A few weeks ago, we conducted an Ecommerce Site Search Survey for the Indian market where we asked ecommerce retailers how they use sitesearch data for improving for marketing campaigns. The survey has 227 respondents ranging from small to large online retailers.
Some startling insights from the survey were that a whopping 21% of ecommerce sites do not use site search data at all for marketing campaigns while 48% of the total respondents plan to use this data in the coming year.
Site search is a rich data source which can provide valuable insights on customer behavior and can be strategically applied to get the most out of your marketing campaigns.
In this post, I’ve shared 7 interesting ways that you can apply to your internal site search data to supplement your marketing & merchandising campaigns and improve the overall search experience.
1. Improve Paid Search Campaigns
For an effective paid-search campaign you need to choose the right keywords. Site search data will help you understand popular keywords your customers are using to search for products. By using those particular keywords in your paid search campaigns, you are likely to have a higher clickthrough rate and a greater ROI. This will significantly drop your paid search visitor’s bounce rates, increase page views and ultimately conversions.
For greater insights on keywords found through site search data, you can run the search keywords on one of the AdWord tools such as Keyword Discovery or Google Keyword Tool. This will give you more information on the keywords such as competition, bid and budget as well as new, related keyword ideas.
2. Email Marketing Strategy
With an intention to develop a deeper relationship with customers, ecommerce sites send numerous emails which inform them about various offers and deals. The problem lies in the fact that this data is not personalised to reflect the preferences of all customers and these emails are essentially a hit or a miss. Customers often disregard such mails and even the brand.
Then, the question here is, how can a merchandiser craft messages which is relevant to the receiver?
In this scenario, site search can help merchandisers to craft highly targeted messages which will entice the customer to open the email and subsequently click through.
You can personalise emails by using extremely relevant information related to a unique user. For instance, using a subject line which has recipient’s previous search term when they last visited your website or mentioning about an exciting offer related to one of their recent search terms can significantly improve the performance of these emails.
3. Refine Search Result Accuracy Using Synonyms
When a visitor searches for a product on your site and finds relevant results, he is likely to convert and return to your site again. However, what happens when a user finds irrelevant or no results for a search query on your site? Especially when you actually stock products that the customer was looking for.
For example, if a customer searches for ‘cradle’ and your product catalogue lists all cradles as ‘cribs’, he will get irrelevant or no results for his query, which may prompt him to exit and try a competing site.
In this scenario, synonyms can help bridge the gap between the customers intent and your search results. You can use site-search data to analyse search queries and identify synonyms for various products. This will show consistent results for queries which have similar meanings and avoid confusion.
4. Improve Your Recommendation Strategy
Site search data can help you identify top selling and trending products under different categories based on popular search queries. This information can be used by merchandisers to deliver highly relevant recommendations.
As a merchandiser, this gives you an opportunity to understand popular categories, brands and products and use this intelligence to merchandise your recommendation widgets better. This can be particularly useful for widgets like ‘Best Selling’, ‘Trending Products’, ‘More like these’ etc. This is a great way to personalise a customer’s shopping experience.
5. Build Custom Landing Pages
A customized product landing page is an effective way to increase traffic for an ecommerce site, if created for the right keywords. Building landing pages requires marketers to pinpoint popular keywords.
In this case, site search data can be a prominent deciding factor for recognizing the keywords you need to create landing pages for. One way to do this is to analyse the data to understand which products do well in a given season or which products have the maximum search queries. You can also consider similar use-cases depending on the nature of your business.
For an ecommerce retailer, a typical example could be to create a landing page for Spring Summer Collection, something which Asos has done very well.
Creating landing pages for zero results pages is a great way to reduce bounce rates. Based on your site search data, identify queries which throw up zero search results and create landing pages for them.
A great example here is if you don’t stock a particular brand but you do stock similar brands – creating a custom landing page showing similar brands can help improve the user experience and prevent your customers from bouncing.
6. Product Research and Pricing Strategy
Site search data can help you to discover which product works well for you. You can use this data to find what percentage of your customers are searching for products you don’t stock. If the number is significant you can consider adding stocking those products.
Pricing strategy is another aspect that can bring a significant difference to your company’s revenue. By using site search data, you can identify the price ranges your customers are looking for. For instance, if your customers search for low-priced phones, it may prompt you to lower prices or offer discounts to improve your conversions.
7. Merchandising Strategy
Site search data is of great value to merchandisers in understanding the intent of users and identifying which products have a huge demand. Based on frequent searches merchandisers can boost products of that category, brand or price range.
Merchandisers can also add banners on search results pages based on site search data to promote a particular brand, trend or price range.
Explore your site search data to get more insights that can help you improve your marketing strategies and cater to your customers in a more efficient way.
If you have been using your site search data, I’d like to hear how it has helped your business grow. So, do comment below!