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What is Product Ranking and Why is it Important for E‑Commerce Businesses

Make it easier for your customers to find their desired products with Product ranking. Read our article and see for yourself what it can do with your sales.

What is Product Ranking and Why is it Important for E‑Commerce Businesses

We live in very convenient times when it comes to online shopping. Whether we want to buy a new electric toothbrush, a winter jacket, or a new bottle of perfume, a few clicks and we can see thousands of products we can buy. The thing is, only a few online shoppers are eager to browse result lists made of hundreds or thousands of pages. If they can’t find the item they want on the first page, ideally on the top, then they might leave to search for it elsewhere.

Is there a way to ensure that all your future customers can find what they need quickly and easily, no matter what they are looking for? Of course, there is – by using Product Rankings to place the correct items next to your store users.

Read on to find out how you can use Product Ranking in your e‑commerce store to boost your future customers’ shopping experience, nudge them towards purchasing a given product, and, that way, increase your sales velocity.

What is Product ranking?

Product ranking is the order in which products appear on the product listing page. The most relevant items for a given search query are put on the top of the results page, while those that don’t fit the search criteria are ranked lower to help customers find the best matching products.

You can think of the product listing algorithm as working pretty similarly to regular search engines. The search algorithm analyzes the information they have about given products, compares them with the search keywords, picks the products that match the search query the most, and then uses product rating criteria to put items in the order of relevance.

And just as online searchers aren’t too keen on browsing dozens of result pages on Google, only a few e‑commerce store visitors are eager to look through 15 or 20 product listing pages while shopping. On average, 89% of consumers only browse through the first page of product listing – and if they can’t find anything that interests them there, they just assume the store might not have what they are looking for and leave.

That’s why helping search engines rank products better is now just as important as boosting your store’s organic search position in Google – your conversion rate and customer satisfaction depend on it.

Our other article, “How to Optimize Product Catalog for Maximum Search Efficiency,” had a few good tips on how you can make the job of search engines easier – for example, how you could use product reviews to boost the rankings.

How are the products ranked?

The ranking criteria important for product search engines are slightly different from those for websites as the searchers’ intent is also different.

Let’s say you want to buy a new vacuum cleaner but don’t know exactly how to pick the right one. Here, you will probably turn to Google first to find articles about how you should choose the best vacuum cleaner for your needs. Once you know what kind of vacuum cleaner you want, you’ll probably go to an e‑commerce store to look for products that match your requirements, compare the product ratings, and then read product reviews to help you find the ideal model.

So basically, you use Google mostly to find general information – and once you know what type of a product you are looking for, you go to e‑commerce search engines to find it.

That’s why product ranking algorithms have to use a bit different criteria when analyzing and ranking the products:

  • Product title and description
  • Relevant keywords
  • Image quality
  • Price
  • Description and listing completeness
  • Features
  • Brand name
  • Customer Questions
  • Product video
  • Specifications (size, color, dimension, material, and others)
  • Average rating of a product
  • Customer reviews (including negative reviews) and product score
  • Number of sales

Basically, the more information the search algorithm has about a product, the easier it will be for them to match the right items with the correct search query. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your product description and title use relevant keywords and that the description contains all the information visitors may need.

However, regular search engine tools display irrelevant results sometimes since they focus mainly on keywords in product descriptions and search terms when showing results. What’s more, the product listing order is more or less the same for every visitor, even though the visitors might be looking for a different type of the same product.

That’s where e‑commerce dedicated search engine tools come in. Rather than just focus on the target keywords used in product titles or descriptions, those tools use more factors to rank:

  • Predicted user intent (so people that typed, let’s say, a smartphone model would see the phone models first rather than see both phone models and accessories to it – so those purchase intentions are met)
  • Customer’s purchase history (for example, to highlight goods from the brand customer is often picking)
  • Number of sales (to put the best-selling items to the front)
  • Matching product characteristics
  • Any custom ranking rules set by the store owners (e.g. answers to customer questions)

This way, e‑commerce search engines can “predict” what precisely a given visitor is looking for and then show them the items they are most likely to be interested in. But what’s even better is they can automatically tailor the rankings according to the actions visitors take on the website – for example, by analyzing what product categories or items the visitors were clicking.

