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Going visual: The new way to optimize e-commerce onsite search

Posted by ViSenze 23-December-2015

As your e-commerce site or mobile app steadily gain visitors, an important question you need to answer at this point is:

How can you bridge the gap between your customers and the products you present?

Well, in treading through the vast world of the Web, search-enabled sites hold the light to guide visitors to the information they’re looking for.

Navigating through e-commerce platforms is no different. One of the things that significantly enhance your platform's user experience is its search functionality.

Sure, visual elements and site structure highly contribute to usability as well, but what seamlessly connects your product to your prospect is the ease in which they can find exactly what they need.

In a matter of seconds, a search function can turn an interest into conviction to purchase.

search function turns interest into purchase

 

Unfortunately, customers are often unaware of the specific keywords to use to describe the items they are looking for. Sometimes, the ones that they enter in do not even match those inserted by your retailer staff in your database.

 

Faced with such a frustrating scenario, these buyers quickly lose interest or even turn to competitor sites instead, leading to much disappointment and lost sales opportunities.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important that you start focusing on improving the quality of your e-commerce onsite search for both your website and mobile app.

 

Why precise onsite search is crucial for your business

1. Searchability increases purchases

Visitors who use onsite search have more shopping intent that those who are just randonly checking out or browsing on your platform. They are more likely to buy from you as they are usually in a later stage of the shopping process.

This is where searchability enters the picture.

Faster and more precise processing of search queries speeds up purchasing and significantly increases customer satisfaction, thus removing friction from search to purchase on your platform.

2. User-friendly site search = Successful customer journey

If you have a huge product catalog, your customers may get overwhelmed with the number of products and amount of content that you have.

Site search can solve this dilemma by giving them a shortcut to finding exactly what they need quickly.

Giving shoppers more control on what they want to see on your platform ensures a rewarding customer journey. If you’re able to secure their retention and loyalty, this can result in an increased number of promotions, registrations and return visits.

On the other hand, intuitive search features such as search suggestions can give your customers more ideas on what else to buy. Around 25% of site visitors are likely to click on a search suggestion, thus encouraging them to take more time to browse through your catalog and consider other items, possibly leading to an increased basket size.

3. Search suggestions can boost conversion rates and sales

Improved search technology can improve your conversion rates.

For example, adding a feature that allows them to find similar products can nurture your customers’ interest in products that are related to the ones they’ve already found (or planned to purchase).

This translates to a bigger basket size per user and an overall higher retention rate of pleased customers.

The key to bigger sales and higher customer satisfaction in the e-commerce market lies in being able to provide a user-friendly search experience. But if keywords are not accurate or specific enough, visual search technology can help you enhance your e-commerce onsite search.

 

When (key)words get in the way

Getting keywords to accurately reflect the results that your consumer desires is a challenge, and words alone may not be enough to capture the details of the product that the customer knows.

Products with specified unit labels such as electronics and cosmetics may not be that hard to find using keywords, but the same cannot be said for visually-inclined ones, such as fashion items and furniture.

The closer the results are to what your buyer is looking for, the higher the chance of them making the purchase - and you can ensure this for your potential customers by using visual search.

 

How Visual Search Makes Onsite Searching Effortless

visual search makes onsite searching effortless

Simply put, images capture what keywords can't.

By using visual search, customers only need to take a snapshot of the product they’re looking for, and your site or app can deliver search results as fast as a keyword search would - only with better and more relevant results.

Businesses utilizing visual search have experienced a 30% uplift in conversion and engagement rates by improving search efficiency and eliminating furtile keyword search results.

Visual search makes your product content accessible and shoppable to customers who can easily perform visual search straight from their devices, anytime and anywhere.

So instead of trying out different keywords in your search box, your shoppers can locate items within your catalog just by using images as search queries.

 

Let the images do the work

As more businesses continue to capitalize on e-commerce platforms to reach out to customers, optimizing your onsite search is the ace up your sleeve.

A user-friendly website experience powered by visual search technology will not only motivate your customers to buy but also satisfy their tastes, helping you to increase sales and preserve customers loyalty to your store and products.

 

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