Archive for the ‘Site Search’ Category

The Next Innovation in E-commerce: Enhanced Rich Auto Complete

Monday, October 5th, 2015

racThe world of e-commerce is constantly evolving. When site search was first introduced, the functionality was clumsy at best and completely frustrating at worst. Shoppers typed their entire search query before seeing if the site had what they were looking for. This involved a lot of guesswork and often led to no results or irrelevant results – even when the site had the product shoppers wanted.

In 2008, SLI Systems launched Auto Complete. As soon as users started typing their search query, a search box dropdown instantly displayed search suggestions. In 2011, we were the first site search provider to add images and product suggestions to this experience, which gave birth to SLI Rich Auto CompleteTM and allowed shoppers to find relevant products faster. Each improvement to our Auto Complete experience has increased conversions and customer engagement.

The E-commerce Evolution Continues

Today, we are excited to announce industry-leading enhancements to Rich Auto CompleteTM. Our new Rich Auto Complete experience has been designed from the ground up to speed the path to purchase and engage shoppers on any size device.

After considering a number of usability factors, best practices and client requests, we redesigned the entire experience to increase e-commerce sales, enhance product discovery and reduce the risk of returning “no results.”

RAC Blog ShotGreat for Shoppers

Our latest version of Rich Auto Complete provides better guidance to shoppers as soon as they engage with the search box. We added the ability to show search suggestions based on category, brand or department, which lets shoppers jump to the right section of results. For example, a search for jeans at a large department store might show options for jeans in Women, jeans in Men and jeans in Kids.

Our new dynamic content feature allows users to preview products of interest right within the Auto Complete box. We do this by updating products displayed when users hover over search suggestions, which gives them more choices and increases engagement.

In addition, the new Rich Auto Complete helps you capture more sales from your small-screen shoppers. We’ve created dedicated mobile and tablet designs that automatically display options correctly regardless of device size and orientation. As a result, shoppers can type less and buy more.

mobile_racPowerful for Retailers

Rich Auto Complete uses patented SLI Learning Search® technology to continuously re-rank product suggestions based on user activity. This allows you to showcase the most relevant products to your shoppers, and you can tune the results to control the order in which products appear.

SLI Systems has always customized the look and feel of our solutions to match your e-commerce site. Our new Rich Auto Complete now includes a variety of design options so that you can choose an experience that fits your brand and delights your shoppers.

Our SaaS platform allows your site to evolve alongside our e-commerce solutions. Existing Rich Auto Complete customers will enjoy these new features at no additional cost. New customers can look forward to combining the power of Learning Search® with industry-leading Rich Auto Complete to create a premium search experience

Learn more about accelerating your e-commerce by reading our Rich Auto Complete product brief.

For a Successful B2B Site, Take Advice from B2C

Monday, August 31st, 2015


The business-to-business industry is rarely considered glamorous. But don’t let its reputation fool you. Think of the almost-invisible wallflower who shows up to prom transformed and looking like a knockout. That’s B2B, and based on the numbers, it should stand for Big and Beautiful.

With more B2B buyers expecting to find what they need online, a growing number of B2B companies are embracing e-commerce. According to a survey by TradeGecko Pte. Ltd., 41% of wholesalers said e-commerce would be their top sales channel in 2015, up from 31% in 2014. In addition, 24% said they will sell online for the first time in 2015 (TradeGecko).

B2B Shoppers Have Higher Expectations

Shoppers have come to expect a customer-centric online experience, and B2B sites would be wise to step up their game. The addition of Amazon Business to the e-commerce scene only increases the pressure to act more like B2C. Why should shopping for work be any less efficient (and fun) than shopping for yourself? B2B buyers want a seamless online experience – even though the B2B path to purchase is usually more cumbersome.

The B2B buying process often requires in-depth research, approval from multiple stakeholders and possibly price negotiation. This combination of complexity and great expectations means your site has more chances to hit (or miss) the mark.

