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Key E-Commerce Search Features for Higher Conversion Rates

Enhancing Usability, Navigation, and Personalisation with an Actionable Roadmap

Phil Lewis
Phil Lewis
Lead Architect, Europe

Is your site search producing relevant, personalised results? Are you getting the conversion rates you want?

Watch the video to see how improving even the most basic e-commerce search functionalities can bring measurable impacts to the bottom line.



If you’re in the e-commerce space, these statistics may not be new to you: while only 30% e-commerce visitors use site search, conversion rates through site search can be up to 50% higher than the average. But even the top-tiered e-commerce sites fail to provide the most optimised search experience for online shoppers - 70% don’t have product synonyms enabled and 65% don’t support spelling corrections.

Being so accustomed to Google and Amazon, online users have come to expect similar e-commerce site search quality. If your e-commerce search is lagged behind, your conversion and retention rates may suffer.

We’ve learned from first-hand experience that e-commerce site search performance does have a measurable impact to the bottom line. A modification or improvement to a particular search functionality can produce a correlated increase in conversion rate, and thus overall e-commerce revenue.

Although the same set of search functionalities is used across the e-commerce industry, the challenges and ease of implementing them are drastically differed for every search engine and every unique e-commerce website.

Having an actionable search strategy roadmap can help you better understand your e-commerce search engine – its strengths, weaknesses, and a clear view of what’s needed to be done for short- and long-term improvements. An example roadmap that's worked well for our customers is the e-commerce search optimisation quadrant – view it here.

As described in my video, the search functionalities in the quadrant are organised based on basic vs. leading-edge functionalities on one spectrum, and difficult to achieve vs. easy to achieve functionalities on another spectrum. 

You can use the quadrant to thoroughly assess each of your e-commerce search functionalities – which functionalities does your website already have? Which ones are doing well or not so well? Which ones can be implemented quickly and have an impact on the bottom line? Remember, where each functionality is placed on the quadrant depends on the specific e-commerce website and search engine.

Take a large e-commerce customer of ours for example. 

The company has successfully implemented some basic functionalities, such as Stock Position Information, Price Ranges, Language Support, etc. However, three other basic functionalities - Query Completion, Spell Correction, and “Did You Mean” - were missing. These fundamental features, once implemented, resulted in an increase of 2% in conversion rate and a drop of 50% in failed queries. 

To have a closer look at how the e-commerce search optimisation quadrant works for our customer, watch the detailed process in the video above.  

Visit this page to save a copy of the quadrant.

-- Phil