Welcome to the second installment of our Holiday Survival Guide. Previously we discussed shipping challenges that eCommerce store owners may face this season due to unprecedented package demand coupled with the lingering impacts of COVID-19.
Today we’re going to discuss an often-overlooked element of the shopping experience – site search. Believe it or not, many store owners do not take into consideration the importance of having a powerful search engine for their store. After all, if your customers can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re going somewhere else!
Simply put, having a good site search on your eCommerce store is key to helping customers find just what they’re looking for and ordering it.
Most of the time shoppers don’t even use your site’s navigation to begin their shopping journey. They immediately find the search box and go to work. To see how effective your store’s search really is, take off your store owner hat and place yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment. Do some of these searches on your site and see what comes up:
- Search for an item that has a common name but isn’t part of the brand name or item name;
- Search for an item that is known not only by its brand name but what it’s used for;
- Search for an item but misspell it;
- Search for an item that you don’t sell but have a recommended replacement for.
Now analyze your results. How accurate was your store’s search? Did it give you the results you expected, or were you pretty disappointed with what it returned?
Chances are if you’re using the shopping cart’s out-of-the-box search engine your search results weren’t all that great. Consider upgrading your store’s search engine to a more advanced one that offers features to help drive sales such as synonyms, misspelled word redirects, instant search, and more.
Common third-party search applications include Nextopia, SearchSpring, and our own Search Magic which is available for BigCommerce, Shopify, and Yahoo! Store. These site search apps replace the out-of-the-box search that comes standard with eCommerce platforms and gives your shoppers a more accurate, robust search experience.
Yes, these come with an additional cost. However, they are designed to make you money! Our Search Magic application actually tells you just how much money it’s made for you simply by logging into its dashboard.
Using analytics, we are able to determine the number of sales that have been derived directly from clients using your site search to find products, add them to their cart, and checkout. When you compare the monthly price to the amount of sales Search Magic has generated, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t switch to a third-party search app sooner.
Additionally, unlike the platform’s standard search, third-party apps like Search Magic allow you to customize the search experience by directing shoppers to specific pages/items based on a query, display items or specific brands higher up in the search results, and have the ability for search results URLs to be bookmarked and shared, and so much more.
As we move into the 4th quarter of 2021, you’re going to want to start looking at a third-party search app for your store. For more information on Search Magic, including pricing and a free trial for BigCommerce and Shopify store owners, click here.
Next time we’re going to discuss customer service and why this year it’s going to be more important than ever to have real people delivering quality service.
Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at email@example.com.