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8 Tips to Optimize Your Ecommerce Website Product Search

Disclaimer: Magenticians does not necessarily agree with the views expressed in this guest post. They are presented to bring to light all diverse views in the Magento and general ecommerce community.

Want to optimize your automobile ecommerce website for better product search and filter experience for visitors? Imagine yourself in two different scenarios.

In the first scenario, you visit a brick-and-mortar store and ask the staff for a product. They are unable to find the product. So you step out of the store unsatisfied and form a negative impression about the store.

In the second one, you visit the same brick-and-mortar store and ask for a product. They don’t have the product you’re looking for. But they assist and convince you to try a similar product. For this simple reason, you walk out of the store happy with a positive impression of the store and its staff.

I’m certain that you would want every store to imitate the second scenario. And we can apply the same principle to online store and ecommerce. How? You may ask. Well, the ecommerce search competency is judged by its ability to match the product with user queries.

So if you want to enhance your visitor’s store experience and turn them into happy customers, use these 8 ecommerce website product search tips.

1. Provide Attribute Finding in Search Results

Allowing your visitors to find and sort items based on product attributes is a simple way of improving the search experience. Doing so allows users to set product attributes such as brand, relevance, latest trends, price, etc.

The result: customers get results they want to see. They waste time browsing through irrelevant products that add to their frustration.

You really need to identify the attributes of your products. If you have an automobile industrial background, you will have to establish a different set of facets and introduce it in your website.

One way to simplify product search for an automobile ecommerce is by adding a Part Finder Extension for Magento 2.

Example: Work on website search by adding simple drop-down components. These should be based on primary facets such as model number, model date, date of manufacturing, and so on.

2. Offer Smooth Navigation Design

It is understood that as soon as your clients land on your store’ home page, they will look for the search bar. But since this is the first touchpoint of your website’s user experience, you can’t afford to settle for a poor design.

Here is do’s and don’ts regarding the visibility and placement of the search bar.

  • Don’t place your search bar in the corner or at the bottom of your website. Your visitor has  3 second attention span. If he spends searching for the search bar, then he’s better off going to another website. You should place it either high in the upper left column or in the header bar placed right of the website logo.
  • Don’t place the search box too close to other boxes, such as other sign-ups, etc.
  • Don’t keep your text font size too small. This will cause trouble in locating the search bar.
  • Design it differently so that it stands out clearly from other forms and fields.
  • Let people know that it is a search bar by mentioning the term “SEARCH” or “GO” with a magnifying lens symbol in the bar.

3. Make the Bar Visible on All Pages

This is one of the most important characteristics of a good ecommerce website giving your store two key benefits:

  • Improves product search tremendously.
  • Saves visitors time from going back to the dash page repeatedly.

4. Augment User Search Within Results Pages

This is a crucial practice that many sites overlook or don’t pay attention to. It is slightly different from making the bar visible on all the pages. Here is how searching within the result pages looks like:

  • Include the search input again in the search bar. When you are able to return the search results, you make things much easier for visitors.
  • Allow users to append more texts, details, or modify descriptions, without having to input everything in again.
  • Place a cursor or arrow in the input box where a user is needed to click the arrow and get the search input. This can be useful for targeting visitors who are interested in ecommerce business.

5. Use an Intelligent Autocomplete Search Bar

Remember that you can’t leave everything to customers’ convictions. Don’t be intrusive. But, don’t let this stop you from guiding them. You have to assist them at each step of their buying process.

Giving them too much room can waste their time. And this can degrade your brand value. Autocomplete fulfills this requisite of comforting the customers. So what is autocomplete? It is the following:

  • Autocomplete search predicts and offers a list of drop-down options based on the typed search terms.
  • It is extremely helpful when the words are difficult to spell or pronounce.
  • It can be ideal for customers whose mother language is not English.

6. “No Search Result” Can Be a Major Repellant

As a customer, I don’t like to hear a NO. I don’t mind if a shopkeeper retorts to mindless tricks to convince me, but I would want him to at least try. Similarly, if your ecommerce store displays a “no results found”, your customers can get vexed.

Without a doubt, people will fail to spell correctly; typing errors are common. If your store’s search bar doesn’t take this into account, then you will push your visitors away to competitors.

So what do you do? You can start by adding synonym and thesaurus tools in your engine. This will make your store more efficient and help you gain new customers easily.

It can be possible that your store really doesn’t have the product. But, saying a blatant NO can spoil your visitors’ shopping experience.

You can suggest some of the options humorously and reassure users that you’d notify them by email as soon as the product arrives. In this way, they will remember to visit your site again and have a positive impression of your store.

7. Add Synonym Tools to your Engine

There are almost 171,476 words in the English dictionary. A user can type any of these for a website search. Make your search engine captures synonymous words. Not every visitor will type the same search terms for a given item.

And using synonym tools can help widen your chances of turning visitors into buyers.

For example: If a user enters ‘mobile phones’, your store mine those options under the umbrella term of “cell phones”.

8. Allow Multi-Linguistic Search

Limiting your search language to English implies you’re not ready to cater to an international audience. On the other hand, if you are a global ecommerce store, it makes sense to allow visitors to search for items in any language.

Doing so will also help you gauge responses from multiple audiences. Using analytics, you can find which language generates the highest number of results for a given item or product. This can give you further clarity on which items are in demand at a geographic scale and help you adjust strategies accordingly.

The Final Call

Online shopping is increasingly gaining traction among audiences. However, the conventional business practices haven’t gone extinct. Visitor engagement, smooth buying experience, and customer satisfaction are still in place.

You need to make sure you offer traditional business services, but apply it to the digital format. Using the above 8 practices, you can improve website traffic and conversion rates in a significant way.

Author Bio

Darshit Parmar is a dedicated ecommerce consultant at M-Connect Media, a sales-oriented e-business development company. Darshit’s 10 years of experience in the ecommerce industry has assisted him in boosting sales for numerous ecommerce brands. He shares in-depth insights on building a successful ecommerce store not only with his clients but also via blogs and e-books. As a certified Google Analytics and Oracle 9i professional, he is among the leading authorities in the ecommerce industry.