5 Tips for Building a More Relevant Site Search Experience
Site search for retailers used to be just about products — i.e., making sure that when your customers come to your website and type in a product name, they see an appropriate list of items. Today's site search landscape is much more complex. Social media, video and learning-based content all need to be woven into search, along with brick-and-mortar inventory and product availability. In addition, it all needs to take into account the special search requirements of mobile users.
While achieving an amazing site search experience requires careful attention, it's extremely valuable for driving more conversions and higher order values on your site. As we've outlined in the latest edition of SLI Systems’ Big Book of Site Search Tips, there are many ways to create a richer, more relevant search experience. Here are five tips for making your site search as robust as possible:
1. Create "floating refinements" paired with infinite scrolling. Infinite scrolling has become commonplace on many websites. Content such as more search results will appear automatically as users scroll to the end of the page, eliminating the need to click on "next page" links. If you're using infinite scrolling for search results, consider adding refinements that float (i.e., remain persistent) as users scroll through results. This feature helps shoppers remember that they can refine search results when needed, which means they can find the right products in less time.
2. Learn from searches with no results. Sure, you should you keep a close eye on which products are most commonly searched and which keywords yield the best conversion rates, but you should also monitor the other end of the search scale: searches that don't yield any results. The keywords used in "no results" searches can tell you if your customers want products that you don't stock or if they're using brand names or slang terms that may relate to products that you do offer. You don't want to miss out on an opportunity to link keywords to products, thereby turning a "no results" search into one that's productive and ends up in a purchase.