Here are a few ways you can do this:

Showcase Your Expertise

Nothing against your sales team, but your corporate web site is the first choice among executives for learning about business products and services, according to the 2015

Sullivan survey “Executive Buying Behavior.” Make sure potential buyers can easily find the information they desire, whether it’s demo videos, case studies, consumer guides or blogs. A superior site search experience will deliver product results and non-product content, so your visitors find everything they are looking for and more.

Go Anywhere, Be Everywhere

Work-life balance often means blurring the lines between both – and getting tasks done when you can. Research is no longer constrained to the dual-screen desktop at the office. Your customers might be traveling for business or couch surfing from the comfort of their home. Either way, go with them via their smartphone or tablet. As a bonus, the more mobile friendly you are, the higher you will rank in Google’s search page results.

Be Supportive

Set a gold standard for customer service. While today’s B2B shoppers want to independently scope out what you’ve got, they also want to know you’re there when they need you. Make it easy to place orders, track orders, make payments, get answers to frequently asked questions, find technical documentation and talk to a real person.

For more tips on creating an exceptional online shopping experience that will win loyal customers, take a look at this B2B Industry Brief from SLI Systems.

Increase Positive SEO Signals and Reduce Negative Signals

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

My last blog outlined the main SEO tools that businesses need. Tools like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, when set up correctly, help you monitor both the positive and negative factors that affect your site’s SEO.

SEO E-commercePositive signals to watch and improve include:

Mobile friendliness – The degree to which your site is mobile friendly will affect your SEO. In April 2015, mobile friendliness became a significant ranking factor for Google in determining a page’s position on the SERPs for Google visitors on mobile devices. Use Webmaster Tools (WMTs) such as Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools to monitor and improve your site’s mobile friendliness. As a separate tool, Google offers a quick test that reviews your URL and reports whether the page has a mobile-friendly design.

Keyword rankings – When your site contains relevant, quality content related to search phrases frequently used by visitors of Internet search engines, then these are positive signals for your SEO. Use WMTs to see which keywords and pages rank highest; use this information to determine which content on your site is most influential. Avoid the temptation to pack more of those high-ranking keywords into every page of your site – this could backfire and send out negative signals. Instead, use the keyword data to guide your content development and focus.

Links from other sites to yours – The links you naturally earn from sites with high domain authority (like when you’re mentioned in an e-commerce industry article) equate to positive signals that increase your rankings. However, resist the urge to outright ask publications or associations to add a link to your site – Google has mysterious ways to discern whether a link is simply requested or actually earned. Instead, create standout blogs and provide valuable industry news through social media and PR efforts. When you deliver information that others want to share, you truly earn links that boost your overall SEO efforts.

Structured Data – Structured data improves the bots’ understanding of the entities (products, organizations, blog posts, video objects, etc.) referenced on your site. You can improve the visibility of your pages by marking up the main entities and ensuring organizational markup is present on all pages. Check that structured data used on your side is understood correctly using the tools provided by Bing and Google. Keep in mind that incorrectly implementing structured data might do more harm than good.

Negative signals to watch and minimize include:

Crawl errors – A common crawl error that triggers a warning from WMT is a soft 404. If search engine bots pick up on pages that no longer exist and a no-results page is shown but not accompanied with a 404 http return code, this is a negative quality signal against the domain. To be clear, showing no-results pages is not a bad practice in itself – there are even possibilities to engage with visitors on them. However, they always need to be accompanied with a 404. On spotting soft 404s, you should immediately engage with your web designers to ensure the no-results page behaves as expected. Once the fix is in place, you might choose to “fetch” or “fetch and render” the no longer existing page to ensure it is returning the desired 404 response.

Large number of URLs on site – WMTs will send you warnings if you use too many URLs on your site, which could negatively affect your SEO. To correct this problem, you need to take a hard look at the pages that are already found. The WMT warning message will contain some example URLs; go through the list and confirm whether you want all of these URLs to be indexed. In addition, check for canonicalization issues. Ensure you have blocked access to your site search so that the bots cannot crawl your search. Even if someone links to a result page of your local site search, you don’t want Internet search engine bots crawling the page and adding it to their indexes.

