Deciding what product information to include in your site search results can be tricky. Should you take the approach of “the more the better” or look at this as “less is more?” The answer should ultimately be determined by your customers and a determination of what will produce the best results for your business.
From the customer perspective, you need to find out what information they most want to see when conducting a search. Are your customers using search as a way to browse your catalog of products? Or, are they looking for the best deals, or simply trying to find an exact match to an item that they have the part number for? The answer could influence your decision to display larger product images, original and discounted pricing, or part numbers.
From a business perspective, you’ll want to include enough product information to keep your customers engaged and feeling confident they will find what they are looking for. But, you also want to move them towards making a purchase decision. If your customers typically purchase when items are on sale, calling attention to discounted items would likely increase your conversion rate.
One of the best ways to begin working through the process of deciding what product information to include in your site search results is to start with a complete list of the types of information that you could include. To help you get started, I have compiled the following list of a variety of product information that other retailers have included along with some examples of how that information is displayed.
Product Name – The product name is something you will most always find in site search results. It will typically appear below the product image however some retailers have placed it above the image.
Product Image – The product image is always included in the search results but the size of the image can vary greatly from one retailer to the next as you can see below.
Product Description – A full or partial product description is not shown by many retailers especially when results are displayed in a grid view. However, when products are displayed in a list view, a product description is more often included.
Product SKU or Part # – A specific part number or item code is not used very often but can be important for those who sell parts or whose products are also sold through print catalogs.
Price – The price of the product is almost always included. When an item is on sale, many retailers will also include the original price with the discounted price. Some will also include the amount of any savings either in a dollar amount or percentage.
Stock Status – Some retailers will indicate if the product is in stock while others will only show the stock status when the item is out of stock. Another option that can help create some urgency to purchase is showing the actual quantity of items in stock.
Star Ratings – Including a graphic representation of the average number of stars a product has received by customers is a relatively common element to include in the site search results. Some retailers who include this will also add star ratings to a search refinement or sort criteria.
Facebook Likes and Pinterest Pin It – Some retailers have begun to include the Facebook Like button or Pinterest Pin It buttons to enable customers to share more easily. This will usually also include an indication of the number of times the item has been liked or pinned. In the case of likes, this number can then be used as a criteria to sort by.
Promotional Flags – To call more attention to items that are new or on sale, some retailers will display a special graphic overlay on the product image.