There are a lot of best practices that you will want to follow when it comes to creating the most successful eCommerce platform possible. But perhaps one of the most overlooked options for this is site search.
Even the best website managers sometimes miss fully grasping the importance of the transition between site search and sales. While an online search is a very important function, it should not be the end-all for success. It should simply be one component. It should be part of the overall journey.
When it comes to your customers, they will search for something on your website because they can not find what they are looking for, or simply do not know where to look. So you need to make sure your search capabilities on your website are set up in a way that actually takes your site visitors to what they are looking for.
Having a great eCommerce search is ultimately going to lead to more sales for you and your company. But it is equally important to remember that a good search capability is just the beginning of the user experience for your online platform.
Here is everything you should know about eCommerce site searches, how they work, and the best practices to follow.
What Is An E-commerce Site Search Anyway?
When it comes to site searches, the goal is to lead potential customers to exactly what they are looking for. You want to be able to have a database set up to answer questions they have and locate products or services they are looking for.
This all comes down to configuring a robust site search engine. When you set it up in a way that is easy to navigate, you will be able to make your platform a self-serving one that can provide the best customer service imaginable. It basically does all that a great salesperson would do, but better, faster, and more efficiently. Best of all, it works at all hours of the day, meaning it will perform the duties it should be at any time of day or night.
There are four types of site searches that customers will likely need you to pre-plan for. Those are exact searches, where they know already what they want to find and just need to be pointed in the right direction. Then there are product type searches, where they simply want to find a general brand or product. The third search is a problem-solving one, where they want to find a solution to something. And the last search is a non-product search, where they simply want to find out information that is useful, such as your store opening hours.
Site searches matter to customers. And it should matter to you too. Check out the best practices to follow when setting up your own eCommerce platform.
1. Make Your Site Searches Really Visible
First, you want to ensure that your customers can actually find where your site search is. This means that you want to have the actual searching capability clearly locatable on your website and create a space that is easy to use on a phone, tablet or computer. They generally are at the top of a website and you should follow the universal symbols that customers have grown accustomed to when it comes to searchability.
2. Make Autocomplete Intelligent
You want to be as helpful to your customers as possible. This means that you will want to be the brain for them. Do not expect them to know how to spell certain products correctly, or what the names even are. Your search function should be able to anticipate their needs and pre-populate results that point them in the right direction even faster. The best practice is to give them the results they want before they are even finished typing the question.
3. Create An Endless Loop Of Assistance
The last thing you ever want to do with site searches is not to answer the question or provide them with useful information. That is why it is important to set up your results in a way that always gives some sort of answer. So, for example, if they type in a product you do not have then instead give them results of similar products or things they may like instead. If you simply give them no results, then it will never end in a sale for you and the potential customer will walk away frustrated.
4. Use The Same Language As Your Customers
It is so important to use similar jargon as your customers, rather than your industry. Be relatable and have your site search engage and recognize the way in which your customers think and talk. Do your research on your customers ahead of time so you can really impress them and be extra relatable.
Site searches are important for your eCommerce platform’s success. Follow these best practices and see results!