Also think about indexation depth within your site navigation so you can avoid too many pages getting indexed. Generate an impressions/clicks report from the top pages to understand how much attention your deeper pages generate. Limit access to deep pages and consider not allowing all navigation refinements to be indexed.

HTML signals for missing, duplicate, too long or too short meta descriptions or title tags – Meta data still matters, and it’s easy to add any missing meta descriptions or title tags. WMT offers HTML improvement suggestions to show you any meta data that needs correcting. Simply add a description or title that is relevant to the topic and content of the page, within the provided character limits, and then you’ve resolved your problem.

If these tips were helpful, feel free to download our SEO Guidebook, “How to Get the SEO-Driven Revenue You’re Missing.”

Is Your Merchandising Working?

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Just as in retail stores, making sure your online site is geared to sell most effectively can’t be overstated. Building online merchandising equivalents of in-store experiences promises that shoppers will not only find what they came to your site to find, but will also discover other products too.

Good in-store merchandising can:

  • increase traffic by offering attractive visual experiences
  • increase sales by featuring products through promotions and displays
  • build loyalty through appealing, easy-to-access settings

As you build out the merchandising functionality on your site, keep these best practices in mind.

Let Your Data Drive Programs

Knowing what your shoppers are interested in helps you respond to current trends and anticipate future promotional opportunities. When customers search, they’re telling you exactly what they want. Leverage data from search keywords and browsing behavior to power your email and advertising campaigns to get the most traction for your time and money.

Make Discovery Easy

Isn’t it helpful when you enter a store and a sales associate helps you find the exact item you’re looking for? Make the same true for online experiences. You can do this in a few ways: first, offer search that provides the most relevant products in the first couple rows. Second, show the most relevant products visually as the search query is entered, through rich autocomplete. And third, tie the most popular keywords to promotions that you feature on your home page.

Merchandise Across Channels

Don’t forget the mobile experience! A streamlined mobile experience that works around the physical constraints of a mobile device will make it easier for shoppers to find (and buy!) what they want. For instance, keeping your search box front and center on every page is critical to keeping shoppers on your site so they don’t waste time navigating an entire site. Additionally, adding refinements in large, tap-friendly dropdowns lets shoppers narrow down to the most applicable results.

These ideas just scratch the surface of making your site a super-powered merchandising machine. We recently spoke with Sri PV, E-Commerce Internal Marketing Manager at Dressbarn, about how he puts these online merchandising fundamentals (and many more) into practice every day. You can hear the full discussion here.

Advice for Amazon: Be Honest with Search Results

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Amazon’s practice of misleading customers with search results is again on trial, after the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling on a trademark infringement suit by Multi Time Machine, Inc. (MTM).

Amazon trademark lawsuit by MTMMTM charged Amazon with infringing on its trademark by creating “a likelihood of confusion” when customers search Amazon for “MTM Special Ops Watch,” which is the name of a military-style watch sold by MTM. Amazon uses the MTM Special Ops name multiple times on search results pages, even though they do not sell MTM watches.

Now MTM is entitled to a new trial, or Amazon may try to settle. Either way, it’s time for Amazon to stop fooling its shoppers. Whether they win or lose the case, Amazon should think more about site search best practices that will win loyal customers.

