Changing to a new eCommerce platform is a huge investment, not only in dollars, but time spent integrating your site and training your team on the new features and functions. When you’ve just spent so much time and money upgrading to a new platform, it’s easy to see how adding site search would seem like little more than an additional expense.
But failing to upgrade your eCommerce platform’s search is like upgrading your ski clothes without buying better skis – you may look and feel better, but your technical gear won’t perform well. Upgrading the core search ability of your site can lead to better overall performance and higher conversions.
While platforms do many other things well, they don’t offer specialized features that focus on making your search shine. It’s a fact that visitors who use site search are more likely to convert. So if search is so important, shouldn’t you be paying more attention to it? When you’re looking at your platform’s site search, it’s important to ask a few questions to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
Are your search results as relevant as they could be?
Advanced site search and navigation improve the quality of search results based on customer shopping behavior and click-throughs, re-ranking products based on popularity. Can it dynamically build SEO pages that continually update to reflect the most popular searches on your site? Pages like this can work toward improving your organic Internet search results rankings.
Are there opportunities for customization?
No two sites are alike, and search features should reflect that. It’s important to implement the features that will appeal to your customers, and make their experience on your site uniquely tailored to their shopping behavior. Don’t let a lack of innovation stifle your site’s growth.
Does your platform share the latest features and best practices with you?
The eCommerce landscape changes quickly and having the best features can make your site stand out from the rest. It’s beneficial to have a partner that understands industry best practices and suggests improvements to site features.
Do you have access to reports and analytics?
The reporting data you get from site search is filled with important insights that can help you understand your users and better target their needs. Having access to the top search terms, poor results and top converting pages can help you anticipate new trends or better promote the most popular search queries.
Does your platform have A/B testing?
Can you make fact-based decisions on the value of certain features, designs, or buttons? A/B and multivariate tests can produce surprising results, because not all customers behave in the same way. In some tests, we’ve seen conversion rates increase when using grid view, while others increase with list view. Since every site is different, you shouldn’t trust a general “rule” – but test it for yourself.
Do you have a dedicated, responsive customer support team?
Having a single point of contact can mean the difference between personalized, responsive service and being continually frustrated from lack of response. Making sure you have strong support will give you time to focus on other business priorities.
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then I’d suggest taking a good look at what your current site search is really providing you. A good site search will give fairly accurate results and have a few bells and whistles. A great site search will not only deliver relevant results, it will give you crucial insights into what drives your customers and actionable ways to proceed. Additionally, it shouldn’t be so overly complex that you won’t use it.
If you’d like a hassle-free solution and a solid team behind you to help you grow your site, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.