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Optimizing eCommerce Discovery for Your Brand

Sarah HillelSarah Hillel | July 20, 2020

Searching online for products is now second nature to customers. According to Google, at least 63% of shopping journeys begin online. As the pandemic forces more people to shop digitally, this behavior will continue to increase from here on out, and as a result, eCommerce discovery will become a critical focus for brands.

How can you ensure that when customers search for a product on your site, you not only deliver the most accurate results but also keep them engaged throughout the buying journey? That’s what optimized product discovery does. In this post, you’ll learn three best practices for improving eCommerce discovery. 

room interior home decor ecommerce

What is eCommerce product discovery?

In general, customers who visit your website fall into two types. Those who have a specific product in mind, and those who are simply in the mood to browse your catalog. Either way, you have to make the experience easy and intuitive, so they’ll view more of your products and add more items to their shopping carts. 

When you surface products that matter to your customers at the right moment, that is successful product discovery for eCommerce in action. It addresses the common pain point of not being able to identify and find a product and it turns inspired customers into purchasers.

How to transform your discovery and online store experiences from so-so to awesome

Improving product discovery can increase conversion and average order value. It will connect your customers to highly relevant products throughout their shopping experience. Plus, with the right digital tools and strategy, you can do this quickly and at scale. What can you do to boost eCommerce discovery for your brand?

Let customers filter to their hearts’ content

Besides convenience, choice is an essential component of the online shopping experience. You have to ensure that your shoppers can explore your catalog with ease.

By providing a wide range of filters, customers can mix and match attributes according to their liking. Amazon and eBay are examples of large digital marketplaces that offer customers flexibility and customization when searching for products. 

To keep your product attributes dynamic, accurate, and updated, deep tagging is a must. It allows you to automatically process product images and assign detailed tags, enabling your shoppers to seamlessly refine their search. 

couple shopping online home decor

Make it visual, from search to style suggestions

Without store associates to guide your customers online, acing product discovery for eCommerce requires you to deliver an in-store experience via your website or app.

Your customers are exposed to visual content throughout the day. By allowing them to search your catalog using photos or images, you can make product discovery online more natural and intuitive. Moreover, visual search motivates customers to continue shopping in cases when they don’t know the right keyword to search for. Poland-based home retailer, yestersen, does a great job of leveraging visual search in the home decor vertical. 

Taking the visual search experience a step further is product search through Pinterest-style navigation. Italian brand Rinascimento allows customers to narrow down their search right on individual product pages. They just have to click on the magnifying glass discovery icon on any product image and then select which item they want to explore more. 

Intelligent recommendations are another way to offer visual discovery journeys based on the customers’ shopping behavior. By personalizing recommendations, these image carousels surface products that are relevant to your shoppers’ unique tastes. Doing so not only increases engagement but also encourages spontaneous purchases.

Tap into the power of social commerce

Shopping is fundamentally a social activity, so customers naturally crave the same experience online. Strategy+business found that 37% of shoppers go to social networks — and 20% specifically named visual social networks — to find inspiration for their purchases.

On top of ramping up your social media game, you should also bring the visual and community elements of social networks to your website. Take a look at PrettyLittleThing and boohoo, they leverage user-generated content from social media. As a result, they promote a sense of belonging and make eCommerce product discovery relatable for shoppers.

What else can you do with social content? You can create searchable and shoppable style inspiration galleries, write social-related blog posts, or even use them as the main product image for customers to shop. 

Two women fitting clothes and taking photos for visual search

Is eCommerce discovery important?

Improving product discovery for eCommerce is not only about customer experience. Behind the curtain, it provides you with the information you need to forecast demand based on the attributes searched for and to streamline your inventory. Moreover, an optimized product discovery experience ensures that all your products, both old and new, get the same opportunity to be noticed by shoppers. 

To sum it up, there are many ways to boost eCommerce product discovery experience. You can add a visual search tool, personalize every step of the customer journey with intelligent recommendations, and feature shoppable user-generated content from social media to create a familiar browsing experience. 

These best practices are guaranteed to connect your customers with the products they love. As you delight them with seamless product discovery, you make the online shopping experience convenient and memorable. As a result, not only will your sales increase but also, and more importantly, so will your shoppers’ brand loyalty. 


Sarah Hillel

Sarah Hillel

Sarah is the Global Events and Marketing Manager at Syte. From conception to evaluation, Sarah is passionate about delivering impactful events that enhance the organization's image and brand to client experience.

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