On-site search data is a treasure trove of customer insights that smart merchants can use to improve their e-commerce buying strategy. Find out how ...


Executive Summary

Learn how the data generated by on-site search can represent a huge opportunity to improve and future-proof your buying strategy. From accurately anticipating seasonal interest to deeper insight into your customers’ expectations of the brands you stock, on-site search data is too valuable to ignore.

Running a profitable and efficient e-commerce business requires a strong understanding of your store’s data. As part of this picture, why is on-site search such a valuable and unique source of information? Because you’re given a window into exactly what your most motivated visitors are looking for.

Not only are your shoppers giving you a clear signal of intent to purchase (despite all competition, they’ve consciously navigated to your e-commerce site, and are actively pursuing a specific product) — they’re communicating that desire in their own words.

Because of this, on-site search offers retailers a huge opportunity. If you ensure that your store is optimized to collect these valuable insights, you’ll be able to unlock and improve many aspects of your customer experience (and, by extension, boost your bottom line).

Buying strategy is one of the key areas that can benefit from the leveraging of this priceless data. This article will outline five key areas in which it can be applied to best effect.


1. Discover What Your Customers Think You Sell

It can feel disheartening to see zero results terms cropping up in your on-site search reports. They represent a missed opportunity for conversion, and a disappointed customer (who might not be so quick to shop with you next time).

But if you’re deploying a sophisticated on-site search solution, you have the chance to turn this negative experience around and use it to actively drive future success.

By keeping a close eye on commonly recurring zero-result terms, you gain a clear idea of the expectations your customers have when it comes to your stock. In other words, you learn what they assume you sell.

As well as giving you insight into the overall impression your brand is making, if there’s enough interest in a specific product, you might want to consider changing your buying practices to include it.

Biggest benefit: Identify new, data-backed channels of profit. Klevu can help by providing clear “one-click” access to keywords with zero results.

2. See Beyond Your “Best Sellers”

In a similar vein to our first point, on-site search data can also give you insight into the brands that may not be selling in high numbers, but which your customers are keeping front of mind.

On-site search data enables you to see where interest is high, even if sales don’t reflect a certain brand’s ultimate popularity. If your customers are searching for a brand repeatedly but not converting, ask yourself why and take action to convert this interest into concrete sales.

If certain brands crop up as high-frequency keywords but you don’t currently stock them — and don’t plan to — consider redirecting your shoppers to a similar, alternative brand to try to capture conversion and avoid them leaving empty-handed. With Klevu you can deploy custom banners on results pages, which work perfectly in this use case.

Biggest benefit: Get clear insight into which brands (either stocked or unstocked) are enjoying a spike in popularity, and then adjust your strategy. Klevu’s daily search reports are delivered directly to your inbox and give you instant clarity.


3. Get Ahead of the Game With Seasonal Interest

The retail calendar is dictated by a series of annually repeating, seasonal events. While the key dates for holidays don’t change, on-site search data can give retailers powerful insight into exactly when customers start planning, researching and purchasing in the lead up to these events.

When it comes to informing your buying strategy, smart leverage of on-site search data can help you know exactly when and what you might want to start stocking. And when interest starts to drop, it might be time to consider a sale or promotional boost...

This is intelligence that can inform even more than the items you choose to sell. By interpreting search terms, you can also get creative with your collections and merchandising. For example, if folk start searching for “Christmas gifts for mothers / fathers / grandmothers” etc in, say, October, it’s not too early to start curating and promoting gift guides and collection pages that pull suggestions together for these specific groups.

Biggest benefit: Time your buying strategy with increasing accuracy, year on year, as you learn more about your customers’ seasonal behavior. Klevu can help you go one step further, with the opportunity to optimize holiday collection pages with Smart Category Navigation.


4. Monitor Keywords With the Highest Exit Rates

On-site search data can give you so much information about the products that generate plenty of interest, but fail to make it across the line in terms of actually being added to cart.

This is a great way to observe patterns of interest in your products — even when there’s no cart or conversion data to interpret.

Once you’ve used your on-site search data to discover the products that are popular but causing your shoppers to abandon your store, you can reverse engineer the issue to try to identify the reason for their failure to convert. Are the product images displaying in your search results letting you down? Is there a tagging error causing irrelevant results?

Whatever the cause, fix the issue and you’ll have optimized your chances of seeing that high interest matched with equally high conversion rates.

Biggest benefit: Reveal potential best sellers hidden within your inventory. Klevu’s smart on-site search solution is able to shine a light into aspects of customer behavior that are otherwise invisible, and a missed opportunity.


5. Pay Attention to Attributes Within Search Queries

On-site search can reveal more than just your customers’ “general” interests. As expectations for on-site search increase, search terms are becoming increasingly detailed.

This means that in addition to product type and brand etc, you can expect to see specifics in terms of attributes. By digging into the popularity of attribute-focused keywords (i.e. pink sofa, rose gold ring) you’ll gain insight into broader trends, as well as the popularity of a certain edition, colorway, size or flavor that may not otherwise have been so clear.

Use this data to inform your stocking strategy, or even inform marketing campaigns and promotional banners within your store, so you can respond to zeitgeist trends and meet demand for the most popular variants.

You can also apply the knowledge to your visual merchandising and use the most popular colorway as your default image. And if this sounds like too much hard work, you’ll be happy to know that Klevu can use AI to interpret these trends and visually merchandise to variant level on your behalf — all automatically!

Set yourself up for success when it comes to this area of your store’s optimization — make sure that attributes are searchable on your store and ensure your product pages allow for dynamic filtering, to let customers drill down to the variants they’re looking for with ease.

Biggest benefit: Give your customers a more satisfying shopping experience, while increasing your chances of conversion — everyone wins. Klevu offers the opportunity to add attributes as facets in search results



On-site search is about so much more than simply helping your customers find the products they need — the data that it generates is incredibly powerful and versatile. This offers a goldmine of opportunity for the retailers who are canny enough to apply it creatively and intelligently to their buying strategy.

By working with Klevu you gain insight into customer behavior that would otherwise go unnoticed and untapped. Don’t miss the chance to build stronger, more profitable inventories, backed by the invaluable data provided by on-site search.

Ready to start benefiting from the insight of on-site search? Book your demo with Klevu today.