Archive for the ‘Site Search Tips’ Category

Effective Design Options You May Have Overlooked

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Earlier this week, eConsultancy posted the article: 25 Effective Design Patterns for E-commerce Site Search Results. The article highlights great examples of search relevancy, site design and refinement options that help smooth customers’ path to find, and purchase, the items they’re looking for.

Five of the e-commerce sites spotlighted in the eConsultancy article are clients of SLI Systems, including Sutton’s Seeds, Abe’s of Maine, Boden, Lovehoney and B&Q. We’ve worked with these companies to implement effective site search solutions, using design options that many retailers overlook.

Abes Filtered Reviews 23apr14Abe’s of Maine – Filtered Reviews

Camera and photography retailer Abe’s of Maine stands out because of the way the company highlights reviews within search results. Not only can visitors view reviews in search results, but they can also set filtering options so they can find reviews that discuss aspects of camera equipment that are most relevant to them. Wine Enthusiast is another SLI client that offers the capability of reviews filtering. In both cases, the reviews filtering option gets a lot of use and tends to result in higher conversions.


Boden Refinements 23Apr14Boden – Effective Use of Refinements

Boden offers a comprehensive set of filtering options, including Category, Sub-category, Top-rated by Age, Top-rated by Size, Price Range, Color and more. The results page also lists search suggestions at the top, offering visitors alternate search terms to try. The Help and Style & Fit tabs across the top give shoppers more options for finding the right items according to personal characteristics like size and shape.

By making these improvements in site search, Boden has increased customer engagement and conversion rates for search. Read more in this Boden case study.

Lovehoney – Capitalizing on Trends

Lovehoney used search to its benefit by recognizing a fast-growing trend among fans of the book “50 Shades of Grey.” Long before the book became a mainstream success, Lovehoney noticed the search term was frequently used on their site. The company immediately capitalized on the emerging trend by creating custom product landing pages for searches related to “50 Shades of Grey.” By reacting quickly, Lovehoney not only boosted sales but also struck a product licensing deal with the “50 Shades” franchise. Now they are the exclusive retailer of the popular branded items. Read more in this Lovehoney case study.

Following Best Practices Leads to Profitability

What’s not discussed in the eConsultancy piece is that effective site search pages often generate higher per-visit and average order values, while reducing bounce rates. After implementing improvements with SLI, Boden’s search users became worth about 215% more per visit than non-site search users. Lovehoney experienced a 16% increase in average revenue per visit.

If your site search solution isn’t improving your e-commerce sales, you might want to take a close look at more examples of search done well. In addition to the examples in the eConsultancy article, you can find more than 20 case studies at

Do More Selling Within Search: Start Merchandising

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

When I’m shopping for clothes, beautiful, colorful displays tend to catch my attention, as do big “sale” signs. But if I’m shopping for something less personal, like housewares or gardening items, I need signage that makes it clear where I need to go to find what I want. But that’s just me. Other consumers have different preferences – which makes it challenging for merchandisers to figure out how best to compel shoppers to make a purchase.

E-commerce marketers face similar challenges, as they have to understand how best to highlight promotions – on what pages, in what format and with what messages. Search results pages are a prime location for online merchandising, as we explain in the latest edition of the Big Book of Site Search Tips for 2014, available for free download. Once visitors have conducted a search on your site, they’re in the mood to make a purchase, provided they find what they’re seeking and you make it easy to browse through product options. For more effective merchandising, consider bringing these ideas into search:

Override search results (sparingly): While too many overrides can negatively impact the relevancy of search results, it can make sense to do an override when you want to place relevant promotional items at the top of the list – like sales or seasonal items. Online shoppers pay the most attention to the first several results above the fold, after which there’s a steep drop-off in engagement. Take advantage of where their attention is focused. Of course, the products that you push to the top of search results still need to be highly relevant to the search term.

Avoid presenting unrelated cross-sell or up-sell products: Shoppers will distrust search results if they are wildly off-base from their search terms. From their point of view, they’ve used the search box to tell you exactly what they want, and it’s your job to supply it. If you want to promote products that aren’t truly connected to searches, you should do so on other pages such as cart or checkout pages.

Show related searches on content pages: Even if visitors don’t find what they’re looking for within the first several results for their search, they may be encouraged to keep on looking if you offer related searches on content or product detail pages – or they may decide to start a new search. It’s best to create related searches based on keywords or phrases other visitors have used in the past when searching for the same items. Since they’re based on the language of your visitors, they’re a great way to promote related content or products and may also provide SEO benefits.

