Search is becoming increasingly important within e-commerce. Your visitors are not only looking for products; they also use the search engine to discover content on your site. This might be product related but could also be content such as blogs. Here are some reasons why site search is important for e-commerce.
- First, it shortens the path to what your customer is looking for. Using the menu and/or navigation simply takes longer. So, customers prefer a search query instead of using the navigation or menu.
- Secondly, it appears from research that customers who come to the product page via the search bar convert better (2.4 x better conversion).
- Thirdly, some visitors use your site to browse and discover. A search engine makes discovery easier.
- Fourthly, search query data can help you make your products more findable, not only on your site but also in Google. Suppose you have a web shop for sanitary ware. For a certain category, say fittings, it appears that these fittings are mostly found when customers type in connector instead of fitting. This teaches you to use the word connector as opposed to fitting, in order increase findability.
Most website search engines are basic. You type in a keyword, say “car”, and press enter, and search results appear that literally contain the word “car” or words that are also linked to the specific product by an (marketing) employee. But people do not follow the rules that your marketer has come up with. They make typing mistakes, mean x but say y and may have other latent needs.
That is why a high-quality search engine is increasingly important. A high-quality search experience can deliver a conversion that is 3.4x higher than a basic site search engine.
The characteristics of a high-quality search are
- Easy to find, fast results
- Relevant and organised results
- Easy to optimise
Delightful Site Search
One of the opportunities to increase customer experience (CX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is AI/Natural Language Processing based Site Search. This goes a step beyond what the majority of vendors offers and is now affordable for nearly every web shop. This is one of the elements of Delightful Site Search. In a series of four posts, we will discuss what delightful site search means for you and your customers.
- AI/NLP based query help
- AI/ML based product recommendations with the highest likeliness of converting
- Ranking of search results based on AI or on your configuration
- Visual image search: your customer uploads or drags a picture of a product he is looking for and the search engine parses the brand, type, and other attributes and provides results based on that
AI/NLP based query help
Search engines are still basic in most cases. With a basic search engine, getting to what you need is hard, unless you enter the exact word and do not make a typing error. Moreover, search results are often only displayed after you have clicked on enter. If the search result is then not good, you can start all over again. Because what you mean exactly may not be clear. Your customers often do not know the exact name of the product, make a typo or type in a synonym that you do not know. The result is a poor search experience.
Big data and AI can help you with this. By reading and interpreting all search data, purchase data, browsing data and product data, using AI techniques such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), the search engine analyses the query, no matter how complex, and makes suggestions based on that analysis as to what the customer means, while he’s typing. Your customer then gets a customized search result, based on his (browsing, purchase, search) behavior and your product data. Whether he enters part of an article or product code, makes a typo or enters a synonym, the search engine will make the most likely suggestions. Such a search engine will deliver a delightful experience, it brings the customer to the right product pages, faster. This delightful experience leads to more conversion.
This delightful search AI/NLP based query help goes beyond what most vendors offer and has the following features:
- Autocomplete: based on user typing and most commonly occurring product searches
- Typo tolerance: deliver search results regardless of errors from user typing.
- Search in between: will display those results including words in between as well e.g., NASA in “space agencies like NASA are building the next great” when NASA is searched
- Rules-based if required: display rules-based results based on business inputs
- Query suggestions: e.g., Search for “Amsterdam” shows AI based options: Amsterdam Shops, Amsterdam Theaters
- Filters and facets (dynamic faceting): filters dynamically change for every search query
- Filters: By category, price, size, color, etc.
- Facets are filters too, but pertain exclusively to the results from a search query: (Audi, BMW, Ford, Taurus, X1)
- Language compatibility for 106 different languages
- Synonyms: Did you mean product x? By building library of synonyms through user input as well as learning and history data/experience from the past
- Content search & display: apart from displaying products, also displays blogs, how-to guides etc.
CartUp AI will make you future proof, and improve your e-commerce KPI’s, using big data and AI cutting-edge technologies. It’s affordable for most e-commerce retailers and easy to implement. It will definitely save time for your IT staff and marketeers
query help functionalities