Searchandising, also called search merchandising, is the process of customizing and organizing search results in a way that fits a set of criteria or rules. The goal is to drive conversions and sales for eCommerce brands. Combining the concepts of on-site search and product merchandising, it ensures that results are relevant so that shoppers see products that they want to engage with and buy.
With searchandising, established search functionalities such as the search bar, navigation, and faceted search, are blended with innovative technologies including visual artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and behavioral data to deliver seamless, custom-fit product search and discovery experiences.
Why Is Searchandising Important to eCommerce Brands?
Site search is one of the main features that many shoppers use to find what they’re looking for on your site. In fact, search users are likely high-intent buyers, converting 5-6x higher than casual browsers. That makes it extremely important to show relevant and accurate product search results.
In recent years, customers have come to expect brands and retailers to connect them with items that reflect their unique tastes and desires, regardless of how they choose to explore your site. When you don’t have control over the products that surface when shoppers are using your site’s search, website navigation, or filters, how can you create personalized shopping experiences that truly resonate with them?
Searchandising enables you to take ownership over search. You can fine-tune merchandising rules according to your specified goals, run A/B testing experiments on the changes you make, and monitor and evaluate results to determine which initiatives to implement and scale. With searchandising, you can promote products that are not only relevant to shoppers, but also strategic for reaching your eCommerce goals.
How Does Searchandising Work?
Searchandising works by combining business-specific rules with the basic relevance rules of your site’s search engine. This allows you to customize and prioritize search results for each term according to your desired outcomes. Moreover, you can also enrich searchandising with search data and consumer browsing behavior to further refine the products that you deliver.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing it, technologies that enable advanced searchandising techniques generally include visual AI to augment your product metadata and NLP to understands shoppers’ queries and intent. The AI-enriched product tagging together with a robust search engine can simplify navigation and create product discovery and search experiences that convert.
Advantages of a Searchandising Strategy
Searchandising is a powerful tool that can impact the overall performance of your site. Here are some ways you can take advantage of it:
- Increase revenue from search rules and recommendations – The main benefit of searchandising is dynamically adjusting the results that you show shoppers based on the custom rules that you set. You can promote or bury certain items according to promotions, seasons, materials, sales goals, and more.
- Run display campaigns on search results – In addition to automatically organizing search results, you can also promote products and content as dynamic ads and banners on the same page or throughout the website. This way, you can keep users engaged with related offers that provide value to them no matter where they are on your site.
- Better product descriptions – The technology that powers searchandising can also enable you to automatically craft product descriptions to maximize efficiency and make search smoother across languages.
- Track data and improve performance – Searchandising allows you to have an in-depth understanding of how shoppers interact with your products, from the items that brought in the most queries to those that generated the most conversions. With this data, you can adjust not only the search relevance and product offerings you have on your site, but also better manage inventory and supply chain processes.