a man using binoculars to look through a window
Site search is becoming increasingly more important PHOTO: Pixabay

If your website visitors can’t find what they’re looking for they’re going to bounce. According to Ecommerce & B2B, 60 percent of business buyers say they'd like enhanced search functionality from their suppliers in the selling process. That’s why it's imperative to have a great search on your website and why ecommerce experiences are critical, according to Emily Hayman, solutions engineer at Algolia. Hayman drove home these points in the recent CMSWire-Algolia webinar, “Improve Conversions with Product Discovery.” 

Good search — search that offers relevancy to the user and helps you improve and build your KPIs — matters because it helps build order purchase value, drive conversions and keep support tickets low. 

“Search is going beyond just that search bar. It is is powering category landing pages. It is powering recommended products. It's powering email blasts and making sure that you get the content that users are seeing and those type of experiences are very crucial," Hayman said.

Search Enables Discovery

Another reason search so crucial, search enables discovery, Hayman said. It’s all about taking a user’s intent and connecting that to the content they're searching for. Users can indicate their intent in many different ways. They can type directly into that search input. They can leverage filtering or facets. “Anything that the user directly tells you is something that can be leveraged to ensure that what they're seeing and what they're finding is relevant to them," Hayman said.

Discovery drives engagement. If users are finding what they're looking for, they're going to want to continue. Conversions rise. Support tickets drop. Order value rises. Across the board generally if you improve your search experience, you’re going to be able track and improve across your KPIs, Hayman said.

Strive for Relevant Results

Are your search results relevant? Textual relevance is the trick to get search right, according to Hayman. Algolia’s offerings are designed to help support relevance in search. They include:

  • Typo tolerance: ensuring that no matter which language users are typing, they're discovering what they're looking for
  • Advanced language processing: handling "stop words" and plurals.

Business metrics matter, too: you might be tracking conversion rates on your products; you might know how many comments or views a media item has; you might know the average order value. “It really depends on what you're tracking, but as long as you have that data, you can then leverage those signals to ensure that a user sees content that they're most likely to act on,” Hayman said.

Build Stellar Personalization

Screenshot from the CMSWire-Algolia webinar "Improve Conversions with Product Discovery"
Click on this image to access the on-demand recording of the CMSWire-Algolia webinar, "Improve Conversions with Product Discovery."

Know your audience in your search efforts. If a user isn't logged in but you know that they belong to a certain age bracket, or they're coming from a certain country, you can leverage that information. If they are logged in and you know their browsing history of the purchase history, that too can be leveraged. 

“It's all about taking both the conscious signals that a user is sending to you,” Hayman added, “by interacting with your user interface and those more subconscious signals that are coming from their past preference indications to ensure that the content they're seeing is relevant.”