Did you know that 8 out of 10 Americans shop online? About 79% of U.S. shoppers find what they want and order them via the Internet. And still, 42% of companies completely ignore the on-site search. Looking at the stats, we realize how deeply we are engaged with online shopping and how some companies still don’t prioritize fixing a broken search system. Let’s consider the upcoming holiday season. This is the time of the year when merchandisers, both online and offline, ready their holiday catalogs for shoppers to splurge. But what will happen if your site search is broken and shoppers leave your site to fulfill their product needs elsewhere? How will your shoppers know you have what they want? You wouldn’t want to yield your business to the competition. Right? So, making sure that the shoppers find exactly what they are looking for has to be your #1 priority. A broken site search would mean your shoppers will not be able to ‘discover’ their favorite product or even buy it. Who would like that? I wouldn’t. I’d probably strike off that site from my future references and look out for the same brand/product elsewhere. And that is why you would want your search engine to work just fine for the shoppers who come to your site fulfilling their lengthy shopping list for the holiday or else brace yourself for:
Broken Site Search = Lost Customers = Plunging Sales = Lost Revenues.
Image: ‘When no one likes to wait’
What are some of the major problems?A good search engine must be able to relate and understand shoppers’ needs just as humans (who listen) would do! Imagine, Rick is searching for a ‘red Santa hat’ which is defined as ‘red floppy hat’ within your product catalog. Just because Rick searches for the product by a different name, it shows him ZERO RESULTS. Should that even happen? No, right? So, if your site’s search engine overcomes these trivial problems and becomes capable of identifying synonyms, searching for similar words, and auto-correct queries for product names, then customers like Rick will never face the ‘Zero Results’ page. Your revenues will go higher, shoppers wouldn’t leave, your ROI value will increase, and your customers will appreciate your efforts of providing a seamless search experience.
Why Should You Fix It?An eCommerce site falls into trouble when it doesn’t offer the shoppers what they have been looking for or maybe something more. Like shoppers search for a product and their queries don’t fetch product suggestions, aren’t corrected for typos, and results aren’t filtered for relevance. A scenario that maximum eCommerce websites face! Do we ever realize why merchandisers, like you, prefer selling their products on Amazon than any other site? It is because you know shoppers will be able to search for and find your product easily if marketed well on Amazon. This is made possible only because of Amazon’s robust search engine. When shoppers search for a product, powerful algorithms work behind the scenes to display the most relevant results. This makes it easier for merchants and merchandisers, large and small, to reach customers beyond geography. So, it is necessary to overcome the hazard of a bad search system and work to fix it.
How to solve it?Typical eCommerce metrics such as “Abandonment Rate”, “Conversion Rate”, “Click-Through Rates”, “Zero Queries”, defined in the previous blog post have a lasting effect on the site’s performance. It is the job of a Search Quality Analyst to bridge this gap. Unbxd takes that role perfectly and builds your site search effectively.
“You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” – Steve JobsSo, acquire different approaches to fix your site search. We have curated six ways for you to fix it by yourself when nothing else works:
- List it right: An appropriately structured Product Listing Page(PLP) helps shoppers navigate through product categories without getting lost in a maze of choices. Perform a rigorous card sorting exercise to ensure products are categorized well and sorted nicely. A lot of times shoppers exit a site in frustration when they can’t find the right products within a category. Similarly, ensure your Product Listing Page (PLP) lists products by relevance to fit your shopper’s needs perfectly. Your shoppers should be able to spot the product they want in a visually appealing results page.
- All that glitters is gold: We are all visual beings. Shoppers like to see high-resolution images of the products they want to buy. Pictures are the only way a shopper feels as if shopping at the store itself. Apart from amazing pictures, a description is extremely important that delivers the specifications, features, and pros/cons effectively to the shoppers. When stores have the right mix of content, both textual and visual, it thrills the shoppers to stay back and return for more.
- ‘Remember this device’: Studies show 40% of online shoppers use their mobile phones to shop online. You must always know your audience and show them the list of products in a visually enhancing manner to let the shoppers connect with the products as if they were shopping offline. The design of your website and app plays a vital role to make the shoppers believe in online shopping! So, always remember their device!
- Declutter your Catalog: Chances are that your catalog has millions of products. This means you need to structure your catalog and index the products in the right format when you’re uploading them to your store’s database. The right format means indexing the product feed, removing products that aren’t part of your business vertical, temporarily out of stock, or simply not sold anymore.
- Detangle Checkout: Once the shoppers spot the product they were looking for, they want to buy it without much hassle. This is easier said than done. Shoppers appreciate when the checkout process doesn’t have multiple complex steps to complete the payment. The need is to complete the payment and wait for its delivery. If the end process itself takes time, they are surely going to run out on you and take their business elsewhere.
- Pay as you like it: Shoppers like the luxury of choosing the most convenient mode of payment. Allow them to choose between Credit or Debit cards, mobile wallets, net banking options, various payment gateways, and more. This not only diversifies your payment options but also enhances your shoppers’ user experience.