Product Search Optimization for eCommerce Businesses

Product Search Optimization for eCommerce Businesses

Always be up to Date subscribe to updates - February 2, 2015

Running an e-Commerce business is not an easy task, but it is not impossible. Since there are numerous online businesses in the online market, turning visits into profits is definitely a tough challenge for online entrepreneurs. But with so many possible strategies that could help with your website success, each website owner still has a high chance of turning their site into a successful business.

In a recent webinar, ran by Convert and Kevin Eichelberger of Blue Acorn, they discussed Conversion optimization and its impact on eCommerce. Conversion Optimization, to put it plainly, is converting casual traffic, or casual visitors, into paying customers. This ensures that the website can actually earn with most, if not all, of the page views that the website receives.

Product Search Optimization

In online businesses, each website faces millions of competitors in the virtual realm. What each website needs to do to guarantee success is to become searchable. Even though imagery and user-convenience are definitely a must in this business, being searchable is one of the most important aspects of any website, in any market.

When it comes to the product search bar, there is only one thing that you need to highly consider— Accuracy. Faulty product search bars can make you lose millions. As users are not able to search for the products they are looking for, you will not stand a chance in gaining the sales you need to make your online store profitable. There are some instances when visitors are not able to locate the product search. In cases like this, you can definitely use some help from Google Analytics for you to be able to know whether your visitors are active in using your product search or not.

To make sure your product search is visible in your page, you must focus on functionality. Before you launch your e-store, think wisely about the placement and design of your product search. Is it visible to the audience? Can it catch your potential consumer’s attention? Wise positioning and aesthetics can make it easier for your users to locate the product search bar. Here are some tips on how to optimize your product search:

  • Convenience: Are the users well-guided and directed? Have you given them clear and easy-to-follow instructions?
  • Speed and Accuracy: Speed is one of the factors that could either make or break your success rates. If your pages are filled with so many products, you can use 3rd party engines such as SOLR or Celebros to make sure that your pages will load faster.
  • Empty but Full: What happens if the product your consumer searched for is out of stock or unavailable? Instead of plainly showing a page that says ‘out of stock’, come up with new and better ways to persuade the visitors to go shop for other items in your store. In this page, you can provide other alternatives or post some of the top-selling products of your e-store. Through this, your consumers would remember your store in a very positive way.

Search Accuracy

Once you have decided on the best placement of your product search bar, it is now time to test its accuracy. Since you are providing services and consumer goods to a variety of people, you must consider spelling mistakes and differences in terms of plurality and singularity. For instance, if you are selling clothes, typing ‘blazer’ should show the same product page from typing ‘skirts’. This way, your consumers won’t need to keep on guessing on what they should and should not type in your product search bar.

In the like manner, never make the users feel that your store does not have the products they are looking for simply because they have misspelled the item on your search bar. If there is one thing that could help you gain profits, it’s creating an intelligent product search bar that would be able to provide the consumers what they need, misspelled or not.

Automatic Suggestions

The goal here is to provide a friendly and convenient shopping experience to your online visitors, not the other way around. To help them find the products they need, it is best that you activate automatic suggestions for the relevant keywords that could help them find the pages that they are looking for. This will make the shopping experience faster and easier, making your visitors feel more pumped up to buy from your store.

“You need to ensure that your business website’s search tools are simple and intuitive for those who are less technologically inclined — or risk losing customers.” – Stephanie Buck, Mashable.com

Search by Category

Lastly, you can easily make your pages more visible by enabling a category search. This is especially true if you do not have the time and the budget to enable 3rd party search engines. This also narrows down searches for your target audience and gives them a more direct route to your website. This also allows niche customers of a certain category a chance to stumble on your website.

No matter what your product is, it all boils down to one thing—are they searchable or not? If you want to find out more about this, or if you want to view the entire webinar, you can check it all out here.

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  • 2 Feb, 2015
  • Posted by Dennis van der Heijden
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Written by Dennis van der Heijden

Co-founder and CEO of Convert.com passionate in building communities that care. Trying to make that happen inside and outside Convert. I love working with my team to make our A/B testing software better for agencies and e-commerce clients.

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