We all know about search and SEO, less discussed is online search on your ecommerce site. The idea for any e-commerce platform is to make finding and buying products as simple and convenient as possible for consumers.
Often it can be quite difficult for online shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for due to the diverse amount of options that they’re presented with while browsing an e-commerce storefront.
And while the search bar has been a tool that many shoppers turn to in order to make locating a product simple, often times, it can actually complicate the shopping experience for potential buyers thanks to convoluted and obscure results. When the results of a search query are returned and the proper product(s) aren’t readily displayed, it could mean a lost sale, even if your website does indeed carry that product.
More attention needs to be given to not only making intuitive navigation essential but enhance it with sophisticated on site search technology.
Over the last couple of years some powerful and sophisticated onsite search tools have emerged that can increase sales. Some of these suppliers cite case studies of 300% + increase in conversions.
Here are five onsite search tools worth considering.
Solr is a popular open source enterprise search platform from Apache. It has been designed to work and integrate with Magento Enterprise.
Its major features are
- Full-text search
- Hit highlighting
- Faceted search
- Dynamic clustering
- Database integration,
- Rich document (e.g., Word, PDF) handling
- Geospatial search.
Solr is highly scalable and, used in many largest internet sites in the world.
SLI is an acronym meaning “Search, Learn and Improve”
SLI Systems is a New Zealand based technology company that has a global footprint.
It operates as a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) business model where users pay a monthly subscription to use our search software, which is remotely hosted on servers rather than being installed on client hardware
The technology is operating on more than 600 websites worldwide including a significant number operated by the top 1000 online retailers in the US.
Its suite of features include:
This is an advanced site search offering designed to learn from visitors’
site search activity and click-throughs to deliver the best possible relevant information, including non-product information such as user ratings, reviews, social network content, blogs and videos. Learning Search will deliver a satisfying user experience, helping websites to retain customers and increase sales.
This builds dynamic site navigation giving customers a powerful way
to display online product catalogues, and other content, enabling a consistent approach to site search and navigation. Learning Navigation utilizes visitors’ click behaviour to list products under relevant refinements in order of popularity increasing the likelihood that visitors will find what they’re looking for.
This uses visitors’ site search behaviour to create optimised landing pages
that are indexed and ranked by Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo! User generated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) enhances customers’ existing natural search optimisation efforts by automatically creating pages based on keywords site search visitors use. These pages rank in Google and the other search engines, helping drive more traffic to customers’ sites.
This provides detailed reports and analytics and rules-based
merchandising control, product ordering, and promotional banners – improving the conversion potential.
This leverages our advanced site search and navigation solutions, with adapted features for mobile devices so visitors can easily discover products and services from their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and other devices.
Celebros calls its advanced search tool “Concept Based Semantic Site Search”
Semantic-based searching from Celebros is one way to recoup and retain sales that could have been lost through traditional, textual searching. Instead of simply pairing keywords and displaying an entire gamut of results, Celebros semantic search works dynamically and intelligently, to produce results that are tailored to the needs of each customer.
- If a customer spells a word wrong in their search, Celebros corrects this word automatically to ensure that sales aren’t lost to a simple grammatical error.
- Celebros search recognizes and singles out variables within a search query to immediately refine results that encompass all variables, giving customers only the products that they want to see – this is due to the use of “Concept Based Semantic Site Search” that understands the true meaning behind the search, kind of like speaking to a salesperson in the store
- Magento users won’t have to worry about updating and cataloging keywords for their products because Celebros instinctively pulls results based on the features specified and not only based on the keywords included in product descriptions.
- Celebros does not breakdown a search query “string” into individual keywords to return separate results for each keyword rather Celebros understands the full search query and the meaning behind it and accordingly shows the “searcher” the most relevant results in lightning fast speed of 0.05 seconds or less per query
Some case studies have shown an average conversion rate improvement of 300 – 800% using the Celebros search software tool.
This company and its technology was acquired by Oracle in 2011 after being founded in 1999.
Its capabilities include
- Targeted customer experience
- Powerful Searchandising which includes Centralized Merchandising
- Targeted search results
- Targeted search results behavior
- Targeted promotions
- Targeted content (Spot lighting, etc.)
- Page builder (templates & cartridges)
- SEO adds icing to the cake
- Friendly URLs
- Sitemap Generator
Here are some of the ways Endeca can boost key retail metrics.
- SEO – 20-50% more visitors from Google & higher target keyword rankings
- Bounce rates – 10-50% more visitors stay once they arrive
- Conversion rates – 20-100% more browsers become customers
- Order value – 10-60% higher average order value
- Time to market – Weeks shaved off launching campaigns and site changes
- IT management costs – Lower hardware requirements & IT focus on more strategic projects
View more details about how how Endeca can help your online store.
Google Commerce Search is a search, discovery and merchandising solution for your ecommerce website. It leverages Google’s tremendous consumer insights and computing infrastructure to power the individualized rank and display of your products as well as facilitate all of your merchandising needs – providing a superior experience and increased conversion while reducing your required investment.
It’s features include:
- Search As You Type
- Product Recommendations
- Automatic spellcheck
- Stemming dictionary
- Advanced synonyms
- Video to embed
- Customized ranking
- Filtering capabilities
- Attribute boosting
This is maybe the best internal search engine solution in the market at the moment, but potentially more expensive.
How is your ecommerce store? Is it easy for your customers to find products on your ecommerce website. Could you do better?
What search tool are you using?
Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.
by Jeff Bullas
Image by Shutterstock