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Today’s customers expect a range of advanced search features when shopping online. Businesses that do not meet these expectations almost always risk losing potential sales.

Advanced search features, such as type-ahead, faceted navigation, and ranking, are now a must-have for businesses to stay competitive. The plain truth is that if you have a full-featured search capability, you gain substantial potential sales and will not lose business to competitors who have taken the leap. Even more advanced search features like voice and image search can give you a competitive edge and provide a significant return on investment.

Benefits of a Well-Implemented E-commerce Site Search

A few of the benefits that result from a good search implementation include the following:

  • Increased Sales Conversion Rates: According to a recent article by Algolia, you have at most 15 seconds to engage a customer before they move to another site. The same article also mentions that 30% of web visitors will use the search box to locate desired products. A properly configured storefront search implementation provides a clear path to the products your customers want and makes it more convenient for them to buy.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: One type of customer knows exactly what she/he is looking for and has come to your site to find it. A different kind of customer has a rough idea of what she/he is looking to buy but needs help making a choice. The search experience is a big part of the broader shopping experience. It can be a make-or-break moment for your users if you provide relevant results.
  • Better business decisions: Storefront search analytics can give you valuable insights into what your customers want. Analytics can also tell you how customers navigate to products they’re looking for and which brands, colors, styles, or sizes are chosen for their age range. More importantly, analytics dashboards can highlight which searches return irrelevant or no results. This information proves invaluable when making product ordering decisions.

Typical E-commerce Site Search Features

Most modern search platforms offer the features summarized in Table 1. If your search implementation lacks one or more of these pervasive features, you’ve already fallen behind your competition!

Feature Description
Type-Ahead This feature displays a list of products and keyword suggestions to users as they enter characters in the search box. Type-ahead implementations automatically predict search queries and subsequently show accurate matches.
Spell Checker Spell-checking components offer semantic search and spell correction help. The purpose of this feature is not to improve customer spelling! Instead, it offers choices that best match the customer’s search entry. This often reopens the door that leads to a purchase.
Faceted Navigation Once the search redirects to an appropriate page, customers want to narrow their purchases based on their price, color, size, or other preference. The faceted navigation feature groups products together to present a coherent picture to the shopper, allowing them to narrow down their purchase quickly.
Related Products This feature allows shoppers to quickly navigate to the product they’re looking to buy if the search result is not to their liking. This feature is an excellent option to have available when the search ends up with a zero-results page.
Paging Paging is a feature of the Search Engine product that breaks search results into multiple pages so users can more efficiently navigate through them. This combination lets them jump to a search result set’s beginning, middle, or end.
Sorting Options Sort results are generally defined by criteria such as “price,” “newest,” “popular,” and so forth. For example, a customer might want to see high-priced premium products first. Other customers might prefer to choose based on rating or the new product.
Ranking Products are accurately ranked based on relevance and popularity. You can override the default ranking by setting up a custom rule appropriate to your marketing needs.

What You Will Learn

In addition to learning about features and benefits, in this white paper, you get:

  • A detailed overview of what is storefront search
  • Valuable insights on what to look for in a good search platform
  • A close look at the features and benefits of a well-designed search implementation
  • An overview of the top search engines that are now available
  • A deep dive into an actual search implementation
  • A look into the future of search, including image and voice search as well as AI/ML-driven search

Download this invaluable white paper and get a leg up on your competition today.