Amazon have built their businesses on top of an advanced search system. Powerful search bars increase the likelihood of conversions and provide insight on customer trends. This information will allow you to personalize your site and provide a more rewarding experience.
Fortunately for small-business owners, you don’t need to invest time or money into developing a high-tech search algorithm. There are simple adjustments you can make to enhance the search function on your website, increase conversion rates and engage your audience.
Keep Your Site Search Visible
These days, people want instant gratification. That doesn’t bode well for e-commerce sites that make it difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for. In other words, you need to have a site search function, and it absolutely needs to be visible.
That should be true of both desktop and mobile versions of your site.
Don’t hide it behind an icon or collapsible menu. Keep it out in the open, where visitors can easily take advantage of it.
Focus Your Resources on Making Search More Efficient
If you only spend money or time on one element of your site search, make it this. Do what you can to make your site search as efficient as possible, and that includes performance. If loading times are sluggish, customers are going to get frustrated and leave.
This might mean you’ll need to invest in a better server, more powerful hardware or a more favorable cloud hosting provider.
Learn What Your Customers Are Looking for When They Visit
Google’s Keyword Tool has been around forever, it seems, and a lot of clones have cropped up over the years. The sole purpose is to help web administrators understand their audience or, more specifically, what they’re looking for. This is how they target various demographics and tailor services or products to meet customer demand. You should be doing the same with your site.
One way to do this is to install an autocomplete function. Generally, autocomplete will display popular searches as you begin typing in the box. On the backend of the site, the system collects the necessary data to track what people are searching for.
Adding something like this to your site will be beneficial to both you and your customers. It helps you by providing insights on search patterns, and it helps your customers by improving their experience. More often than not, they don’t have to type out a complete phrase, question or word, because it’s been searched before.
You could take it a step further with a quiz-based system designed to narrow down search results for customers. One A/B test showed that sales increased by 22 percent from shoppers prompted to participate in a quiz.
Don’t Neglect Your Results Page
Search is important, but it’s only as powerful as the results allow it to be.
Add filters so that your customers can narrow down broad or generic searches. There should be an option to filter by price, color, size and features.
It’s easy to forget that, even with the most powerful search engine, what you want can still get lost. That’s especially true if the customer doesn’t know how to optimize their search terms. Most customers will search for something general, and it is up to you to provide the filters that will help narrow their search.
There are so many elements of an e-commerce website and the search bar is often a neglected aspect. However, the power of your search bar is directly linked to both customer satisfaction and sales. Follow these tips and you will be amazed by the positive results.
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