Consequently, the product selection that appears on the search results is fully tailored to each visitor’s expectations, so they are more likely to find and purchase the product that fits their purchase intentions – boosting your conversion rates.

How can e‑commerce search engine tools boost your product rankings?

Shows more relevant products to visitors

Whatever product the store visitors are looking for, they know one thing – they want to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible. Seeing on the result list things far from what they are looking for can quickly discourage them from browsing the store and making any purchase decisions, though.

Say someone is looking for a new smartphone to buy – does it make sense to show them dozens of smartphone covers and other accessories in the same list? Not really – they are now looking for a phone, not for accessories yet. So, smartphone devices should be ranked higher than smartphone accessories. However, product search engines might show smartphone devices and accessories on the first page as long as the keywords in the product title and descriptions match. The accuracy rate really matters here.

E‑commerce search tools are far more innovative here, though. As they can monitor and analyze the visitor’s actions at the store, they can find out what exactly the store visitor is looking for – and then tailor the product rankings to visitors’ expectations. That way, the search results page will show exactly the products future customers want to see at the top – making it easier for them to decide.

Saves customers time

In a Feed Advisor report, 54% of Amazon users admitted they often buy the first product on Amazon’s search results page. Why? They know how the Amazon product ranking algorithm works and trust that the item that is ranked first is the one that will meet their needs the most. Therefore, they don’t need to search any further or compare online reviews – they trust that the search algorithm has already picked the best product for them.

With the help of AI-powered search tools, you can also build such trust in your rankings. After analyzing the customer profile and their actions on the store, the algorithm can automatically tailor the rankings to each visitor – so the visitors will see at the top the item that should match their expectations and purchase intentions the most.

For the shoppers, that means they won’t have to explore your entire store catalog far and wide and compare the average rating of ten different products – the products that match their needs are right at the top. The faster they can find a product that meets their requirements, the more likely they will trust your store and purchase the product.

Shortens shopping patch (and risk customers will abandon the store)

Baymard Institute recently found that the average cart abandonment in e‑commerce is nearly 70% (precisely, 69.9%). In another survey, this time from Barilliance, it was found that the abandonment rate for mobile and tablet abandonment is even more worrying – 85% for mobiles and 80% for tablets. Reasons? Slow pages, long and complicated checkouts, extra costs visible only at checkouts – and being unable to find the product they want among thousands of others.

You can improve your abandonment rates a bit, though, by enhancing how your product rankings work. With personalized rankings for your visitors, you can show them the items they are most likely to click on and keep updating those based on what actions the visitors take. For example, if you have three different visitors looking at winter coats, each of them can get a separate search results page depending on what product categories or items they clicked earlier. Accuracy rate, again! The less time it takes for them to spot items matching their requirements, the more you can count on them clicking on the “Buy” button.

This could be especially useful for luring impulse buyers to your store since the less time it takes to find something they want and go through the checkout, the more likely they will complete the purchase.

Increases your revenue

Lastly, tweaking how the search engine rank products in the store can boost your revenue in several ways.

The first one is personalized search engine results pages for each visitor can make a massive difference in the user experience and sales velocity. Rather than have to browse multiple pages or change their search terms to find the right products, visitors can see “best for me” items at the very top of the results list. That makes the visitors feel like you understand their needs perfectly, making them more likely to buy from you. Happier customers = more likely to return to your store = more sales.

But there are also a few other ways in which you can boost your store’s revenue through product rankings:

  • Promoting specific product categories or brands inside relevant results pages (for example, seasonal products) to boost sales of those.
  • Giving customers a great shopping experience and thus convincing them to return to your store – help them get to their desired products more efficiently without the need for endless scrolling through several of pages and place the right products for them right at the front.
  • Using the information from the search engines to create personalized product recommendations boxes to raise the average order value

As the product search and Google SEO criteria overlap in many places, improving your product descriptions and keywords can also give you a better position in Google search rankings. That way, you can boost your visibility in organic search results, giving you more external traffic and possibly more organic sales.

