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Yuliia Honcharova
Senior SEO Manager at Gepard
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search trends website search website UX

eCommerce Website Search Trends: Optimize Site UX With PIM Tool

9 min read
June 14, 2022

eCommerce website search is an integral part of a smooth user experience. The more accurate the results of a search the higher chances your online shop has of securing a sale. Just like all the other elements in the rapidly developing online shopping industry, eCommerce site search solutions are constantly improving in what they can do.

What Is eCommerce Website Search?

In layman’s terms, a search engine solution is very much like a “small scale local Google” that is integrated into an online shop. It acts as a guide for your visitors and navigates them to the products that they are looking for. However, a search bar can perform a lot more functions than a simple information lookup.

Why Site Search Is The Key To Acquire And Retain Customers?

When visiting an eCommerce site, according to statistics, 43% of online shoppers go straight to a search bar and look for a certain item. This means that almost half of visitors want to buy something or at least are interested in a product. Additionally, people that search for a product are more likely to actually purchase it by 2.4 times. So precisely for these reasons, it’s important that your online shop meets the latest Internet search trends and is as advanced as possible in terms of the information that it is showing and the technology it uses to do that.

A poor site search doesn’t only cause a bad UX (user experience) but actually is a reason for low conversion. But it goes beyond that, a customer who was not able to find something might potentially reach out to your support or sales team asking for assistance and that just adds a layer of work that could have easily been prevented.

With all of this in mind, it’s only logical to conclude that neglecting the effort needed to develop a good search system is a big no. When your team is at a “drawing board” stage, it’s important to consider the four main factors that contribute to a good site search UX.

  • Speed

Either for the good or the bad, technology and quick access to any information have transformed people into being more impatient than ever. This means that customers want not just a good result when looking for a particular product but they want it quickly. The loading speed of a webpage is important and most online shops spend a lot of resources on this but the speed that your search engine browses through the data stored on a server and draws out results is just as important.

  • Relevance

Speed is critical but the quick results displayed are worth nothing if they are not relevant. Shoppers will simply leave the result page in a matter of seconds and shop elsewhere.

  • Custom Responsiveness

The user interface is important in all elements of web development. Today there is no one singular device that people use and most of the online shopping is mCommerce. Everyone has a different smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. and your website along with the search bar should be responsive to all of them.

  • Ease of Use

Not all users are equal. Some are more tech-savvy and some are less, to a point where they don’t understand how eCommerce search works. That is why your search engine should be easy to use both for the consumer and business owners. Online shop owners need to be able to easily optimize the search bar functionality according to new product criteria, consumer demand, and so on.

What Makes A Good Website Search UX?

9 eCommerce Website Search Trends

Today a significantly big part of online consumers are Millennials and Gen Z and this means practically all of them grew up with the concept of online shopping or using the Internet at the very least. This drives companies to constantly strive to offer a better experience and today’s consumers want it just as much as the product they are buying. Combine this fact with the eCommerce boom of the past two years, and you have a drastically changed consumer online behavior and the eCommerce landscape altogether.

But for any business challenge, there is always an innovative solution that often can be found by observing the market trends.

1. Customers Search From Multiple Platforms

With the web development technology, the Internet in general, and the devices used to browse it being so dynamic, there is no singular online shopping experience. People search for products across different platforms and devices all leading to your eCommerce site. This means that the search tool needs to be optimized for all of the devices and platforms to a point where users don’t have to think twice about how to find or use it.

2. Fewer Complex Search Functions

When observing each trend search tools from different websites one thing is evident, users like simplicity. Whether it is autocomplete supported by AI, suggestions based on top searches in user’s location, etc. all of them are making manual advanced search a thing of the past. Of course, they are still present and will be around for a long time but the general user demand is for less complexity.

This is why more and more online stores use product view ranking rules, and relevance recommendations based on collected browser data and aim to offer a seamless shopping experience. However, the best way to go about this is to have a hybrid model where filters are still present so that users can manually refine the results according to their needs.

3. Site Search Will Feel Less Like Search And More Intuitive

Just a few years ago an intuitive search bar that suggests products based on previously viewed pages and other collected information was considered an innovative function. Today it’s barely noticeable as people became more accustomed to this feature. Any website that doesn’t have this is not staying up with the standard and is not converting a portion of visitors to buyers. However, for this intuitive feature to be effective, it’s not just product suggestions capabilities alone, it’s also a good UX and UI design.

4. Voice Search Will Become Even More Relevant

The future of search tools highly relies on voice recognition technology, which has a market value of nearly $11 billion and is only growing. A big contributing factor behind this rapid growth is voice-enabled shopping. The time efficiency element of looking something up by simply saying it rather than typing it is not the only benefit. Big tech corporations are also making large investments in this technology as it also helps with machine learning development.

5. Visual Search As A New Trend

The line between the real world and virtual world is becoming thinner and visual search is part of the reason why this is happening. Text information is useful but there is nothing that beats a great picture. Now imagine seeing someone wearing a pair of shoes that you liked, all you have to do is take a quick picture of them with Google Lens and countless offers from different online stores will show up. Another eCommerce search example is right-clicking a picture of a product that you are interested in and selecting “Search Google for image”. This is another reason why having product images that meet the best practices is important, as they are more likely to rank higher and appear in the results.