Here’s some advice on how Amazon and other retailers can expertly handle searches that turn up zero results:

  1. Be honest. Search results should never be tricky. The search box is the one area of your site where customers get to tell you exactly what they want. Smart retailers either give customers what they ask for or apologize for not having it. If you mislead customers into looking at other items, they’ll soon realize that you aren’t showing what they want. They’ll feel fooled and will leave frustrated.
  1. Think of the customer experience first. Online businesses depend on repeat customers. You’re not a temporary pop-up shop trying to get quick impulse buys without the concern of having buyers return to your store. When you show customers that you understand what they’re requesting and you’re doing your best to help them find it, it builds lasting respect.
  1. Be smart about merchandising on no-results pages. When you don’t have the specific product or brand that a customer requests, you can still offer alternate items without insulting his or her intelligence. There are a number of possible responses, like “We’re sorry we don’t carry items from that brand, but the following brands are popular with our customers.” In the case of MTM watches, Amazon should state up-front: “We don’t sell MTM watches, but here are similar products you might like.”Sports Authority SLI Systems Site Search
  1. Give suggestions for better search results. Sports Authority handles the no-results page by offering a “Did you mean _____” suggestion, along with the text: “You may have typed your word incorrectly or are being too specific. Try using a broader search phrase or try one of our most popular search phrases,” followed by a word cloud of popular searches.
  1. Reduce the number of no-results pages. Be sure your site search provider includes synonyms and alternate spellings in your search to reduce the number of “no result” searches. After implementing this practice with SLI Systems Learning Search®, Sports Authority saw a 300% reduction in no-results searches.
  1. Study the search terms that end in no results. In its Big Book of Site Search Tips, SLI encourages clients to review their Top No-results Search Report regularly to see what customers look for that does not come up in search results. Paying attention to no-results searches often uncovers opportunities for new items to add to the inventory. It also allows businesses to craft creative responses to a specific no-results result.

Maternity no-results page exampleUK clothing retailer Oasis handles a search for maternity clothes with the message: “Whoops, we’re sorry we don’t cover bumps – shop our accessories instead.”

Beyond potential legal ramifications, Amazon should change the language on its search results pages for the sake of delivering what customers want. Other retailers can follow best practices from the start, and not have to worry about trademark infringement.

When #LoveWins, Smart Merchandisers Win

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

FTD roseThe U.S. Supreme Court opened a new opportunity for merchandising on Friday, June 26. Whether or not you agree with the 5-4 decision making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, it’s undeniable that it’s a prime marketing opportunity for retailers. Earlier this week, Multichannel Merchant published more than 20 examples of “How E-commerce Responded to the Marriage Equality Decision.”

For e-commerce businesses wanting to capitalize on the surge of online shoppers looking for items related to gay pride and same-sex weddings, below are my recommendations:

  1. Watch and respond to top search terms: Pay attention to changes in shopper behavior over standard baseline behaviors prior to the Supreme Court ruling.  In particular, look at search keywords for new or increasingly popular terms.  For example, a jeweler may see a sudden spike in a phrase like “men’s engagement ring.”  Because the search box is the one place on your site where shoppers can articulate their shopping missions without being channeled by your site navigation, search terms are strong early indicators of changes in shopper intent.


  1. Consider which products are a fit. The types of products you offer will vary based on your industry segment.  The above example cites a change in jewelry preferences, but a florist may see an increase in desire for rainbow floral arrangements or a party supply retailer might sell more rainbow-colored decorations. You may decide that none of your products logically tie in to this current event, in which case you’ll want to wait until you have related products or skip this merchandising opportunity entirely. Shoppers are less likely to respond to a promotion that seems forced.


  1. Look at top search terms with poor click-through rates. Search terms with low click-through rates can identify recent demand that your site and inventory are not meeting.  Sometimes you can solve these shortcomings simply by adding synonyms to your database. Other times you can address them with special promotions or merchandising information.  In the long term, these terms may reveal new areas for inventory expansion.


  1. Create just-in-time merchandising campaigns. Create campaigns for products expected to be popular among supporters of gay marriage.  Use custom banners and landing pages or even tune search results and recommendations to more ably direct shoppers to the products they are likely to want in this area.  For example, a retailer may create a custom landing page around a phrase like “Pride party” with a themed banner and curated product results.


  1. Remember SEO/SEM. Keep your SEO/SEM team apprised of top trending terms to ensure your keyword strategy is up to date.


Among the SLI Systems customer base, we have noticed the word rainbow coming up as a term with poor results so far this week.  We advise appropriate retailers to examine the word rainbow specifically to see if it is a trending term that deserves one of the responses detailed above.

