If you're running an eCommerce website, a well-designed user-friendly search function is vital for making people feel welcome. The great thing about an effective search function is that it helps customers quickly locate the products they're interested in.
The result is happier customers and an improved conversion rate. So, if you want to enhance your eCommerce search functionality? Come with us now as we show you five ways to improve things.
Method #1 - Utilize Misspellings & Synonyms
A common issue for many eCommerce search functions is that customers don't always use the same terms as those you've listed on your website e.g. a person might choose to search for 'sneakers' rather than 'tennis shoes'.
If you want to improve this aspect of your search function, it's vital to include common ways in which people misspell certain words in the search index. This ensures that customers can find what they're searching for, even when the terms used differ from those on your website.
Method #2 - Use Auto-Correct & Auto-Complete Features
Another great way to enhance the functionality of your eCommerce search feature is to employ auto-correct and auto-complete. This clever function automatically corrects common typos and suggests terms as the person writes.
This feature can be really useful for people who don't quite know the exact name of the product they're looking for or they're unsure of how it's spelled. It saves customers time and results in a much smoother user experience.
Method #3 Use Facets & Filters
Filters and facets can also be very useful in fine-tuning your website's search functionality. Allowing customers to narrow their search by category, it's possible to hone in on exactly what they're looking for e.g. price range, size, or color.
In addition to making searching easier, it also leads to customers discovering new products they may not have considered otherwise. Naturally, conversion rates and customer satisfaction go up when a smooth journey like this is provided.
Method # 4 - Use Ranking Algorithms & Natural Language Search
Searching for products and services on an eCommerce website can also be improved through the use of search result ranking algorithms. Displaying the most relevant results at the top of the search engine rankings, these algorithms use information like customer search history, product popularity, and search query relevance to present the right items.
Then, by prioritizing the most relevant results, customers are better able to find what they want faster, meaning they leave satisfied and are likely to return at some point. Avoiding irrelevant results, algorithms can prevent an awful lot of frustration and wasted time for your site visitors.
Natural Language Search Improves Results
Another vital part of retail website search functionality is the ability to look for products with natural language. This means they're able to use everyday parlance to browse your product range rather than having to stick to set words.
In reality, it might look like this...a person searches for 'black shoes for under $100' rather than looking for just 'black shoes' and then applying color and price filters. This natural language allows customers to more easily find what they want, helping to build customer loyalty and increase their overall spending.
Method #5 - Use AI & ML Technologies
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can also be used to make it easier for customers to find specific products from your range. Providing recommendations and resulting in high-relevant results, these technologies are able to evaluate customer behavior while on your website.
For instance, AI & ML can be used to determine product preferences and search history, which can be used to personalize what is presented. This not only increases the likelihood of you making a sale but also means your customer gets an improved experience - so it's a win-win.
Customer feedback and reviews can also be analyzed by these technologies to improve the relevance and accuracy of the search results. Being able to locate what they desire quickly and without fuss means customers will perceive your business as being highly professional, further increasing the chances of a purchase being made.
Search Engine Result Tracking Provides Useful Insight
Generally speaking, the use of ML and AI for eCommerce search functionality represents a powerful tool with which to enhance the experience provided. By leveraging these technologies, businesses are able to refine the buying journey by presenting the most relevant, personalized recommendations.
Unsurprisingly, customers offered this kind of experience are usually more satisfied, meaning that your conversion rates should rise. Search result tracking and analysis can also help with the process, as common trends and issues can be more easily highlighted, such as the most-commonly-searched-for products or which words are most often misspelled.
Is It Time to Improve Your Website's Search Functionality?
In conclusion, the five methods we've looked at here allow customers to cut through all the noise and find exactly what they need on your website. Natural language search, filters and facets, AI & ML, and Auto-correct features all serve to streamline the buying journey on your site.
Your conversion rates are key, as is customer satisfaction, so it stands to reason that you'd want to improve your numbers. Being able to track and analyze search results also adds another layer of usefulness, as it allows business owners to continually refine their search functions for an optimum customer experience.
If you've got the time to implement the measures we've talked about here, then great, we wish you luck and hope you achieve the best results imaginable. However, if you're time-poor like many business owners are, don't worry, as the Eventige team has your back.
With many years of experience in all forms of digital marketing and website design and optimization, our full-service marketing agency team has the knowledge and experience to help you get the traffic and profit your business needs to survive.
Call us today, and our friendly team will be more than happy to assist.