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In: Ecommerce

4 Mistakes to Avoid when Creating E-commerce Search Tools

by Amber Rogers - Oct 19, 2015
building ecommerce search tools
Image Source: Dollar Photo Club

Products and services are the most important components on your e-commerce site. They’re the reason you make profit. But have you considered the advanced skills from your website’s search engine and its role in making sales? An advanced and effective search engine can lead to better sales, increased conversion rates, customer loyalty, and brand awareness (Beacon Technologies). Here are four big mistakes to avoid when creating a search tool on your e-commerce site.

 

1) Don’t Make Users Search for the Search


 

A visible search engine goes a long way for the user who knows why he or she is visiting your site. According to Interconnected World: “44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.” Think of the search engine as the helpful sales associate who works at a retail store. At some point, the customer is going to stop ‘browsing’ and turn to the sales associate when he or she has a question about a certain product. If the helpful sales associate cannot be found, then the storeowner is going to lose prospective customers.

 

“44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.”

 

Doing It Right

Best Buy is a perfect example of a website that has a visible search engine. The search bar is at the top and positioned in the center of the menu bar, which makes it visible to the user when he or she needs to use it.

 
best-buy-search-tool
 

2) Don’t Leave Users Hanging - Consider Autocomplete


 

Autocomplete helps your user know how to search your site. It’s especially helpful for the user who isn’t sure of the exact product he or she needs. For example, if a user types in ‘lawn mower’ but is unaware of which type of lawn mower he or she wants, then this may lead to a results page that is absent of products. According to experts at Baymard Institute, more than half of the e-commerce sites today expect the exact name of the product to be searched.

 

“70% of search tools require users to search by the exact jargon for the product type that the website uses.”

 

To make for a better online shopping experience, the search engine must be designed in a way that is logical and efficient. This means helping users know what to search for before they even have to think about it.

 

Doing It Right

Take a look at how Wayfair utilizes its autocomplete. Relevant products pop up in the search bar before the user is able to complete his or her search query. This makes the user’s search less complicated.

 
wayfair-search-tools
 

3) Don’t Eat Users' Breadcrumb Trail


 

A breadcrumb trail is a navigation aid that is used in interfaces. The breadcrumbs allow the user to search through a range of products without losing track of how he or she navigated to a specific page. By allowing users to be in control of their quest for relevant products, conversion rates are guaranteed to increase.

 

Doing It Right

Notice how the search results condense to kitchen related appliances? This breadcrumb trail poses as a secondary aid of navigation, which ensures the user to stay on top of their search.

 
amazon-search-tools
 

4) Don’t Forget About Analytics


 

The most important step any e-commerce business can take to increase return of investment is to track and analyze what its users are doing. Analytics allow business owners to view conversions, products, transactions, and how long it takes for users to make purchases.

 

When a business knows which products users are searching for, it can push those products to the homepage to make them visible to those who want the products the most. It can also look at the revenue, identify what influences customers, and see which special offers customers are most interested in. By analyzing all this data, sales are guaranteed to increase. In all, good analytics help e-commerce businesses to understand its users better.

 

Doing It Right

At ATAK Interactive, we've set up a system of reporting that allows us to regularly review our users' behavior and make informed decisions based on this data. By analyzing our users patterns, we're able to correct issues with our site, improve our users ability to take action on our site, and overall better cater our site to their needs and wants.

 
analytics
 

Ready to work with a company that can help take your e-commerce site to the next level? Give us a call.

Amber Rogers
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