E‑Commerce Search Best Practices for 2022

    When was the last time you checked your site search performance? Here’s a 9-point checklist that’ll help you determine how fit your site search is.

    Gejza Nagy
    Gejza Nagy CEO & Co-Founder
    E‑Commerce Search Best Practices for 2022

    When was the last time you checked your e‑commerce site search performance?

    For many, the answer is we’ve never done it! And that’s understandable – something as small as a search box tends to get neglected; it often clears the way for more significant and apparent concerns such as what ROI are we getting on our Google Ads?

    However, numbers don’t lie when they say that site search users are 70% more likely to buy in your online store than navigation users. So, paying attention to search and search optimization will pay off.

    Without further ado, here’s a 9-point checklist that’ll help you determine how fit your site search is.

    #1 Visibility

    Is your search bar visible? Can customers see it right away? Is it on every site? The important thing here is to make the search bar instantly usable, so don’t hide it behind a search icon.

    Doing this means you’re losing 30 – 40 % of traffic that could go to search and now ends up using worse-performing navigation and user experience. Instead, reduce unwanted errors in the search experience and helps customers find what they came to look for on your website immediately.

    #2 Autocomplete

    When a customer starts writing a search query, do they have to complete it and hit enter to get the results? Or do you provide them with autocompleted suggestions as they type? Although most people wouldn’t tell you per se that they expect to get these suggestions, they’re used to predictive search.

    This search feature speeds up the search process and lets you suggest, e.g., your five bestsellers within a category just when you want to showcase them – when a customer is looking to buy.

    Also, consider this: we mentioned above that site search users are 70% more likely to buy than navigation users. If we narrow it down to just search, the autocomplete delivers twice as a higher increase in conversion rate than search bars without it. See how much of an impact it has?

    #3 Suggestions

    If your search box offers suggestions, what are they? Just phrases? Or just products? The quality search field should suggest products along with their thumbnail photos, product categories and brands you offer, and trending queries.

    Great autocomplete should display the most relevant products first. Feel like trying out how the search field could and should work? Try our demo. Always keep in mind that query suggestions and autocomplete suggestions are powerful tools for improving user experience and increasing of average conversion rate.

    #4 Typos

    Here’s a task for you: go to your online store and pretend you’re a customer of yourself. Try to look up a product with intentionally made typos – something like iphhone or men’s tsihrt.

    Do you get what you’re looking for? If not, or if you get zero results to the query, you’re losing 10 to 20% of actual customer searches. To make things even worse, the online store exit rate is over 50% upon no-results search.

    #5 Slangs & synonyms

    Same as above, only this time, try synonyms or slang instead of typos. How about a couch instead of a sofa? Earplugs instead of earbuds? Or display instead of monitor?

    Again, if the 0-results page comes up, you’re losing business. Change your potential customers to regular customers by providing a seamless experience with your search options.

    #6 Query understanding

    When you search for a red dress, does your search bar return every red product and every dress? Or does it return every red dress you have for sale?

    Another example might be this simple query: Samsung phones. You’re in trouble if the results contain all Samsung products and phones. Remember that a good search bar works with long-tail queries. 

    Luigi’s Box uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to work with typos, synonyms, and product ranking to continually study customers’ intent on your website to personalize better, brings accurate search results, and provide an excellent customer experience.

    #7 Pagination

    Pagination is such an essential part of your site performance that we devoted a separate article to it earlier this year.

    TL;DR: The ideal way to paginate search results is the one that users don’t have to use. Having a high-quality search engine is the most important thing. Suppose you are designing a website and want to give your customers a top-notch experience while browsing; go for the ‘Load More’ pagination. It’s faster and more effective than traditional pagination. Read the full article here.

    #8: Product ranking and relevance

    Each product category has its top sellers. Whether you know them from memory or pinpoint them by looking at your sales records, it’s generally a good idea to include these popular products in the results when someone is searching for any product within their category. When you type a category in your search bar and hit enter, do these bestsellers appear on the first results page/positions?

    #9 Speed

    While real-time functionality is your best-case scenario, our rule of thumb is that the load time to get search suggestions is within 0.3 seconds after typing a character and complete search results in no more than 2 seconds.

    Now the question is – how many points did your search score? If you want to know more about your search functionality with absolute certainty, you can always try Luigi’s Box’s free comprehensive search analytics.

    In a short period of time, you’ll know exactly how your site search performs and what you can do to improve it. Is your website optimized for mobile users? Don’t forget to check your site speed, even for mobile searches, not only for desktop versions.

    Conclusion

    Even if you are a newbie or a fixed star in e‑commerce, you should definitely not ignore the abovementioned points. An intelligent site search tool will give you a wide variety of options to improve your search for an ecommerce site and position among the competition.

    With relevant search, your customers will get only relevant content, saving their users time from wading through irrelevant search results and decreasing an unwanted bounce rate.

    Whatever search solution you select should be capable of a relevant search function. Discover all Luigi’s Box products and their additional features, and learn what more a well-optimized search can bring you.

    On a scale of 0 to 9, how good is your online store’s site search?

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