In 2017, it’s expected that online shopping revenue will surpass $1.5 trillion in worldwide sales, making the eCommerce industry one of the most valuable and profitable industries. Significant advancements in mobile and social shopping have altered the way we shop, and now it’s possible for consumers to shop instantaneously from their favorite designers from virtually anywhere all thanks to a few quick taps on their smartphones.
However, despite this projected growth, many retailers still fail at providing their customers with an exceptional online shopping experience, which can result in significantly low conversion rates.
To ensure all retailers are making the most of their on-site search and providing their customers with an exceptional shopping experience, we’ve put together five powerful tips that are proven to increase conversion rates and turn more browsers into buyers.
Have all Eyes on Your Search Box
The search box is an often overlooked yet powerful feature of an eCommerce store. The site search box is the pathway to improved sales, better user experience, and most importantly, higher conversion rates. If a shopper struggles to locate the search box, chances are they’ll abandon ship and head to a competitor’s site to complete their purchase, so having an easy to locate search box is key.
Here are two ways to improve conversions with your search box:
- Bold Placement
The first step to having a high-performing search box is to place it in a noticeable and convenient location where site visitors can locate it as soon as they arrive at your site. The best spot is typically in the header of a web page, where it can be free from clutter and any distractions.
- Clean Design
A search box with a clean design and clear instructions will entice users to perform a search. Take the time to ensure that all search fields (input field and ‘submit’ button) are clearly differentiated and easy to locate. Retailers should also include a recognizable search icon (a magnifying glass tends to work best) to help entice visitors to follow through with their search.
Site search enhancement tools like autocomplete are a great addition to an eCommerce site because it helps direct customer to their desired product quickly and seamlessly. Autocomplete shows fast, accurate, and intelligent search results as soon as the customer begins typing – even if a spelling mistake has been made – and is proven to increase conversions and sales for online retailers.
Optimize the ‘No Results Found’ Page
When a customer searches for an item that either isn’t in stock or that you don’t carry, rather than directing them to the dreaded ‘no results found’ page send them to an optimized landing page that will prevent them from abandoning the site and potentially lead to a sale.
You can prevent this from happening by providing similar product recommendations that they might find interesting and relevant or links back to the homepage, category pages, or the contact us page. This will help prevent visitors from leaving to go search on a competitor’s site and in turn, potentially lead to an increase in conversions.
Feature Product Images in Search Bar Results
To further improve your online site search, it’s important to include product images in the search results so site visitors can see products that are available without having to search through the product pages. Make sure that your product photos are clear in thumbnail form, and are flattering to your product. The chances of a customer buying increases when images are displayed along with a product description. Showing product images along with suggested search terms in your autocomplete will further help turn browsers into buyers.
Get to Know Your Customers
As a retailer, your goal should always be to exceed the wants and needs of your customers and when you only provide your customers with basic site search this goal cannot be achieved.
The best way to truly get to know your customers is to learn what they are searching for and this can be done through your site search reports and analytics. These reports list all search terms entered on your site, and the number of times words and phrases have been searched. You can also review real-time reports on the most and least popular searched terms. These reports can be reviewed daily, weekly or monthly and they provide insight into how your eCommerce site can improve its on-site search experience, by understanding what your customers are searching for.
By reviewing your sites reports, you can see what terms are in top demand and what products are performing well. By having access to this information, you can optimize your site and showcase your top performing items.
By providing your customers with a more intuitive search and navigation, you’ll not only encounter higher conversion rates, but you’ll also develop a stronger relationship with your customers which will encourage them to come back and shop with you in the future.
This article was written by Ainsley Smith, a marketing coordinator at Nextopia. Nextopia provides site search, navigation and merchandising solutions for internet retailers.