Create banners related to specific keywords: Keyword-driven banners on search results pages send your visitors the message that they’re seeing the right results for the right products. A banner can also highlight a promotion that’s related to the search, which can either move along the decision to make a purchase (like an extra discount or free-shipping deal), or propel the visitor into related searching (like a banner about products from the same brand).

For more ideas about selling through search, download the 2014 edition of the Big Book of Site Search Tips today.

Do Your Search Results Pages Drive Customers to Buy or Bounce?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Search results pages are usually the place where online shoppers convert or leave. If your search really works and shows visitors the products they’re looking for, you’ll strengthen loyalty from those shoppers – or, if your search delivers a jumble of results that have nothing to do with the search terms used, it’s likely that shoppers will make a quick exit.

Search results pages need a little TLC so they can do the best possible job of showing off as many relevant products as possible, while allowing customers to adjust their view of results according to how they want to browse and shop. Here are a few tips to make sure your search results pages lead shoppers to buy, rather than bounce.

Create a consistent look and feel: Search results pages should not look dramatically different from the rest of your online storefront. It’s important to reinforce your brand in every element of your site, especially on the pages where visitors are making a purchase decision. Your results pages should mirror the look and feel of your overall website, brick-and-mortar stores and social channels. When all of these elements are properly coordinated, they create a positive brand experience.

Keep the search term in the search box: It is good practice to leave search terms in the search box, even when visitors are already viewing results. They may realize that they should add more descriptive words to their search terms or correct spelling errors. Some might want a reminder of what they just searched for. Whatever the reason, it’s helpful and saves time if visitors don’t have to retype their search terms.

Show a breadcrumb trail: A breadcrumb trail displays the search term and any refinements that the visitor applied to search results. It helps visitors understand where they are and how they arrived at the current page. It also makes it easy to remove search refinements and go back to a wider range of results. Breadcrumbs take up very little space on the webpage, but they can go a long way toward helping visitors navigate through search results.

There’s much more you can do to make search pages easy for visitors to browse, including allowing visitors to select the number of results they want to see on a page, or adding infinite scrolling so that visitors never have to click on a new page to see more results. For these tips and over a hundred more, download a free copy of the 2014 edition of the Big Book of Site Search Tips.

Get Psychic with Search by Improving Relevancy

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Have you ever conducted a search on an e-commerce site, only to wish it could read your mind and deliver the exact items you’re looking for? OK, maybe expecting “psychic search” is a little much, but it’s certainly possible for your search to provide results that are in line with your customers’ needs. Here are a few ways you can bring some psychic power to search:

Keep an eye on user behavior: How your visitors navigate around your site and click on products can help you do a better job of creating relevant results. Examine search data to uncover the products that customers click on after they enter a given search term. Then you can place these products at the top of search results, which makes the results more relevant.

Control results that matter to your business: Sometimes you need products to appear in search results in a different order than what your search product might recommend. For instance, you may want to place promotional or sale products higher, or perhaps highlight certain brand names. A full-service search solution should allow you to reorder results to suit business goals, while still ensuring that visitors see plenty of relevant results.

Jump directly to a product page: When you know exactly what visitors are searching for, it makes more sense to direct them to a product page, rather than a list of results. This may be the case if there’s only one result for their search, or if visitors type in specific product or SKU numbers, which means you know precisely what they want.  Similarly, if they type in a search term such as “returns,” you can take them directly to the page about your returns policy. This is a good way to improve visitors’ satisfaction with search.

You can dig deeper into tips about relevance and many other facets of site search by reading SLI’s 2014 edition of the Big Book of Site Search Tips. We’ve pulled together many helpful ideas on making search more relevant – along with more than 100 tips on search boxes, refinements, merchandising and many more key search topics. Here’s a free download of our latest e-book.

The New Big Book of Site Search Tips 2014 has launched!

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

BBoSST launch

It’s only been a year and a half since we last revised the Big Book of Site Search Tips. But as the speed of innovation for eCommerce increases, we found there were just too many new things we needed to include.

What kinds of things? Well, for one we found that mobile shopping has come so far in the last couple years – what used to account for 7% of total eCommerce sales in 2011 is now estimated to contribute to 16% of total eCommerce sales. This points to the growing comfort that people feel in making purchases on a mobile device. It’s becoming increasingly important to offer a user friendly shopping experience.

