The busy holiday shopping season is already underway – but it’s not too late to make small improvements that will make it easier for shoppers to find their way around on your site, as well as see critical shipping and promotional messages that can impact their purchasing decisions. Below are some tips for ways you can help visitors find the items they seek more quickly and easily on your site – whether through your search box or by navigating their way around. With some minor tweaks here and there, and showing necessary information in site search results, you can capture higher conversions during the holidays and beyond.

  • Offer a gift finder – a gift finder is really a fancy way to provide a refinement option and helps customers shop for people on their lists by inputting various criteria (gender, price range, brand preferences, etc.) to narrow results to fit those specifications. Creating a gift finder on your home page – or on site search results pages – is fairly easy to do, as long as you know what refinement options you want to offer. Contact us if you need any guidance with this.
  • Be sure to include pricing and inventory levels in site search results (along with “add to cart”, video icons, reviews, etc.) – when people find an item they want to buy, it can be frustrating to put it in their shopping cart only to find out later in the purchasing process that the item is not available. Likewise, including the price in the site search results saves shoppers an extra click if the cost is not in their range. Offer as much detail in the site search results as possible – like an “add to cart” button (which can save shoppers an extra click), as well as icons to show the availability of a product video, and customer ratings and reviews. You can also offer ratings as a search results refinement option if people only want to see items with four stars or more, for example.
  • Make sure you don’t return “no results” pages – even if there are zero results for a particular term, showing “no results” can frustrate customers. Instead, offer alternate search terms, popular sellers or items that you’re promoting. They may not find exactly what they’re looking for but they may just find something else they’re equally interested in.
  • Show information about purchasing a gift card online in the search results – many retailers overlook this option but it’s a great way to give visitors another way to purchase from your site if they don’t see exactly what they seek. People don’t always think of purchasing a gift card online – and gift cards can actually be preferable to potentially duplicate gifts, items in the wrong size or gifts the recipient simply doesn’t want. Showing gift cards as an option in the site search results makes it really easy for people to make a purchase.
  • Got products that won’t ship/arrive to the recipient by Dec. 25? Be sure to make that clear in search results – Again, provide as much detail in search results as possible, without requiring customers to click through to the product page. Most likely if it’s not going to arrive by Dec. 25 they won’t be interested, so save them a step and let them know that important detail right away. Chances are they’ll appreciate the information and make a repeat visit to your site.

These are just a few fairly easy steps you can take to provide a better experience for your customers on your web site. If you have any questions about these or other recommendations, please email us at