Current events, as well as holidays, seasons and trends, are great positioning points for retailers. If you keep an eye on what your shoppers are already searching for online, you’ll find an endless number of ways to merchandise your products.

For more merchandising strategies to drive your online revenue, download our white paper “Use Site Search Data to Improve Merchandising.” Also, take a look at this video to see what you can do with our latest merchandising solution, SLI Landing Page Creator.


How Online Bathing Suit Shopping Could Save Summer

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Summer is officially here. But before your shoppers can splash in the pool or lounge on the beach, there is one necessary item of attire that must be purchased – a bathing suit.

Is there anything quite like bathing suit shopping? Or should I say, is there anything quite like purchasing undergarments to wear in public in front of friends, their husbands and their children?

Traditionally, beachgoers could look forward to the following shopping experience:

1. Drive to the store.
2. Locate the ever-disorganized bathing suit selection.
3. Find a print and pattern that isn’t revolting.
4. Rifle through racks for the correct size.
5. Head to the fluorescent-lit dressing room walled with multiple, full-length mirrors.
6. Try it on. Hate it and deeply regret not sticking to those lose-weight-get-in-shape New Year’s resolutions.
7. Exhaust all options at that store.
8. Repeat the entire process, losing hours (and a good portion of self-esteem) in the black hole of bathing suit shopping.

Could someone please bring me a mai tai? I’m having anxiety just thinking about this.

Luckily, we live in the era of online shopping. Smart and thoughtful online retailers have the opportunity to transform the bathing suit buying experience into something that feels like a vacation. Here’s how:

1. Showcase your summer selections with editorial-style landing pages. You can create an entire poolside look – hat, sunglasses, bag, skirt, sandals and bathing suit – and drive potential shoppers directly to the tailored landing page by using dedicated URLs in email campaigns, social media posts or pay-per-click advertising.

2. Guide visitors to the perfect suit with a product finder that feels like a personal shopper. By asking a series of questions, you can lead shoppers to a great selection based on budget, style and even body type. For instance, one shopper might want a bikini under $80 to show off her athletic frame while another might want a one piece that will make her look 10 pounds slimmer regardless of the cost. Either way, your shoppers will appreciate your expert guidance.

Screenshot 2015-06-22 09.11.31

3. One swimsuit definitely does not fit all. Make sizing simple and boost buying confidence by including measurement guidelines. Taking Shape does this right with an easy-to-understand sizing chart on its website

4. At a minimum, visitors should be able to search by style, color and size. But make sure they can also easily see what’s in stock along with ratings and reviews. No point in falling in love with a suit that’s not available in your size, and a rave review (“I look so good in this thing it’s all I wear!”) can help seal the deal.Screenshot 2015-06-22 09.29.16

5. Save the day with in-store pick up. As an online retailer with brick-and-mortar locations, giving shoppers the ability to shop online and find the item at the nearest location is a serious convenience, especially for those who may have delayed shopping until the day before the big swim party.

Let your shoppers save the mai tais for the beach by giving them a bathing suit buying experience that’s truly relaxing!

After Mobilegeddon, Focus on Site Search for Mobile-Friendliness

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Mobile commerce is exploding! The majority of traffic to e-commerce stores is coming from mobile devices (Shopify 2014) and mobile commerce is growing three times faster than overall e-commerce. In its “Spotlight on Modern Retail 2015,” NRF found that during the first three quarters of 2014, retailers reported their mobile sales grew a whopping 87 percent!