When you download the revised Big Book of Site Search Tips for 2014, you’ll find many more recommendations on how to optimize your mobile site so visitors find what they want quickly, leading to decreased bounce rates, higher conversions and ultimately, creating a powerful mobile search that users love.

Additionally, if you’ve been keeping up with holiday shopping trends, you’re well aware of how social media sites, like Pinterest and Facebook, have been a driving factor in increasing traffic and sales to some sites. The Big Book delves into these trends and illustrates interesting ways you can integrate social media, videos, blogs and other content into your site for a richer, more engaging experience.

You’ll find these tips and many more – download the Big Book of Site Search Tips.

Give your Mobile Shoppers What they Want

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Sasha Butkovich is Senior Writer for Ecommerce Outtakes and a guest blogger for SLI’s Site Search Today.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ll say the obvious: mobile eCommerce is growing like crazy. Mobile and tablet sales continue to increase as a proportion of total online sales, surpassing desktop according to reports. But retailers looking to get in on the mobile action shouldn’t dive in blindly. As I mentioned in my last post on this blog, there are plenty of mistakes to avoid in a mobile strategy. Now, it’s time to take a look at the flip side of the coin and focus on the “dos” instead of the “don’ts.” Here are examples of three mobile sites that offer a great user experience. What do these retailers all have in common? They know their audience. Take a look.

Amazon: Personalization

24Oct_Amazon_screenshot1As the reigning king of eCommerce sites, it should come as no surprise that Amazon has their mobile act together. Of course, Amazon also knows their customers want access to their account wherever they go. Once a shopper is logged in to their Amazon account, the mobile site becomes more personalized, much like the desktop site. Customers will see product recommendations on the homepage that are based on their purchase and browsing histories. On top of that, users can manage their entire account, including wish lists, payment options, and more. All the perks of the desktop site, all the convenience of mobile, none of the mess. It’s a beautiful thing.

If users arrive on the homepage without logging in, they’ll see some of the popular Amazon products featured, like Amazon MP3 and the Kindle line. For a site that sells pretty much everything, it’s important to put that brand recognition front and center. Notice also that the homepage doesn’t waste precious space on a small mobile screen with the lesser-shopped departments. It only features the most popular categories to start people off with what they’re more likely to want.

Folica: Emphasis on Offers & Ratings

24Oct_Folica_Screenshot124Oct_Folica_screenshot2There’s something sleek about the Folica mobile site. The homepage doesn’t bother to feature any particular products, but instead places the focus on the special offers. It’s nice for users to see the promotions up front so they know they will be getting a good deal from this retailer. Mobile users are on the go, and won’t want to waste their time on a site that won’t offer them a good value, so this is a great way to make a happy customer.

Below the special offers banner, shoppers will find many specific categories to help them choose the avenue that will help them get to the items they want. One especially cool category is Top 10. Opening this tab, users will see a whole list of Top 10 categories, like Top 10 Hair Dryers, Top 10 Shampoos, and Top 10 Gifts. This is such a nice way to shop, because it combines product type with highest customer ratings in one simple list. Putting such a high emphasis on customer reviews shows how much this retailer values the shopper. This is especially nice for mobile shoppers because it eliminates the lower-rated items, helping the user get to the good stuff quickly. Customer Service & Geolocation

24_Oct_Gap_Screenshot1Gap is an example of a retailer with both a strong eCommerce presence and strong brick-and-mortar sales. This retailer understands how to connect the two in their mobile site to provide the best experience for their customers. People shopping on their phone might be looking to make that purchase in a store, so the Find In Store option on this site is a perfect addition. Right from a product page, users can select their size and color, then click the Find In Store button. The site uses geo-location to show the closest stores, and displays the availability of the item in each location.

Putting customer service at the forefront is an awesome strategy, too. Free Shipping and Free Returns offers are displayed right on the homepage. When clicked on, the details are shown in a lightbox, eliminating the need for the user to navigate away from this page. Another great element is the easy access to the company’s other brands, as many of Gap’s customers also shop at Banana Republic and Old Navy. On this mobile site, it’s all easily connected by a simple drop-down menu at the top of the homepage.

