Since visitors who use site search convert at a higher rate and spend more than those who don’t, it’s no surprise that retailers are inventing new ways to drive their visitors to search.
Our friends at Jelly Belly came up with the novel idea of including a search box in their floating shopping cart box. When visitors add an item to their cart, they are presented with the option to check out or find another item. This approach truly makes search an integral part of the shopping experience. It also gives search even greater visibility to their most qualified visitors.
Another approach for increasing the visibility of the site search box is to anchor the search box at the top of the page. In this example from American Bridal, as visitors scroll down the page, the search bar sticks to the top of the page and rests above all other content. You can read more about the tests and results that American Bridal received in this floating search box press release.
To get shoppers searching, sometimes all they need is a suggestion of what to search for. This is one of the primary benefits of placing “Related Searches” on a product landing page. Visitors will often arrive at these pages from an external search engine like Google and related searches provides them with a quick and easy way to continue their search. In this example of related search terms from NRS, these terms are placed at the bottom of the product detail page just below other related or alternate items. Thus, if the visitor gets to this point and had not found what they want, the related search terms will guide them into the site search experience.
Something else to keep in mind is that driving more site search usage doesn’t have to be limited to placements on your website. Jewelry supply retailer Artbeads.com includes a link in the header of their email newsletter that drives search activity for their most popular term, beads.
If you have other ideas for how to increase your visitor’s use of site search, please share those in the comments below.