E-commerce Site Search Best Practices


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According to Salesforce, “shoppers who use search spend 2.6x more compared to the users who do not”. Now that it is a fact that “searches can help e-commerce platforms generate more revenue”, it makes sense to improve customer experience by investing in search improvement.

Studies prove “18% of websites cannot identify existing products when even a single character is inserted wrong”. Such lack of attention to the customer experience is helping competitors gain up to 12% of users just after a failed search.

With a staggering percentage of users visiting search boxes immediately, search accuracy is becoming vital for quality customer experience. Search results improvement is important but that’s secondary, the primary motive here is to make on-site search efficient and useful.

Let’s discuss E-commerce site search best practices and find out why it is necessary:

1. Make the Search Box Visible and offer Autocomplete Feature:

A study found “customers who use search boxes contribute 20-60% of e-commerce revenue”. With so much riding on search boxes, it would be foolish to not make it big enough for customers to spot it easily.

Adding bigger search boxes has additional benefits:

• It allows customers to enter long and specific queries. With bigger search boxes, the users can review their query and edit if there’s an error.
• It makes the search more specific. A small search box that can accommodate “men shirt” while a long search box can easily accommodate “men shirt L size”, which is more specific

Offering to autocomplete feature saves customer’s time and offers quality customer experience. An autocomplete feature is no more an option but a must for e-commerce businesses because everyone from Google, Amazon to TripAdvisor is offering it.

Some of the benefits of offering to the autocomplete feature are:

• Guides customers towards the right product. It is now proven that conversion rate increases by 6 times when the autocomplete feature is used.
• It allows customers to find relevant products faster

2. Focus on Long-Tail Semantic Search

It is important to focus on long-tail semantic searches because it reveals the intent of a user. A user that searches for “FastTrack men watches black color” is more likely to convert than a user who searches for “men watches”. A study by Total Retail found that “sites that use long-tail semantic search have a low cart abandonment rate of 2% whereas sites that use simple search have a higher abandonment rate of 40%”.

E-commerce businesses can benefit heavily by investing in product discovery. Product Discovery asses search queries to discover the following:

• Search intent
• Query Pattern Behavior
• Ranking Relevance
• String Analysis

Everything product discovery offers begins after search queries are made by customers. A collaborative function between the two will brings results that will improve customer experience and also increase revenue.

3. Let Users Search within Categories

With 72% of users using Amazon to discover new products and gift ideas over Google, it gets necessary for other e-commerce players to discover unique things Amazon is doing. Well! Amazon allows users to search within categories like “Amazon Devices, Books & Literature, and Amazon Fresh”, such nuanced search option assist customers with faster product discovery.

E-commerce businesses can lower product discovery time and improve customer satisfaction scores by letting users search within categories. Such small changes in search can help marketplaces double their revenue within no time.

4. Facilitate Search with Product Codes

Mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic items together constitute a huge percentage of all e-commerce sales. Since, electronic companies are keen on naming their products like iPhone 6, OnePlus 7 and Lenovo 7th Gen K22Pro, it gets important for marketplaces to let users search with product codes. Often cycles, exercise equipment, cooking utensils have product codes as their names. With these codes being quite popular among the customers, they mostly use these product codes when looking for it online.

Can E-commerce Businesses Afford to neglect Search?

Amazon has beaten Google in its backyard and with every passing day, it is getting bigger and better. By offering epitome customer experience, Amazon is rendering its contemporaries obsolete, which is a reason good enough for other players to buck up.
By introducing simple changes to search, e-commerce enterprises can experience a positive shift in their revenues. Investing in search query analysis along with navigational search once the search is functioning properly, will push businesses towards prosperity.

Linda Taylor
Linda Taylor is an experienced business and marketing consultant with MattsenKumar LLC. Linda’s vast exposure in growing B2B SMEs and improving Customer Experience enables her to create quality content in form of Articles and Info graphics. With a focus on benefiting the masses, Linda is creating content that adds value and routes companies towards success.


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