At the end of the day, offering a great mobile experience is all about considering a site’s specific audience. Knowing who is using the mobile site and what they’re using it for will go a long way to inform the design and navigation. Offering customers any personalization, reviews, special offers, and geo-location they’re looking for will keep them returning to the site for future purchases!

Give Me Relevant Results Now – or Never!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

As consumers, it seems the more technology-savvy we become, the more impatient we also become. Once we catch a glimpse of what it’s like to have an amazing customer experience, we expect other sites to rapidly adopt the latest technology and best practices to meet the latest standard of excellence.

This is certainly the case in eCommerce. When searching for a particular product, I expect to see highly relevant results the first time I type in a search phrase. Whether I’m using my smartphone, tablet or laptop, if I ask for “women’s wool blazer,” then that’s exactly what I want to see – nothing more or less – especially if I’m on my iPhone and don’t have enough screen space to browse 50 items. I find that if a retailer gives me irrelevant results, I’ll just move on to another site that I’ve had a good experience with in the past.

I’m not alone in my impatience, said Harris Interactive in a 2013 study, which found that 30 percent of mobile shoppers who hit a snag will abandon their online cart and never return to that site again. (See Mobile Shoppers Rarely Give Second Chances). An SLI Survey showed that 73% of customers will leave a site in less than two minutes if they can’t find what they’re looking for. Personally, I think two minutes is generous – I can tell you I won’t give a site that long if I only have five minutes between appointments to get something ordered!

Boden_Mobile_WomensWoolBlazerBoden understands the importance of relevance in delivering a great customer experience. In my search for women’s wool blazer, they showed me the three wool blazers they have, and nothing else. Since their site is optimized for mobile use, I could easily view the images and product details on my iPhone and gather just enough information to quickly browse the items and make a decision. This is the kind of experience that will keep me coming back to shop on their site. And it’s probably why Boden has seen a 177% increase in average conversions since implementing advanced site search solutions.

Another site search feature that streamlines the user experience is Rich Auto Complete. I love sites where I can start typing the first few letters of a word and within seconds see the name, image and short description of the exact product I’m looking for. uses this feature, and it makes it so easy to shop. Wanting to try melatonin for sleep, I start typing in mela- and before I finish the word or click the search button, I’m shown the two melatonin products they offer along with the price. They both look good, so I click one and it takes me straight to checkout – I’m done and on to other things.

NaturalWellBeing_RichAutoComplete4You can bet the next time I try shopping on a site that doesn’t have Rich Auto Complete, I’m going to experience some of that technology-induced impatience I mentioned earlier.

Usability experts such a Jakob Nielsen confirm that such impatience is common. “Today’s consumers aren’t satisfied with sites that simply make it possible to shop; the experience must also be pleasant,” he said. In his eCommerce Usability study, Nielsen found that users’ first in-site query is successful only 64% of the time. And if users don’t find what they are looking for on your site, they’ll often assume you don’t have the product and will leave, rather than changing their search query. Yep, I’ve done that.

To achieve the kind of relevancy that keeps impatient shoppers like me on your site, you should learn which products are most clicked on for each search term and all its variations, and then rearrange each associated results page accordingly. Doing this manually would be beyond tedious, so it’s important to use a site search engine that automatically learns and ranks the most relevant products in search results.

Search that Learns and Improves
Such a capability goes beyond the default search that comes with your platform. But SLI’s Learning Search is effective because it determines relevancy based on site search activity – then continues to learn and improve based on which products are most clicked on after a particular search query. This ensures that the best results are always shown first.

It’s important to remember that today’s tech-savvy eCommerce customers are also sophisticated searchers. We know the type of search experience we can get from a good search engine, and we’ll expect that experience on your eCommerce site as well. By ensuring the highest relevance, you’ll meet or even exceed our expectations for an easy shopping experience.

There are several ways you can start improving your site search relevance today. Download SLI’s Big Book of Site Search Tips to read dozens of best practices. Or sign up for a free site critique to receive personalized recommendations on how to improve your site search relevancy. You can also request a demo to learn how SLI Systems can help you turn more site visitors into buyers. Whichever you choose, you’ll find that improving your customer experience with your site search will inevitably improve your conversions and profitability as well.

What Do Young Consumers Want from eCommerce?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

In my last blog regarding usability, I detailed some of the design features and functionality that make eCommerce user-friendly for an older demographic. The important features to optimize site search and navigation for the 65 and older user contrasts considerably with today’s youngest set of shoppers. These digital natives, ages 12-17 years old, are comfortable with evolving technologies, new features, and shopping concepts that take shopping online to a whole new level.

