With new ecommerce ventures making their presence known and large enterprises jumping onto the bandwagon, the insane popularity of ecommerce seems to be growing by the day. According to a report, by 2021 ecommerce sales will rise up to $4.5 trillion which is three times the revenue in 2014. This popularity is driven by the human desire for instant access and round-the-clock availability. With an ever decreasing attention span and limited time to spare, most consumers want to get to their desired goal as quickly as possible.
The three key attractions of an ecommerce store lie in its accessibility, convenience, variety. Now, imagine an ecommerce store with a huge portfolio and an abundance of products to choose from. How will the customers navigate through the millions of options and get to the best possible one for them? This is where smart search comes in. With a predictive and intuitive mechanism for searching products based on the buying habits of customers, you can grab attention, provide convenience, and increase accessibility. However, what makes smart search a game-changer is its ability to gather valuable information regarding buying patterns; this helps it target customers more effectively to create a fully convenient and accessible marketplace geared for success.
How Smart Search Can Transform Your Ecommerce Business?
It is said that the average human attention span is 7 seconds and that is about how long you have to grab your customers' attention. Where 7 seconds can decide your fate, having a large portfolio is simply not enough. Smart search is a necessity that no ecommerce store can go without. But don't take our word for it. Below are some of the many benefits of intelligent search mechanisms that can completely transform your ecommerce store for the better.
Enhance Consumer Experience
The goal of an ecommerce marketplace is to mimic the engaging experience of a real-life store with an added convenience and accessibility that is hard to get anywhere else. This can only be achieved if all customers are instantly taken care of. The main goal of the customers is to get to their desired product and just like any brick and mortar store, your online store needs to guide them to their destination as quickly as possible. With an intelligent predictive search mechanism, your customers can get what they want even before they know it. This results in an enhanced consumer experience that will eventually lead to better conversion rates and maximized profits for your business.
Build Lasting Relationships
Building a relationship with potential customer boils down to how well you can meet their needs in the shortest time possible. For a new customer to turn into a loyal one, your ecommerce website needs something extra. Using the capabilities of an optimized search tool, you can auto-suggest relevant products that will attract first-timers and make them come back for more.
Get Insights into Consumer Behavior
Intelligent search is not only valuable for the convenience of the consumer but it can also add to your knowledge of consumer behavior. The terms entered in your search space can provide insights into the buying patterns, intents, and desires of your customers. Such information can be used to your advantage and can help you in improving your ecommerce store, marketing the right stuff, and further elevating the customer experience.
Predict Consumer Intent
Search entries can give deep insights into the buying intent of your customers. A more specific search indicates a higher intent than a generic one. Understanding consumer intent can lead you to target your customers even after they have left your store. By knowing why customers are searching for something and where they are searching from, you can target the right people at the right time.
Make Marketing more Effective
With crucial information such as buying intent, consumer behavior, and search patterns, you can focus your marketing efforts on the customers who are most likely to convert. Through prioritized selling based on search popularity, you can market products that are widely popular or highly rated and most likely to appeal to your customer base.
Achieve the Ideal Smart Search for ecommerce
Now that we have established that intelligent searching mechanisms are absolutely necessary for a successful ecommerce store, we need to highlight what a good intelligent search approach actually looks like. For keeping your customers satisfied in this day and age, the bare minimum is not enough. Here are some tips for building an effective search strategy that will help you go the extra mile and stay on top of your game.
Say Goodbye to Keyword-driven Search
In the technologically advanced world of today, keyword-driven searches just don't cut it anymore. Consumers need fast, accurate and personalized results from their searches and that is only achievable through an intelligent and highly intuitive mechanism. These days, the best optimized search technologies use machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to gain deeper insights into customer queries and deliver satisfying results. Through Artificial Intelligence, search tools can optimize results to be highly personalized and improve in-site recommendations based on consumer buying patterns.
