Today’s buyers expect a faster online shopping experience, from page load speed to delivery. One of the essential components of that journey is on-site search. With the likes of Google and Amazon, users have become accustomed to sophisticated searches that not only predict their search but can offer the latest trends, alternatives and much more - all which help to keep users on their site and likely to convert.
A recent report by Forrester showed that 43% of website visitors go immediately to internal search bars when they first enter a site. And WebLinc reported that on-site searchers are 216% more likely to convert.
It’s clear that having a generic search facility on your site is no longer enough to please the modern day buyer. On-site search can facilitate much more with the important outcome being loyal returning customers, higher conversion rates and increased revenue. This can all be achieved with a flexible Search-as-a-Service platform that delivers on advanced search tools.
When highlighting key business opportunities to increase customer spend and margins, we often find that on-site search has been overlooked and not seen as an essential part of a great user experience. In this blog post, we’ll breakdown the benefits of investing in a Search-as-a-Service platform and why it should form part of your eCommerce strategy.
In a nutshell, Search-as-a-Service is a type of site search that uses a Software-as-a-Service (also known as SaaS) model. It’s a cloud based service that is fully hosted and managed so you can concentrate on where it really matters. An example of a Search-as-a-Service provider is Algolia. Algolia is a leading AI-powered search and discovery platform that provides customers with an intuitive shopping experience. Its pay-as-you-go pricing means that you only pay for the searches made. Its other benefits include analytics to understand how your customers are searching, flawless search UI, customisation, personalisation, multi-channel uses and as a cloud based model regular updates are made instantly to keep your site search innovative.
On-site search immediately connects the user to their needs with limited clicks or effort needed. From a business perspective it can help increase conversions and improve overall customer retention. But beyond this, on-site search is a sophisticated tool that can predict and match buyer intent and serve products or services that users didn’t even know they needed. Top business benefits include:
Users want to find their desired product/service in as little clicks and time as possible. A great on-site search can facilitate this through:
By utilising some or all of the above, users are less likely to visit a competitor and more likely to add multiple products into their basket.
As well as the listed business and customer benefits, your on-site search is only as good as its placement. Where you place the search bar is crucial, it’s important that your users can easily find it. If it’s not clear, you may already start to lose the 43% who instinctively head to the search bar as soon as they enter a site.
Be consistent with your placement. The site search box or icon should feature in the same place on every page.
Take into consideration the different user experiences on desktop and mobile and how on-site search will also need to be strategically placed to meet the needs of those different browsers.
Alongside the search box placement, setting up on-site search to work for your business needs is a must. By reviewing search data and creating user personas, you’re able to deliver an accurate understanding of how your customers navigate your site. This will enable you to clearly understand what your customers are looking for, how they interact with your site, missed sales opportunities and much more.
We wrote a whole page on how best to optimise your site search, take a look here>
Industry-leading B2B technical solutions provider, Jigsaw24 have paved their way to success by removing traditional B2B barriers. Their eCommerce store offers B2C features that enable their customers to shop with ease. With their customer-first strategy, Jigsaw24 invested in features that would boost engagement throughout the site and increase their online sales. A particular stand out feature is their on-site search. Powered by Algolia, their ultra-sophisticated search predicts a user's intent, serving categorised products, services and resource options. An exceptional interface of the search is the product imagery, allowing a user to make an informed decision on a product in an instant. There is no doubt that this on-site feature has contributed to their recent ‘Best B2B eCommerce site’ award wins.
Bathstore’s award winning eCommerce store makes it easy for their customers to find desired bathroom accessories in one click. Their Algolia powered search uses visual design to showcase searched products. Not only can a user see their exact search but they can also see further relevant products that will be of interest to them. The user can easily make a buying decision based on product imagery or price - without having to leave the search bar. This on-site feature helps to boost customers' average basket size and increases awareness of their higher-end products.
A sophisticated on-site search reduces friction in the search experience by delivering a fast, uniformed and calculated way of presenting relevant products/services to your customers. Using a cloud based platform offers valuable tools that opens doors to increased user spend, reduced bounce rates and increased online revenue.
So, with the above in mind, how do you feel your site search is performing for you? Get in touch with our team of eCommerce experts to see how upgrading your on-site search can boost your online revenue.