6. Personalized Search Results For Each Customer

As already mentioned, personalization is a major force behind revenue growth for eCommerce businesses and is a key to offering a powerful shopping experience for customers. One of the main reasons behind the success of this technology is the high return on investment rate. Recent research by a platform specializing in personalization found that eCommerce sites that use display PSRs have an ROI of $20 for every $1 spent.

Read more about personalization in eCommerce:

What Is eCommerce Personalization?
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eCommerce eCommerce Strategy eCommerce trends personalization

7. Standardization Of The Search Bar

Over the years different companies introduced new features in their search engines, Amazon introduced the “drop-down” category selection next to the search bar, Google Shopping incorporated typo tolerance and still displayed relevant results, and so on. All of this led to a certain standard of the search bar. When shopping online, no matter the marketplace or store, subconsciously users expect to see all of those features in a search tool.

8. Site Search Will Support Users Through Chatbots And Conversational Widgets

So we established that the technology used for eCommerce website search should be as sophisticated and advanced as possible. But what if that’s not enough and a shopper doesn’t see the relevant result? An AI-powered chatbot or a chat widget is the solution. Besides acting as a personal assistant that is available 24/7, chatbots can turn a potentially bad experience into a good one by directing the shopper to the right product.

9. Site Search Providers Will Offer More Elaborate Ready-Made Tools

Something like developing and implementing a good search tool on a website might seem trivial but in reality, takes a massive effort. This is precisely why many online store owners seek help from third-party companies that can analyze web trends on demand, optimize the results and tweak certain back-end and front-end components. But above all, more frequently they started offering ready-made tools that can easily be interrogated into the already existing search bar. These can be simpler features such as price, color, size, etc. filters and more complex ones such as analytics dashboard, or even “back in stock” notifications for users.

What Are Website Search Trends?

How To Optimize Your Website Search With PIM?

Any good search experience is as good as the product information that appears in the online store. The more organized and clear the information is the better the search experience a customer will have and using a PIM solution will help you achieve that.

Today there is no stronger method of structuring, syndicating, and managing product information than a powerful PIM solution. A catalog that is organized with the help of PIM software makes it easy for an intuitive eCommerce search to steer customers in the relevant direction during their shopping journey.

With logically built product taxonomy, which a PIM tool simplifies to support, it is possible for search engines to read the hierarchy of categories and subcategories. Furthermore, this gives improved eCommerce search results and makes product content enrichment a lot simpler.

Read more about the benefits of data enrichment:

What Is Data Enrichment In eCommerce?
8 min read
Yuliia Honcharova
Product Information Management

What Is Data Enrichment In eCommerce And How Can You Benefit From It?

What is data enrichment and why does your eCommerce need it? Find out the key benefits of product data enrichment and how you can put it to practice.

data enrichment product content product data

Additionally, for search engines to show relevant results a high product data quality is required. A PIM solution that assists with the process of data governance subsequently raises the quality to that needed level.

When managing information via a PIM, the data storage method is centralized. This means that any tags, keywords, phrases, etc. are all located in one place. Besides being convenient for internal catalog handling, this makes PIM an ideal tool that assists search engines to show complete results and product recommendations.

eCommerce Search FAQ

How Do I Increase Search Results On eCommerce Websites?

There are a few methods that help online shop owners optimize the results. Some are technical, some are user behavior-related. For example, there should always be an algorithm in your site’s code that sorts the most relevant and popular items first. There should never be alphabetical sorting since it serves no helpful purpose, users are looking for specific items and don’t tend to pay attention to the way they are spelled.

Another user behavior is that people like to “scroll through”, social media apps are a good example of implementing this in their UX. By implementing infinite scrolling you are forcing shoppers to go over all of your catalogs and increase the chances of them buying more items.

Website Search Scroll Through

What Is The Best Search Engine For eCommerce?

There is no one optimal solution for this as every online retailer has its own needs, product specifics, and business models. However from a technical point of view, if for example, your online shop operates on Magento, it’s best to go with a search engine that is native to it or any other system that is being used.

How To Get The Best ROI From Site Search?

Employing different analytical tools is always helpful to see how users act and to draw certain conclusions. For example, you can notice that a certain percentage of users searching for an “x” word leads to a high rate of abandoned sessions. This means that there must be some correlation with the results they are seeing and adjustments need to be made.

Another way of getting the best ROI is displaying products with a higher value first unless selected otherwise by a shopper. It also doesn’t have to be necessarily the price tag but can be products that you are eager to remove from your stock. Additionally, running follow-up campaigns based on user searches that didn’t lead to purchases can also increase your ROI.

How Does Gepard PIM Help With The Search Experience?

Having the right team on board that helps you scale your online shop is one of the most important parts of any business. However, providing them with the right tools to do that is as equally crucial, if not more. This is exactly where a PIM system comes in as a key factor for your employees to effectively manage data, and product experience and improve the search experience that leads to profit.

Gepard PIM is the type of solution that in fact not only helps you manage product data but also helps brands and manufacturers alike sell globally. Not to mention that it takes significantly less time to get your catalog on the market a lot faster than it would without a PIM tool.

Contact us today to get a free demo and learn more about the way we can help your business with eCommerce site search improvement.

How Product Data Improves Website UX

 

Yuliia Honcharova
Written by Yuliia Honcharova
Senior SEO Manager at Gepard
17+ years in Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM. Driving the strategy, planning, and execution of the company's search marketing initiatives to achieve its international business objectives. Created and implemented Digital marketing and SEO strategies for businesses in varied domains including eCommerce.

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