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Feb 12 2020

Are zero search results hampering your Customer Experience?

Ankita Tripathi

Technical Writer

A frequent online shopper is often heard saying "I couldn’t find my product. Still no results... What should I type to find my product?" 

Being a strict rule runner is not valued by an ecommerce merchant.

About 30% of ecommerce search queries yield zero results. Let's say a shopper stumbles across your ecommerce website searching for a product they want. When they hit the search bar, they find a cute smiley face saying sorry there are "no results." No one likes rejection, right? Showing no results is almost like telling shoppers their needs are unmet. As per human psychology, they would never return and instead find a site that would cater to their needs. 

So, as an ecommerce merchandiser what should you do to optimize low recall and zero search results? Let’s have a look at some of the use-cases

  • Provide enough synonyms
    When you know a product has numerous variations of its name, offer synonyms for the same. The fact that I got no results when I typed in 'Flip-flops' instead of 'slippers' was such a disappointment! Therefore, deliver results for every query whether or not you have them with you. Don’t judge shoppers by their geographical location. You must create enough vocabulary for the products in the catalog so that they can be matched correctly. So, the next time when I type ‘rugby ball’, they know I am searching for ‘footballs’.
  • Did you mean?
    Shoppers often get zero search results when they don’t spell the product name correctly. This might be due to fast typing or simply not knowing the exact spelling of the product. And expecting shoppers to know the exact spelling and name of the product is a bit off. Whenever they misspell a word, ask them if they meant something else and provide alternatives. 
    Make sure they find their intended query in the two or three options you suggest. This makes their journey easier rather than the process of searching for the exact spelling, copying, pasting, and then marching towards buying the product.
  • Give shoppers a way out:
    Sam saw a hoarding while driving uptown that caught his attention. It was a men’s face cream, which was paraben-free with charcoal elements. The hoarding intrigued Sam, and he immediately opened his laptop, opened a site, and typed exactly what he saw. But to his disappointment, he found no results! He heaved a sigh and left the site without making any purchases. But when he typed the same query on another site, he discovered related products. Though his query generated no results, he found five other links that were closer to his intended product query. And voila! 
    He did find his product under a different name. If you give your shoppers such suggestions, they will feel included and welcome.
  • Graceful fallback
    Shoppers come searching for ‘Rolex’ watches on your site. You carry some luxury watches but not ‘Rolex’ brand watches. So, instead of showing them zero results, direct them to some luxury watches that you carry. They would surely not be disappointed.
  • Filter out 'Out of Stock' products
    Never leave an ‘Out of Stock' product in your catalogKeep track and filter out "Out of Stock" products to prevent shoppers from seeing zero results.

You can find several use-cases to optimize 'Zero-Results' in addition to these. Hiring a data scientist to solve your site's problems with NLP is an option but not a feasible one as it might take money and resources. With Unbxd, you will find all the solutions you need to effectively optimize low recalls and zero search results. Head here to book a demo and explore ways to increase your Average Order Value with no "zero-result" pages. 

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