The best way to grow your e-commerce business may be right under your nose.
As an e-commerce manager, there’s one goal at the heart of everything you do. The endless meetings, working late, spinning plates, and piling on even more responsibilities. It’s not for nothing. You work hard to feel the satisfaction of seeing real progress, and knowing you played a part in it.
One of the best ways to achieve growth is simply to learn how to get the most out of something you’re already using. Something so ordinary, most businesses never realize how powerful it can be.
We’re talking about site search, of course.
But before we talk about the ways that great site search transforms your user experience, improves usability and increases conversions, let’s first address the type of e-commerce businesses it can help. There are three main reasons you might want to consider upgrading your site search:
1) You want to improve your UX
Even a great UX needs updating once in a while.
Because new technologies develop over time, your customer’s expectations do too. So you always need to be on the lookout for updates that will keep them delighted.
Fortunately, search is one of the best ways you can achieve this aim. When on-site search is done well, it can help shoppers navigate smoothly through your store and get them to the checkout quickly.
And after search has improved your customer journey, you’ll see a boost to customer engagement, click-through-rates (CTR), and conversions, too.
2) Your UX is good, but you want to stand out
You might want to stand out for the sake of it, but there are many reasons you might need to as well. Maybe you’re in close competition with a rival store. Or maybe you want to enhance the experience of your customer journey.
Whatever your motives, Klevu’s site search will help you stand out because it is, simply, the best on-site search tool available. Your customers will be surprised and delighted at how easy it is to find what they’re looking for.
3) You want your customers to feel special
Shoppers who feel taken care of will become loyal customers.
At Klevu, our search uses advanced AI and machine-learning technology to shape a user experience that is individual to each shopper. This creates a level of personalization that is unmatched by many other UX solutions.
With advanced search, your customers will be catered for as individuals.
No matter which category you fall into, the strategy is the same: improve your search for a better UX and enhanced usability.
Over time, this means increased conversions and sales figures you can be proud of.
What about other solutions?
On-site search is not the only solution available to improve UX and increase conversions. There are so many solutions flying about that you’re practically fighting them off.
So why should you choose to improve UX with on-site search? Why is it a better strategy than the alternatives?
Search is familiar, and that’s a good thing
Many people who look for solutions to grow their business look towards things that are brand new. They look for shiny things - the big, grand ideas that come out of nowhere and promise to shake up the ecommerce industry.
In contrast, focusing on improving something you already use, like search, might not seem like such an exciting option (though, as you’ll learn, there are many, many reasons to be excited). But relying on out-there solutions to bring in customers is risky, and can backfire.
There’s even a biological reason for this
When people encounter new things, they experience fear or aversion. It’s a survival tactic.
You might think that customers will love your unique take on user experience (UX), but consumers are far more drawn to things that feel familiar.
The idea that shoppers can feel threatened by new features on an online store might seem strange, but there’s a reason consumer psychologists are in such high demand - consumer behaviour isn’t common sense.
Sure, you want drastic results, and quickly. But when you make changes to your ecommerce store, anything but a gentle approach could scare customers away.
Improving site search is such a good tactic because it’s already so familiar to customers. And familiar means safe.
Even though improving search is in itself a change, customers accept this change because it’s presented in a familiar package.
Shopping should be a pleasant journey
The path of least resistance should always be open to customers who want to take it. Creating a good search experience is the only way to achieve this.
When the customer has a destination in mind, the search tools they use to get there should be the lights that show them the way.
But a journey where you keep retracing your steps is not a good one.
To convert customers smoothly, you need an on-site search that is intuitive, linear and smart. This will help them find the products and information they need.
For maximum efficiency, it should be able to work out exactly what the customer wants, and the best way to get them there.
Customers want information on demand
86% of site visitors want information about products and services. Optimizing search is the best way to give them easy access to the information they want.
All of these reasons point to search as an effective growth strategy. They’re some of the reasons why we started Klevu: we saw search’s potential as a growth game changer.
So how exactly do we help our customers utilize search?
The following list of features shows how we deliver the optimum search experience.
Think about a time your search query picked up no results whilst shopping online. You sat there wondering how to change it to something a search box might recognize. It’s happened to all of us, and it’s very frustrating.
Events like this happen because many search engines aren’t built to recognise complex search terms. But Klevu’s search significantly reduces the likelihood of that ever happening to your customers.
At Klevu, we use a combination of features to enable search for even the most difficult search queries. Our search registers stop words (to, for, of etc.), and even understands different grammatical forms. This allows it to really get to the heart of the search.
Our search also has a high tolerance for error, so it can offer results even when the user makes a spelling mistake.
In practice, this cuts out time that would otherwise be wasted for the customer. They won’t leave in frustration because they weren’t understood. And it speeds up the time spent searching and makes the experience more reliable for shoppers.
In the future, digital search should be able to understand what people mean, just as effectively as a sales representative in a store. That is what we strive for at Klevu, and with these features, we think we’re pretty close to achieving it.
Personalization helps our advanced search to shine. Our smart AI and machine learning technology continuously learn how shoppers interact with the store, and what the customer sees is based on data collected about them.
This means that customers see the search results that are most relevant to them. Every recommendation is effectively tailored to their preferences, such as showing products they’ve interacted with before. And results will keep getting better over time, too.
All of this happens automatically behind the scenes. Once you’ve set your merchandizing rules, you don’t have to lift a finger.
Customization is extremely important. The search bar, live predictions and search results should all be presented in a way that matches your brand.
Branding that is consistent across platforms builds trust in the eyes of the customer. In fact, 75% of customers judge the credibility of a company by the way its website looks and feels.
Luckily, at Klevu we give you control over the look and feel of search on your site, so you can put your stamp on it with customized branding and design.
And because you can visually integrate our search features with your brand, it strengthens the customer’s association between their positive search experience and the company that delivered it: you.
For existing customers, customization also helps to maintain the sense of familiarity that we discussed earlier in the article.
It’s your search. Own it.
Instead of a static menu of filter options, we use dynamic filters to give shoppers enhanced navigation capabilities. This means shoppers only see the filters that are relevant to them and their search.
When a customer clicks on a filter option, our search treats it as its own category. The AI automatically rearranges products after every click, weighing personalization against merchandising rules (SKU’s, top row products, promotions etc) to optimize results at every step in the customer’s search journey.
We’ve been careful with the visual layout of our filters, too. There’s no overlay or drop-down menu getting in the way of the search results or the products. Filters are displayed alongside products in the search results box.
The clear visual layout helps customers avoid distraction. This is crucial because when distractions interrupt the customer journey, it causes problems for e-commerce businesses. When more customers are distracted, fewer are reaching the end of the buying process, and conversions suffer.
With our advanced search, shopping feels smooth and intuitive. Shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for, fast and with ease. And once your customers are flying through product search to the basket, you should see a healthy increase in conversion rates, too.
Analytics reporting keeps search working optimally
All these features are meaningless if their impact can’t be measured - that’s why we built in a range of analytical capabilities. Using metrics such as product views and conversion rates, you can monitor how well your category pages are performing. And if there’s room for improvement, you can use our merchandising tools to keep our AI-driven category pages working at their optimum level.
The power of search is seriously overlooked. Too often, businesses only see it as a boring necessity. But if e-commerce websites harness its capabilities, it can transform the user experience, improve usability, and increase conversions and sales. I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you how great this is for your bottom line.
If you’d like to find out more about how search can help your e-commerce business grow, request a demo with us.