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How Effective Site Search can Help eCommerce Businesses

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eCommerce businesses today are flooding the internet. With millions of products to sell on the internet, it can get cumbersome if customers are not able to find the products they are looking for. In this scenario, effective site search plays an important role in deciding whether the eCommerce business will succeed or go down the pit!

Why do the e-tailers need site search?

This question must be asked by every retailer when starting off with an eCommerce site. In order to generate higher revenue and get the most of the website, it is essential to implement the best site search functionality. Here’s what it can do for your business:

  • Higher sales

Business is primarily concerned with numbers and the higher the numbers, higher are the chances of your business reaching the topmost position among the competition.

  • Higher conversion rates

Users visiting the site need to buy something. If they exit without buying anything, that is a big loss for the business. Site search plays an important role as users are able to find exactly what they are looking for.

  • Increased customer loyalty and retention

With higher conversion rates, customers are more likely to revisit the site. This way a customer loyalty is built and businesses are able to retain the valuable customers.

  • Branding

Better user experience is the key to get more registrations and customer satisfaction. If you can give it to your customers, you are one step ahead of your competitors.

We have seen what site search functionality can do to your business and how an effective site search can help you to stay on top. Now, let’s discuss how it should be implemented for best results.

  • Position matters

Where the search box is placed in the website is important. If the users are not able to find the search box, then it is more likely that they will exit it without taking any action. It is essential that the search box must be easily visible across the entire website, preferably at the top of the page.

Like products, search box should be placed on all the pages to make it easily findable. For knowing the best location, different positions should be checked to know the best placement for the search box. Also, it should be placed away from all other boxes to avoid confusion.

  • Labelling the search box

Search box should be labeled to differentiate from other boxes. Also, the color combination chosen should be such that it is easily readable. One of the common practices is to use a magnifying glass icon to separate it from other boxes.

  • Text in the search box

One of the ways of making search box effective is by adding text in the search box. Like the users can search using product name, keyword, product category, catalogue number etc. Also, this text disappears when user clicks in the box to type in the search terms. This can be done using JavaScript. It should enable the users to search for the products using the RETURN key as users are not likely to click on search button.

  • Size of the box

Search box is a worthy area which should be of proper dimensions so that it doesn’t get ignored. Different sizes must be tested in order to arrive at a correct decision of search box dimensions. It depends on type of products you are selling and customer search behavior. If the users are searching for the products by entering two or more terms, the search box should be big enough for the users to see the entire term they are entering. It will enable them to make corrections to search terms and any misspellings that might be there.
A good example can be Amazon marketplace. It uses a search box which is large enough to handle lengthy queries.

  • Placement is the key

It should be made a point that the search box is placed across all the pages of the website. It should be available on every page at appropriate place, preferably at the same place. It gives the customers an alternative navigation method on arriving at product pages. Although, the checkout page doesn’t need a search box; users are making a purchase at that time. It can create a distraction for them while making a purchase.

  • Limiting the scope of search

You can include a dropdown to narrow down the product categories and limiting the scope of search made by the customers. This will enable the users to navigate to the right product page thus reducing  the number of irrelevant results that might appear and distract the users.

  • Using auto suggest feature in search box

Using auto suggest feature in search box can help customers to search for exactly the same product as needed by them. It can boost sales. Most of the users rely on auto suggest site functionality to search for relevant products. It can also help in eliminating the errors like typos and misspellings while searching, leading to faster search for the users; thus, improving customer satisfaction. When implemented in a well planned manner, auto-complete can save a lot of effort and speed up the search process.

  • Make sure to include Advanced Search

Advanced search feature allows the customers or the users to search for what they are looking for in more detail. It gives the users an ability to search more effectively by including filters such as category to which the product belongs, including all the search terms or excluding some of the terms etc.

  • Including Breadcrumbs in search results page

Breadcrumbs help in providing a better way of navigation besides search box. It allows users to browse through the search pages conveniently. It will not be necessary for the users to clear out the search entirely and start from scratch.
A smarter search is always an effective way of getting higher numbers in terms of sales, improving customer satisfaction and staying on top of the competition by providing better customer experience.

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How Effective Site Search can Help eCommerce Businesses