Well aware of the growing mobile masses, on April 21st Google expanded its mobile-friendliness ranking signal to reward mobile-friendly sites with higher search rankings and demote those that fail its test. (a.k.a. “mobilegeddon,”). While the full results are still to be seen, action by many online retailers is still needed. To guide developers, the search giant also provided them with the top things to know when building a site for mobile devices. Here’s how e-commerce site search fits in and can help contribute to your mobile success.

outline-steps#1: Make It Easy

Google’s #1 recommendation for building a mobile-friendly site is: Make It Easy For Customers. Heavily contributing to the ‘mobile-friendly’ signal is whether or not visitors, after landing on a mobile page, can easily complete the tasks they want to accomplish by solely using the mobile site. For instance, when visitors using smartphones search for new running shoes on Sports Authority, the company’s mobile-friendly site helps them easily find and buy the shoes they want, which in turn will now help Sports Authority fare better in Google smartphone rankings.

Mobile-optimized site search helps retailers connect shoppers with the products they’re seeking, making it easy for mobile visitors to find, research and/or complete a purchase (their main objective). Given mobile’s space and speed challenges, the search box is the best gateway to finding products and content on mobile sites. That in turn has a big impact on engagement metrics such as conversion rates, bounce rates, average time on site, average pages requested per session and more, which affects its ‘mobile-friendly’ signal and mobile search ranking.

Helping site visitors easily complete their objectives now has a direct impact on mobile search rankings, making good site search more important than ever before.

#2: Measure Effectiveness

Google’s second recommendation for building a mobile-friendly site is: Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Site. Optimized site search is a vital part of delivering a satisfying shopping experience to mobile users as it helps visitors quickly and easily engage with the site – often increasing conversion rates and average order values, and lowering bounce rates. Leading e-commerce companies, including international cosmetics brand e.l.f. Cosmetics and specialty retailer, have experienced impressive measured results with mobile-optimized site search.

Lesley Klein, director of e-commerce at e.l.f. Cosmetics, reported: “Conversion for mobile visitors using site search is four times the rate vs. mobile users who don’t use search. With 30% of our online traffic coming from mobile devices, we’re providing a seamless shopping experience no matter how or where people come to e.l.f.”

Terri Hunsinger, co-owner at, found: “Mobile site search has been very effective in bringing 2,500 products to the forefront for customers who are trying to search on small devices where it can be difficult to see our broad product selection. People are spending more time and more money and are more engaged because of the accurate search results they are seeing.”

As with sites like e.l.f. and, optimized mobile sites make it easy for customers to shop. Whether Mobilegeddon ends up significantly impacting SEO or not, your optimized mobile search will strongly contribute to better online shopping experiences and conversions.


SLI Receives Magento Partner Award and Other 2015 Accolades

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

SLI Receives Magento’s Highest Partner Honor

Last week at Magento Imagine, SLI received the “2015 Magento Technology Partner Spirit of Excellence Award for North America.” The annual award recognizes partners who have delivered exemplary service to Magento clients. Evaluations are made across a number of critical elements such as commitment to quality deployments, merchant satisfaction, growth, penetration in emerging markets, innovation and strategic planning.

Magento is the provider of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce platform. We are thrilled to partner with them in providing SLI Learning Search Connect™ as an easily downloadable Magento extension.

Magento Spirit of ExcellenceRetail Innovator 2015

Also in 2015, SLI has received other distinctions stemming from the company’s dedication to achieving high ROI for its customers and its commitment to exemplary service for its partners. This follows a record year of awards for SLI, which received a total of 10 awards in 2014 for technology, customer-use scenarios, and customer support. We are proud to acknowledge these accolades for 2015 (and it’s only April!).

SLI Customer Wine Enthusiast Receives Retail TouchPoints 2015 Retail Innovator Award

Wine Enthusiast’s CMO Glenn Edelman was named a winner of Retail TouchPoints 2015 Retail Innovator Award. Wine Enthusiast uses SLI Dynamic Product Banners™, which automatically displays banners with items related to a visitor’s original web search on product pages. Edelman will be recognized at the Retail Innovation Conference, June 16-17 in New York City.

“With SLI Dynamic Product Banners, visitors are more prone to stay and buy from our site rather than clicking back to Google where they could end up on a competitor’s site,” said Edelman. “In fact, when visitors interact with the banners, we see a 48% increase in revenue-per-click and a 14% increase in conversion rates. The banners also have a real impact on lowering bounce rate from the site’s landing pages.”

