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rooney_reeves   , 33

from Arlington

How to Make Search More User Centered, Customizable, And Interactive!

With the rising global ecommerce behemoths, the on-site search has become the de facto method for customers to find what they want to buy. Two famous online giants Amazon and eBay offer a category-based navigation system to find what we want on these sites is via search. Now have you ever noticed when you type the word “Harry Potter” on Amazon, how does Apple comes to know how to recommend the results below. 


Well, the answer is pretty simple. These successful companies have already realized the fact that how important search is to engage their users and drive sales. Due to which they on the continuous basis invest in search technology to optimize both their user experience and promote their products at the same time. But the question is how? How can you improve your site’s search can do much more than return results? Let’s find out how?

Search performance is measured

Much like other development or enhancement on an eCommerce site, analytics should be at the core of every decision. Being an owner it is very important for you to know how your store is in terms of performance and any changes made won’t be based on assumptions. With Google Analytics, you can have a good start in terms of data sources. This will ultimately make you understand how your customers are currently using search on site.

Utilize natural language processing

Presently, Natural language processing (NLP) is making a big impression in the eCommerce development sector. Being much more intelligent and intuitive approach to search, NLP actually helps in understanding what is that we are asking when looking for a site. Executed well, an Natural language processing (NLP)-driven search engine should easily beat a standard search, in terms of relevant results.

In addition to this, it improves customer satisfaction, as well as better overall delivery of relevant results.

Merchandise your results

Ecommerce stores these days happen to do little in terms of merchandising their search results. Of course, results can appear in random, electric jumble, spanning multiple product categories, with no real sense of cohesion or relevance. By checking search term reports to identify key searches, owners can perform search all by themselves to see if the actual results match what they expect to be shown for those terms. In fact, you can even try redirecting to certain specific search phrases rather than showing the actual search results.

Promote the search box

Online retailers often fail to see the value of investing in site search while allocating trading budget to page template changes or merchandising software. Designing a poor looking search bar can definitely lower search usage dramatically. So what can be done is try making search bar or search button larger/ prominent to drive more usage and encourage users to search adequately. Think of Amazon or eBay, their search bars take center stage at the top of the screen, as soon as they understand the need for it and what value it can provide to end customers.

Now any site element causing a customer to think too much or become confused or frustrated needs to be addressed. So what can be done is instead of seeing the search function, designing a page layout in such a way that it fits around a prominent looking search function, actively encouraging shoppers to use it as the preferred form of navigation.

Another poorly handled element is the ‘No Result page’. If a search query returns to no results it becomes very important for you not to abandon customer with the term no results suggesting that he or she has made a mistake. Think of something else, add product recommendations and category links to 0 result pages.

Allow users to refine search results

Have you ever come across the term layered navigation? It adds great value to on-site search, by simply allowing customers to filter search results further. With Screwfix, you can filter search results by brand, color, price, star rating and more. Such navigation can improve the user experience on the significant basis, this works best for product catalogs containing a very large number of SKUs, or catalogs with a large quantity of product variants, such as color and size.

On and all, boosting site search should be an ongoing and incremental task. After all, the rewards gained will be pretty impressive.