Investment firm Piper Jaffray, in its 25th semi-annual study, found that 79 percent of teen females and 76 percent of males shopped online, with 70 percent of those teens shopping online at their favorite stores. Creating an engaging and valuable website is crucial in capturing the attention of young shoppers, who have never experienced a time in their lives without technology.

Important Features for the Young Online Shopper

Jakob Nielsen, a pioneer in the user experience field, has researched the usability features most important for the teen online shopper in his article, “Teenage Usability: Designing Teen-Targeted Websites.” Nielsen says sites geared toward the teen market should use less text and adhere to standard design layouts. Examples of such sites are,, and Nielsen points out some specific design features that are important for teens: use of bright color, high quality images, integrated media such as videos and music, interactive games, and links to social media.

The Influence of Social Media

Social media has become an integral part of the teen market online shopping experience. The 2013 Piper Jaffray survey confirms that Facebook and YouTube are still the favorite social media sites for teens, with 53 percent of females and 52 of males indicating that social media influences their purchases (especially Facebook).

Other non-conventional social media platforms such as Pinterest and Polyvore have created innovative ways for teenagers to connect with their friends, see what their friends are interested in, and link them directly to eCommerce sites where purchases can be made.

Polyvore, for instance, is a community-driven social commerce site where members pick and choose from a variety of clothing, shoes and accessories to create fashion collages. Users can see other community members’ and friends’ fashion boards. Below these completed fashion boards are links to external retail websites, where users can complete any online transactions.

Pinterest, like Polyvore, is community-powered and allows members to follow friends’ and like-minded individuals’ pinboards. Pinterest users can re-pin rich images of home design, nature, fashion, food and beverages, and an assortment of other items for their followers to see. Each image or “pin” links directly to an online retailer’s site, essentially sharing that link with a huge network of followers.

Surprising Findings on Usability for Teens

Compared to other demographics, the teen market is actually less affected by poor usability features such as errors (their own or at the fault of the site). In the case of negative usability, such as slower loading time, the teen market has been shown to forgive and forget more easily than the senior market. Longer load times can still be frustrating for any user demographic, and may seem even more so for a group that craves instant gratification. However, patience is something that the youth market has practiced because of all types of technology mishaps they experience on a daily basis. This is unlike the senior market, which isn’t completely absorbed by the tech craze of smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Why the Teen Market Matters

Although some will argue that tailoring eCommerce sites to attract the teen market isn’t as valuable because teens don’t have direct buying power when it comes to online shopping, they are extremely influential when it comes to the consumption levels of their parents. According to the 2012 Harris Poll YouthPulse, teen-influenced purchases account for over $211 billion worth of purchasing power! With 23 million teens in the U.S. alone, teens are making a huge impact to the economy and their parents’ wallets.

When considering the teen demographic in their site design and usability, internet retailers should implement those site search tips listed above as a starting point to capture their target market.  Including non-product content such as social media links and interactive content such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Polyvore is a way to stay relevant and exciting to this young group. The key to engaging these Gen Z consumers is to keep it simple, avoid boring content, and consider using responsive website designs for multiple interfaces to keep your site fresh and fun.

Contact SLI Systems for a free site critique to learn how you can optimize your eCommerce site for this emerging youth market and other key market segments.

Sweet Success with Jelly Belly

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Buttered Popcorn… Cream Soda… Toasted Marshmallow… most of us have favorite likes or dislikes when it comes to Jelly Bellies. And it’s nice to be able to order those favorites from Jelly Belly Candy Company’s online store at Jelly Belly’s eCommerce site is an important global sales channel for the company, which sells 100 other types of confections in addition to its 75 flavors of Jelly Bellies.

As highlighted in a newly published case study, Jelly Belly uses SLI Systems to improve its user experience and profitability. By optimizing site search and SEO, SLI helped Jelly Belly see a 33% increase in site conversions and a 10% increase in average order value. By using SLI’s customized product results pages and adding those links to email campaigns, Jelly Belly realized an 85% better open rate for emails.

Jelly Belly’s director of e-business Brandon Finch works closely with his Customer Success Manager at SLI to stay on top of search trends and best practices. Recently, Jelly Belly’s search data showed that their BeanBoozled product line of odd-flavored jelly beans was one of the most-searched for products on their site.