Show Relevant Products
In online retail, there is no bigger turn-off than a Zero Results page. When a customer enters something in the search bar they expect to get some results, even if it isn't the exact match. Your advanced search needs to ensure that your store never displays a zero result page by suggesting similar products that the customer might be interested in.
Go beyond Demographic Barriers
A good search mechanism will help you bridge demographic barriers to reach a larger audience. Phonetic differences in languages and misspelled words can lead to fruitless searches that are detrimental to your conversion rate. By using predictive search, auto-complete, and spell correction you can handle these minor errors in search entries to give a highly accurate and personalized result.
If you have an extensive product range in your ecommerce store, chances are, customers will never reach some products that they might potentially be interested in. Auto-suggest is a spectacular way to give your customers a preview of other relevant products you have in store. By incorporating relevant suggestions into the drop-down search panel, you can help your customers reach their goal easily or grab their attention with a similar product.
Showcase Popular Searches
Use your search results to highlight your highest rated and most sought-after products in a non-intrusive and natural way. By adding suggestions for popular relevant products and searches, you can provide effective guidance to make the customer's job a lot easier.
Top Search Apps for Shopify
No ecommerce business can function without an effective search tool to facilitate its customers. Renowned platforms such as the enterprise level ecommerce software Shopify also has several search apps in its app store. Here are some highly rated search apps from the Shopify app store that can help you create an unmatched shopping experience for your customers.
Price: Free, Essential ($149.99/month), Growth ($349.99/month) and Enterprise Custom ($2500/month) plans.
Pros: As soon as a customer types their first character into the search bar, Instant Search + starts recommending relevant products. Equipped with auto-generated search filters, it gets your customers exactly what they're looking for. Instant search + is compatible with smartphones and tablets, boosts conversions and provides useful analytics about customers. With a 4.9 overall rating on the Shopify app store, Instant Search + is popular among many renowned ecommerce stores.
Cons: The free plan only accommodates 5000 products with other limited capabilities. Other plans start from $149.99 per month up to $2500/month which may be too pricey for small businesses. Reviewers also complain about some bugs and integration issues in the app.
Price: Free, Starter ($9/month), Professional($19/month), and Advanced($39/month) plans.
Pros: With a 4.9 rating and over 200 reviews, Omega Instant Search is a hit in the Shopify store. The app promises auto-complete feature, spell correction, custom filters, powerful analytics, and storewide search, all for extremely low prices as compared to other apps.
Cons: Only the advanced version priced at $39/month supports up to 50,000 products, this might make it undesirable for very large ecommerce stores.
Price: Plans starting from $19/month up to $59/month.
Pros: Product Filter and Search provides all the basic intelligent search capabilities including multiple filtering options, fast navigation, instant search, auto-suggestion, and a super easy install. This app has a 4.9 rating on the Shopify app store and is widely regarded among many ecommerce business owners.
Cons: The lowest costing plan is $19/month and there is no free plan. This makes it unsuitable for small businesses looking for cost-effective solutions.
Price: Free, Essentials ($149/month), Power Kit ($399/month), and Enterprise ($799/month) plans.
Pros: Findify Search & Discovery uses Artificial Intelligence for real-time personalization. It provides features such as auto-complete, predictive search, dynamic filtering, spell correction and much more. Many established and growing brands use Findify to achieve better results.
Cons: Even though there is a free plan, the paid plans start at $149/month which is costly for growing businesses. Some reviews also complain about a difficult to understand layout.
In a world full of people with low patience and no time to spare, instant access and fast response times are key to customer retention. The easier and faster it is to navigate your store, the more customers will prefer it. A sound searching mechanism plays a crucial role in encouraging customers to stay on your ecommerce site and see their purchase through. Many large-scale ecommerce businesses are exploring new search technologies to optimize searches and boost conversion rates. Through platforms such as Shopify, small ecommerce businesses can also catch up and display optimized search capabilities that are necessary to succeed in today's fast-paced, digitally driven world.