Technology, including something as commonplace as eCommerce search, provides brands with so many ways to connect and engage with consumers. But with customer expectations at an all-time high, it also empowers shoppers to change loyalties with ease.
You’ve almost certainly had an experience like this while shopping online:
You’re looking for a specific product, so you go to your favorite online store. You type in a search query, but the product results you get are inaccurate. You try to mix up the keywords and press enter again. Now, you receive a “no results found” message. You try a couple more wording combinations, but no luck. With no time to go through the category pages one by one, you open a new tab and go to the next eCommerce website that comes to mind.
Just like that, the first brand immediately lost sales from a potential or longtime customer and created a bad experience with a dire ripple effect.
According to Salesforce, “76% of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere—switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations.” Also, more than half of all consumers not only stop buying from a brand because a competitor provided a better experience, but they also share their bad experiences friends and family.
On the flip side, when brands provide an experience that meets or exceeds customer expectations—in this case, an eCommerce search engine that actually works—more opportunities are created to build loyalty and drive revenue.
Let’s look at the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows.’
eCommerce Site Search Removes Friction for High-Intent Shoppers
The way shoppers navigate through your website has an impact on your bottom line, and eCommerce site search plays a key role in that. Customers who use on-site search are known to convert 216% more than those who don’t, according to research done by WebLinc.
One of the reasons for the higher conversion rate is because eCommerce search engine users usually have higher purchase intent than visitors who are simply in a browsing or window-shopping mood. These customers already have a particular product in mind, and your job is to immediately connect them to it—with the help of a trusted eCommerce site search solution.
From product search to delivery, speed is a consistent and essential (rather than a nice-to-have) customer expectation. This means that a good customer experience in terms of eCommerce site search should minimize friction and maximize speed and efficiency.
eCommerce Search Engines Cut Down the Time From Idea to Purchase
With the prevalence of on-demand services, consumers are now used to fast and convenient shopping experiences. In just a few clicks, they expect to get anything instantly.
Google found that a load time of 1-10 seconds increases the bounce rate probability by 123%. Kissmetrics also revealed that 47% of consumers expect a 2-second page load time, with 40% abandoning the website if it exceeds three.
The more time your shoppers spend searching for a product on your website, the farther you are from converting them to make a purchase. You’re also closer to suffering the consequences of providing a bad customer experience.
According to the same WebLinc survey, if consumers find what they’re searching for quickly and easily, they’re likely to buy 21% more on average. But there’s more to that.
An increase in basket size is usually not just because of eCommerce search software that works, but more broadly due to the frictionless, end-to-end search and shopping experience that it kicks off and sustains.
Optimizing the Shopping Experience With the Right eCommerce Search Software
There are many eCommerce site search solutions in the market today. Certain features have become must-haves to match customer expectations, such as auto-complete, smart filter suggestions, results preview, spelling correction, and more.
But none of these capabilities are going to bear fruit if relevance, accuracy, and context are out of the picture. This is where personalization comes in.
Addressing Individual Preferences
The best eCommerce site search engine is one that can deliver personalized experiences that ultimately drive customer loyalty. Based on a PwC survey, “70% of consumers say a brand’s understanding of their individual needs influences their loyalty.”
By using a solution that incorporates visual AI and natural language processing, brands and retailers can decode the intent and context of the search query. As a result, customers are presented with accurate and relevant results that reflect their uniqueness and individuality, regardless of whether or not they use “optimal” keywords.
Simplifying and personalizing the product search experience is a powerful and holistic move that bridges the gap between product search and purchase. Customers no longer have to deal with the frustrations of poor search results and blank results pages. Instead, brands can deliver data-driven, customer-focused experiences that continuously adapt to new consumer behaviors and expectations.
Differentiation among brands today lies in the value created and delivered to customers. An eCommerce site search software that deeply understands your shoppers offers just that.