Some people love spending money online and as a business owner don’t you want these types of customers to buy from you as well? After being in eCommerce for a while now I feel communication with your customers and learning about their shopping habits are the most important. In today’s blog I will talk about how to use an onsite “Search” as a feature to communicate with your customers highlighting the 5 most important features every “Search Box” should have/do.
Before we get started with those features let’s look at an example that will change your perception of the search box. Imagine you go to a bricks-and-mortar store and the first thing you do is talk to the sales assistant. This is the exact same situation online but this time it’s the onsite “search box” that will help your customers. Shocked? Yes Sir! The search feature is well worth the effort so make sure you have one.
1) Search Box (Visibility):
One of the most important features of a search bar is its visibility. If the customers cannot find the search bar then how do you expect them to use it? The search box needs to be visible across the entire site, so that visitors can find it easily and search for products. As most sites have the search box on the top of the page it makes sense to place it there because that is where visitors will expect to find it.
It is best practice to include some brief search hints inside your search box to guide your customer on what/how to search. Most common words that people usually put are “Keywords, SKU, Search Entire store, Item and more”. For e.g. the image above shows you exactly what to search for when you come to the site. Honestly one thing I can guarantee about eCommerce is that you need to tell the customer what to do, if you leave it to them then its bye bye sales 🙂
3) Auto Complete:
Hands down, this is one of the most important parts of site search. Businesses use auto complete to offer suggestions when a user enters a few words in the search box. Not only does this help with avoiding spelling errors but also offers accurate searches. One of the other advantages of auto complete is speed, when the search bar shows the product the customer is searching there is a much higher chance of conversion.
5) No Result Pages:
I think everyone will agree with me on this one, but whatever a user searches you need to show them something. A BIG NO NO NO to “No result found pages”. There is no doubt that sometimes people will make spelling mistakes and typos, but regardless you need to show them a complementary or related product. Come on you’re in eCommerce and you know it, there is a better chance of conversion here.
That’s all folks! I hope all that I mentioned above was useful and with all the time, efforts and resources that you have put in to create an online presence, these search tips may help you improve conversions. Good luck and if there are any other strategies that you use, feel free to share in the comments below.