On-site search is more important than you thought. Only 30% of your visitors use on-site search but they make 60% of your conversions. Don’t ignore them, listen to them! Here are 5 important things you didn’t know about site search.
1. Third of your customers use the site search
According to our research on more than 500 online stores across Europe, more than one-fifth of all e-commerce website visitors use the site search to find the products they want to buy. That means they already know what they are looking for and expect to find it in the shortest way. This ratio is getting higher with more products listed in the e-shop – until it becomes the most useful navigation element. Of course, we don’t have to talk about e-shops only. Search in knowledge bases, news, blogs or any other information portal is crucial for finding the right content.
2. You spend money on getting visitors, not customers
This is probably what you are doing right now. Continuously spending piles of money on visitor acquisition through different channels. SEO, SEM, direct mailing, remarketing, inbound & content marketing… There is a new buzzword for acquisition techniques every day, but somehow, they don’t show up in site conversions. And why spend money on visitors, when they can’t find the right products on your web?
3. Search analytics can point to hidden UX mistakes
There is already a ton of analytical tools for user experience. Following the results from heatmaps, A/B testing on conversion goals, multi-channel funnels, and others already show problems with your site User Experience. But do your customers really do when they struggle to find the right interaction element? You guessed right – they look for it using the site search. Don’t be confused when you see trending searches like “shopping cart” in your search analytics. It can point to a hardly visible shopping cart icon on your web.
4. Visitors using site search are more likely to buy
Well, it’s kind of logical. Whoever is going to a retail store and is looking for a beer alley, is more likely to buy a beer. The same principle works online as well – if you are looking for a specific new smartphone, you are probably more intended to buy it rather than a random shopper, who found it by clicking on the banner. Based on the eConsultancy research, people using site search have an almost 70% higher conversion rate.
People using site search are 70% more likely to buy from you.
5. Reflects customer’s needs, not your offer
Okay, lots of online retailers are handling their product portfolio in a “customers want it” way. This is sadly based on actual sales, but not truly on customers’ needs. Customers will only ever buy items that you stock, but what if they need something else? On-site search can tell you what your customers are looking for, and therefore what they really need. Following the trend, searches can help you list the right products and offer what customers really look for.
Gejza is a CEO and Co-Founder of Luigi's Box. He has been working on user experience and conversion rate optimization in e-commerce for over a decade. His primary focus is the company's management, strategy, finance, and helping their biggest clients to get the most out of search and product recommendations.More blog posts from this author