Don’t you just hate “No results found.”? I bet you do not hate them as much as we do. We hate them so much that we’ve gone ahead and written this blog post to help eliminate this message altogether from an e-commerce site. But first, I’d like to talk about structuring this information so that when reporting these figures, the magnitude of the problem is clear. It is simple. Like the table below, just show a table of queries that resulted in zero results most frequently for visitors. There is no way you can go wrong here. You’ll find most of the “No results found” pages to be related to one or more of the reasons below. 1. Spelling Errors in Visitor Query Visitors make spelling errors. It turns visitors away resulting in reduced conversions. The Fix To fix this problem, the search engine must automatically correct the query and present correct search results. From a UX perspective, when the corrected results are shown, your website must inform the visitor that his original query was automatically corrected. Otherwise, he may be surprised to see results for a different query than the one he had entered. This problem arises in case there was a false-positive spell correction. 2. No Products in the Catalog Sometimes search engines return no results because products for that query may genuinely not be in the product catalog. This a great indicator for category managers that demand for this product can be satisfied if the product is introduced in the catalog. Remember that not having products in the catalog is different from a product being out of stock. The Fix If the results are not shown simply because inventory does not hold the product, then you can:
- Explicitly show a “No results found” page.
- Display alternatives and substitute products.
- Show the out-of-stock message and request the email address for notifying when the product does available.