Read more about their success in our Wine Enthusiast case study.

SLI Customer Lakeshore Learning Recognized by eTail West for Search Excellence’

Lakeshore Learning, supplier of school supplies for preschools and elementary classrooms, was named a 2015 finalist in eTail West’s Best-in-Class Awards for ‘Search’ innovation and excellence. By implementing a rich set of features and refinements by SLI, Lakeshore Learning has been able to improve its site’s customer experience and offer personalized products relevant to shoppers.

As discussed in our Lakeshore Learning case study, the company used SLI Learning Search™ and SLI Site Champion™ to make even more of its content easy to find.

“Multi-faceted search allows customers to quickly narrow down hundreds of products and still maintain a clean and robust search experience,” said Sam Sarullo, VP of E-commerce at Lakeshore Learning. “Personalizing the site to draw people into areas most helpful for them has been a big improvement. Since implementing Learning Search™ we have seen double-digit online revenue growth, while average order values went up 30 percent and conversion rates rose nearly 19 percent.”

Site Champion™ dynamically creates SEO landing pages based on actual user searches that are indexed by Google and other Internet search engines. Lakeshore Learning has seen a return of $127 for every $1 spent on SLI Site Champion.

To learn more about how SLI provides award-winning results for customers like Harry & David and Sports Authority, check out more of our case studies and video testimonials.

Top 30 E-commerce Countries Include 7 in Americas

Friday, April 10th, 2015

It’s big news that the U.S. leapfrogged to the number one spot in the A.T. Kearney 2015 Global E-commerce Index this week. But don’t miss the fact that the Americas as a whole took seven of the top 30 spots with Mexico making the list for the first time.

The Global E-commerce Index ranks the top 30 countries for market opportunity in online retail. Rankings are based on nine variables including macroeconomic factors, consumer adoption of technology and shopping behavior.

According to the A.T. Kearney report, global online sales from mobile and desktop will reach $995 billion this year and $1.1 trillion next year. That’s good news for all retailers in the e-commerce space. But some significant opportunities are being uncovered in the Americas.

Making the list from the Americas:

Country Ranking
United States 1
Canada 11
Mexico 17
Chile 19
Brazil 21
Venezuela 24
Argentina 29


An improved economy and continued growth helped the U.S. go from third to first and trump China as the global e-commerce leader. E-commerce sales worldwide rose to $840 billion in 2014 with the U.S. accounting for more than a fourth of that number at $238 billion.

Mexico, which has never been ranked before, debuted at spot 17 on the Global E-commerce Index. The A.T. Kearney report credits a young and connected population for Mexico’s much-higher-than-average 32% year-over-year growth in online sales. Mexico’s total online sales hit $6.6 billion in 2014. And the news continues to get better with similar growth expected over the next five years.

Even though Brazil slipped to 21st place on the index, the country grew about 18% year-over-year and e-commerce sales were a strong $13 billion in 2014. “Online retailers still find Brazil to be a growing e-commerce market that is impossible to ignore,” the A.T. Kearney report states.

The Nielson Global Survey of E-commerce, released in August 2014, also put a spotlight on Latin America, noting that the emerging region has the highest online browsing rates.

“Latin Americans are enthusiastic online shoppers, but the online retail infrastructure has not yet caught up with offering conversion opportunities,” said John Burbank, president of strategic initiatives for Nielson.

Latin American shoppers are most often browsing online for electronic equipment, mobile phones, clothes, cars and motorcycles, and tour and hotel reservations, according the Nielson report. The highest buying category in Latin America is airline tickets and reservations, which historically is a starting point as consumers gain confidence in the online shopping experience.

Worldwide, e-commerce grew more than 20 percent in 2014, according to the A.T. Kearney report. But online sales overall remain less than 10 percent of total retail sales—so no matter what corner of the globe you’re in, your e-commerce market has room to grow.