A decade ago, retailers believed that people wouldn’t buy fashion products online as they want to experience the touch and feel of products before making a purchase. But ecommerce has changed the way people shop and more and more people are getting comfortable with shopping for fashion online.
According to an Emarketer report, online sales of clothing and accessories will continue to grow year over year at a rate faster than even the electronics and books segment, with sales reaching $73 billion by 2016.
This opened up a whole new world of opportunities for fashion retailers and there has been an incredible growth of fashion ecommerce in recent times.
To keep up with increasingly competitive market, brands must focus on offering an engaging and seamless shopping experience to customers. This has made personalization, visual navigation, seamless checkout and impeccable site search a priority for online fashion retailers.
According to a survey of 227 ecommerce professionals conducted by us, “￼Over 20% of respondents selected Product Recommendations as their first priority for 2014, with Ecommerce Platform coming in second, followed by Site Search.”
Over the past few years, the site search technology space has seen considerable enhancements. In this post I’ll elaborate on a unique site search trend – Instant Search and how fashion ecommerce can benefit from it. To read more about the latest site search trends for fashion ecommerce, you can download our free ebook at the end of this post.
The instant search functionality populates a list of products while a visitor types. As visitors add or delete characters to their queries, the results change dynamically to display relevant products.
According to Google, “Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.”
Google instant helps users save 2-5 seconds per search.
Instant Search for Ecommerce
Applying this concept to ecommerce site search opens up a unique way for marketers to drive customer actions and a new canvas for merchandisers to showcase products.
Why is Instant Search a must have for fashion ecommerce?
When customers come to your site, they are in a mindset to explore and discover new products and trends. Incorporating Instant Search on your site will provide an instant visual experience to customers that will put them into the purchase cycle faster, i.e, from the discovery stage to the selection stage.
Instant Search is a relatively new concept and can serve to delight customers by offering a unique experience and enhancing brand recall.
Here are some of the benefits of offering an instant search experience:
Faster Searches: Instant searches give visitors relevant search results even when they haven’t completed a search query. Instant search not only saves time while searching but also reduces the number of clicks required to checkout.
Minimizes Errors: Search results are shown as customers type their search queries giving them instant feedback and minimizing errors.
Merchandising Opportunities: Instant search gives merchandisers prime real estate to showcase top products, merchandising banners and offers.
Greater Product Views: Possibly the single greatest benefit of using instant search is the increase in product views. With customers being able to refine results and select products from within the drop down, they’re saved the extra step of going to a search results page and then selecting a product.
Read more about Instant Search and other recent site search enhancements in this ebook, with examples from top ecommerce sites and compelling statistics.
Have you come across any latest site search trend that we’ve missed out on? Let me know in the comments below!