When shopping has become as easy as a few swipes on a smartphone, businesses need to make their online marketplaces available to their customers. Many companies still don’t know the best ways to leverage an eCommerce search to their benefit. Some simple adjustments and incorporating the right tools can transform a confusing trek through menus and product descriptions into a shopping experience that will create repeat customers!
#1. No Dead Ends
The worst thing that can happen to a customer is to stop their eCommerce search flow dead in its tracks. Repeated “no results found” messages can frustrate your clients, and limiting their exposure to these keyword blackholes is essential if you want to keep them shopping. If a query is particularly outlandish, such as searching for roofing nails at a textile marketplace, it’s a good idea to at least have customer service pop up as an option to help people find what they need.
#2. Machine Learning
People aren’t the best at coming up with the best search terms, and not all search engines are equipped to parse out nonsense from actual keywords. Machine learning can revolutionize sales by incorporating algorithms that understand different queries and leads the customer in the right direction. Spelling mistakes that would normally provide poor results can be translated into workable terms to bring up products that both you and your customers want to see.
#3. Optimize Search Terms for Customers
As proud as companies are of their products and services, the customer should always be foremost in importance. It may be gratifying to list all of the complex technology that your merchandise contains, but without the proper contact, your customers may be left confused. Gear your search terms toward your intended audience and they’re sure to have an easier time finding what they’re looking for.
#4. The Importance of Metadata
The additional information that surrounds your products is just as important as their descriptions. This metadata is critical for both your company and customers to categorize and locate the right merchandise. Use the keywords your customers choose most often in their searches. Check out synonyms to common eCommerce search terms to broaden the vocabulary used to provide results. “Sneakers” may also bring up “basketball shoes,” “tennis footwear,” and “running footwear.”
#5. Search for More than Products
Having an eCommerce search engine that pulls up the perfect product every time is every sales team’s dream. However, if your company provides more than merchandise, then search queries should return more than products alone. There are many things to include in your search results, such as:
- Customer Service Chat
- Size Charts
- Category Overviews
- SKU Data
- Technical Data
- Warranty Information
- Product Manuals
The key to effective search-based marketing is to provide your customers with additional information and avenues for exploration. Your searches should keep customers on the virtual move!
#6. The Power of Analytics
Data is quickly becoming the cornerstone of every business, and eCommerce companies have a lot to gain from the insights provided by search information. From identifying top converting queries to eliminating zero-sum searches, using analytical reports from search engines gives you a lot of material to make important decisions about your business. Adjusting search parameters to report on customer actions will help your business not only provide better service to your clients but also give you the tools necessary to create an effective marketing strategy.
#7. Modify for Mobile
Businesses can’t afford to let the mobile market stagnate as more people turn to eCommerce via their phones and tablets every day. It’s important to make the mobile shopping experience from browsing to checkout as simple as possible. Make sure your website and searches are optimized for mobile. It may be prudent to eliminate menus from mobile sites entirely, letting your customers use your search engine as the predominant way to explore your site.
#8. Item Suggestions
Impulse buying has always been a strong mechanism retail showrooms have used to increase spending. Your online store can implement similar strategies by incorporating item suggestions into eCommerce search results. While it may feel like pushing products onto customers, these offerings may help them find things they need, or remind them of products they’ve meant to buy. Offering suggestions will also open shoppers up to more of your inventory, identifying your business as a place where they can get all of their shopping needs met.
Capitalizing on eCommerce Search
The search bar on your website isn’t just to help your customers find what they need. It’s an important tool that guides shoppers through your virtual storefront to browse the merchandise that you want them to see. Optimizing search engine systems not only lets your clients explore your site, but also provides you with data that can be used to provide an even better experience than before. Using these best practices, your eCommerce search engine will work harder for you than ever before!