What can Luigi’s Box do to enhance and personalize your product ranking?

If you want to enhance how your e‑commerce search engine ranks the product at your store to help your visitors find the right products, then there are a few things you can do. One is researching and optimizing your target keywords. If you look at the phrases and words that searchers often use to search for given products, that should make it easier to find the most relevant keywords for each product. Completing the product descriptions, adding better quality images, and making relevant online reviews visible under the products can also help search engines rank the products better.

To make all those tasks easier and faster, though, how about reaching out to Luigi’s Box for help?

The platform can help you enhance your visitors’ search experience on your page in the following ways:

  • Predict visitors’ search and purchase intentions and automatically create personalized listing pages for them
  • Update the rankings based on visitors’ previous purchase history and store behavior
  • Recognize and correct name typos to lead visitors to the right products
  • Allow you to set your own ranking rules (for example, to promote seasonal products)
  • Show personalized product recommendations to each visitor.

With those features, you can make it easier than ever for your store visitors to find what they’re looking for – and in a matter of seconds. As the product ratings and search listings will be updated in real-time, then you can be sure that your visitors will always find the most relevant products for them at the top of the results.

Plus, the analytical tools can give you tons of data that you can use to grow your e‑commerce store further:

  • The most often used search phrases so you could spot and add relevant keywords to your product descriptions
  • Trending relevant keywords and products
  • Searches with high exit rates
  • Average click-through rate
  • and more

That way, you can find out how you could optimize your store to bring even more customers to your store – and raise your revenue.

Conclusion

With e‑commerce stores often offering thousands of items, it is essential to help users find the right ones without forcing them to scroll through several pages if you want them to return and spend more. That’s the job of product ranking – to place the right products at the front, where visitors can easily find them. And if you combine some best ranking tips with Luigi’s Box, you can guide your customers to the right product in no time.

You can set up the product rankings in any way you wish, and then the Luigi’s Box search algorithm will match the right items with the right visitor and create a personalized results list for each of them. Less time spent searching = happier and more eager to buy customers = more sales for you. And that’s precisely what you want, right?

What is product ranking FAQ

What performance metrics should you consider when ranking products?

When ranking products, performance metrics that should be considered include customer ratings and reviews, sales figures, search terms velocity, click-through rates, customer engagement numbers, market share, profitability, and brand recognition. You should also measure the impact of product features such as user experience and ease of use.

All of that will be extremely helpful for e‑commerce websites that want to boost sales performance, organic rankings, and the intuitivity of the search box.

What are the benefits of product ranking?

Product ranking can help you better understand your customers and their needs. When you perform it right, you can quickly identify marketing strategies that are most effective for driving sales, as well as provide valuable insights into customer preferences.

You can make decisions about pricing, inventory management, and distribution channels with product rankings.

Is social proof important for product ranking?

Actually, it might be! Social proof helps potential customers find trustworthy and authoritative sources. It might also drive more purchases because customers will feel confident when they learn that other people have purchased the product.

Social proof expressed in the form of star ratings and reviews provides feedback to help you improve your products and services, so these are even more powerful when it comes to product ranking. Negative reviews can impact it in a brand new way, but at least, they still remain a great source of feedback for your further sales performance.

What makes a search box fully user-friendly?

A user-friendly search box should be intuitive and easy to navigate. It should allow customers to narrow their search results on e‑commerce websites quickly, have support for auto-complete, and provide suggestions (of backend keywords or long-tail keywords) when relevant.

It should also recognize typos or misspellings and offer the most accurate possible solution.

How to boost click-through rates in a search box?

Methods are multiple, intending to make the search box as user-friendly as possible. To increase click-through rates, consider adding filters, visual cues, and other features to help users quickly find what they are looking for.

Don’t forget to optimize the target keywords to ensure that relevant results appear first in the list of options – this is a blessing for click-through rates, but many e‑commerce websites tend to forget about it. It doesn’t hurt to test different design elements, such as color and placement of the search box, for maximum click-through rates.

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