EYEMAGINE EYEMAGINE on January 20, 2015 at 2:51 AM

Understanding the Importance of Search Extensions For eCommerce Retailers


When shoppers visit an online store with a clear idea of what they want to buy, they usually try to find the product that they are looking for by conducting a site-wide eCommerce search. If they find what they wanted, they are quick to make the purchase: statistics show that users who start their shopping experience with eCommerce search are 70% more likely to convert. This makes them some of the highest value customers for online retailers. It is essential that eCommerce sites have a robust internal eCommerce search engine if they want to attract these customers and have a high-performing, converting online store.

Technical Barriers to Entry
Most site visitors are used to extremely advanced, powerful eCommerce search engines like Amazon and Google, which include features like autocomplete suggestions, spellcheck, and robust algorithms that return relevant results for long-tail, multiple word queries. The bad news, though, is that creating such an engine on an eCommerce website is one of the more technically involved challenges in website development. It requires hours upon hours of back-end development work, and many smaller eCommerce retailers have neither the internal bandwidth nor the technical ability to make this happen. Native Magento search is no exception to this problem, since the platform does not natively offer a robust eCommerce search engine infrastructure.

SEE ALSO: How Do Your Product Pages Stack Up? 


Missed Opportunities
ForMagentosite owners, this is a huge issue: weak eCommerce search engines translate to missed opportunities, both in sales and in data collection. One of the key aspects that makes Amazon’s search such an integral part of their success is the rich data they are able to collect through the search about user interest patterns and click-through rates. They are able to understand exactly what their audience is looking for and, by extension, exactly how to market to them and increase their traffic and conversion rates. Search queries, then, explicitly reveal user intent, and site owners should pay close attention to this information if they want to increase conversions and refine their marketing strategies. What are users searching for most frequently? What product pages do users land on most? What are users searching for and not finding? The answers to these questions are actionable pieces of data that site owners should capitalize on to drive sales.

When to Outsource Search
That said, unless site owners have large development teams to develop, scale, and maintain an ecommerce search engine infrastructure on their own, it is best practice to outsource search to a third party provider that specializes in creating powerful search for site owners and visitors. In the eCommerce space, Swiftype is a leading provider. It delivers a rich front-end user experience, a robust back-end algorithm, and a user-friendly dashboard that allows non-technical site owners to tightly control search on their website. For more information about what Swiftype can do for your website, visit their ecommerce search solutions page or contact sales today.

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