Why having a solid site search integrated should be a priority for online retailers? We highlighted top 3 reasons why investing in site search is a good idea.
If it doesn't sound obvious, we suggest checking website's analytics. How many visitors are using the search feature right now? How many use filters? These numbers usually are easy to get and they can clearly outline an impact of a site search on customers.
Let's check the numbers. We looked at stats of our customers and here is what we've found:
A gun parts store. 370,000 products. 21.65% of visitors who used filters. 98.06% used the search box.
A lighting fixture and home decor store. 73,000 products. 24.7% used filters, 23.99% used the search box.
Wall coverings and textiles. 130,000 products. 49.36% used filters, 35.44% used the search box.
Crafting products. 12,500 products. 24.32% used filters, 29.11% used the search box.
Even without digging into what kind of queries were these and what it means in terms of dollar amount these numbers speak loud for themselves. It is clear that under-serving such a huge part of visitors by having a poor search experience is not an option.
Customers are used to a good search experience. Filters, autocomplete suggestions, misspellings correction is a commodity nowadays or in terms of the Kano model are basic needs.
Improves Shopping Experience
User-friendly site search improves customer retention and loyalty. It is not only about conversion rate, but about customer's happiness and satisfaction in overall.
Visitors stuck at site will often turn to search thus giving a website a second chance. Depending on store size search can be the only practical way to navigate it.
People who use search have stronger buying intent. They either know what are they looking for or they are more specific in their browsing. In both cases they are at later stages of the buying cycle. Thus it is important to minimize friction for them.
Provides Valuable Insights
In addition to helping customers shop easier, the search can be doing a passive research. Search logs are a great source of insights:
At which pages customers are switching to search? Do these pages have any issues with structure or navigation? Search can be a savior, but it is also important to know if site's navigation or design requires another look.
What terms people are using? Do customers use jargon or alternate spellings? What are most popular queries? This data can help co-ordinate PPC and AdWords campaigns and help cut costs by supplying more specific keywords to bid. It can also help to spot a new good keyword to include in SEO strategy.
By looking into search logs it is also easier to judge potential demand for products that aren't stocked at the moment.
Upgrading site search can truly improve an e-commerce website in so many ways. We recommend taking care of it sooner than later. If you aren't sure how good your current search is here a quick checklist to asses it.