By the way, if you haven’t yet been BeanBoozled, watch out – a 1.6 ounce box contains both commonly liked flavors such as Peach or Licorice and identical-looking beans with flavors like Barf and Skunk Spray. It’s a higher-stakes trick than the one I did to my sister as a kid, swapping Watermelon Jelly Bellies for Jalepeno-flavored ones.

After learning how popular its BeanBoozled line was, Jelly Belly worked with SLI to add similar products to the search results page, so that shoppers buying BeanBoozled will also learn about Jelly Belly’s line of Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, which also have strange flavors. (In a handful of Bertie Bott’s, you may taste dirt, earwax, booger, cherry and tutti-frutti.)

SLI also worked with Jelly Belly to create faceted navigation for Jelly Belly’s site, with search refinement options in the left column of the page. For those really into unusual Jelly Belly flavors, their BeanBoozled results page offers refinement by Taste, with the choices of Icky, Assorted or Chocolate.

SLI’s work with Jelly Belly is just one fun example of how SLI continually works to improve each customer’s site for the best possible search results and conversions. You can read additional examples from Boden, American Bridal, PartySuppliesDelivered, Snow + Rock and others on our case studies page, or listen to customers speak in our podcasts and recorded webinars.

Best Practices for DIY and Home Goods eCommerce

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Is there anything people won’t buy online these days? Sofas and even major appliances now have their place in the e-commerce universe, which raises the bar for online businesses that need to serve the special requirements of these shoppers. Unlike browsing for shoes or books, shopping for DIY or home repair products like lighting or power saws needs precise navigating and searching capabilities.

The DIY/home goods space is now big business online: Online hardware and tool sales are a $6 billion market, which has grown an average of 7.8 percent a year since 2007, according to IBISWorld Market Research. To keep the growth at a steady pace, online businesses that sell home and DIY goods need to understand that these products are shopped for in different ways. For example, the expertise level of shoppers varies widely – from skilled craftspeople to someone doing their first home-painting project. Also, some products, like appliances and home décor items, are shopped for based on criteria like appearance, features, and price – whereas products like hardware and tools need to match specific shopper requirements for part number, size or dimension.

The first step in attracting (and keeping) DIY shoppers is to return relevant results for searches. Shoppers, especially the ones smack in the middle of a project, will expect to see results that match their keywords within the first page – otherwise, they’ll leave the site quickly (no doubt to visit the competition). Consider adding useful tools like Auto Complete, which offers search suggestions after the visitor types in the first few letters of a keyword. Thumbnail images within search results are also very helpful, since they provide a visual cue for shoppers trying to decide if they’ve found the products they want.

Since measurements can play an important part of DIY shopping, you should offer the option to search for products using either metric or imperial measurements – especially on a U.S. website, since both systems can be in use. Manufacturers may also use different systems of measurements (e.g. “counter depth” or “standard depth” for refrigerators), so this option can help shoppers avoid an unnecessary “no results” page or confusing results.

The same goes for searches by SKU or part number. If you’ve ever shopped online for a new knob for an oven, or hardware for a set of window blinds, you know how helpful a SKU search can be – you’ll know you have the correct item if it pops up in search results. Make sure your site search can match full or partial SKUs.

If you have store locations whose inventory mirrors what you sell online, you can turn on geolocation services that allow shoppers to see if a product is available locally.

Educating shoppers about best practices for DIY projects is another good way to encourage them to click on the “buy” button. If they’re confident about a project, they’ll want to purchase the products they need to get the job done. For instance, you can add how-to guides, technical specifications, videos, and blog posts to your site, and make this information available via search. It’s especially helpful to separate out these search results by type so that visitors will find it easy to navigate to the content type they want.

Product ratings and reviews can also help boost shopper confidence in an upcoming DIY project. These ratings and reviews should show up in search results, placing them at shopper’s fingertips while they’re looking at product options.

Whether it’s driven by homeowners trying to save money post-recession, or the plethora of home-improvement programs on cable TV channels, DIY has many enthusiastic followers. Make it fast and efficient for these consumers to complete their projects by shopping on your website.

For more research and commentary on eCommerce trends in the DIY category, download this paper: Hardware, Appliances & Tools Industry Brief.

Note: This blog was originally published by JXT Group on July 19, 2013.