According to statistics, 43% of online shoppers choose to directly go to the website’s search bar. And site searchers are thrice as likely to convert! Yet, close to 72% of eCommerce websites fail to deliver on site search expectations.
The better your site search, the more sales you can make.
That’s because people are more likely to buy products they find when they search for them online. If they don’t find what they want right away, they will often give up and go somewhere else. This is why it’s crucial that you have a great site search feature on your eCommerce store.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the importance of having a good site search on your Shopify website and how to foolproof your online storefront with site search optimization.
What is a site search?
This is the feature on a website that helps users quickly find what they’re looking for. With an effective search functionality on your website, people can discover what they want without any more effort than it takes them to enter a few words into a search box. It can be used by both new and returning customers, and it's especially useful for those who are not familiar with the site navigation.
It helps them find products with the help of keywords that are present in their titles, description, or tags. It's a great way to present your products in a user-friendly way, and when done right, site search can be an incredibly powerful tool for increasing conversions.
Why is Shopify's default search not good enough?
When you set up a Shopify store, it comes with a default search bar. However, it is not so powerful. While it helps people make quick searches on the site, it may not necessarily be able to take into account different search behaviors or specific search results.
So, while Shopify site search is a powerful tool to help your customers find what they need in your store, like many other aspects of a store, Shopify site search can also be improved upon. This is why you need to focus on site search optimization.
What is Shopify site search optimization?
Site search optimization is the process of optimizing your site to make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for. It's not just about keywords - it's about helping visitors navigate your site as quickly as possible so they can find what they want, when they want it, in a way that makes sense to them.
It helps cater to different shopper behaviors and search patterns to help visitors reach the products of their liking/ preference, faster.
Why is Shopify site search optimization important?
If you are running an eCommerce store, then you should definitely set up a site search on your store. There are many reasons why it is important for your business -
Helps shoppers reach products of interest faster
As shoppers become more comfortable with online shopping, they expect to be able to find what they want quickly and easily. If you don't offer a great search experience, your customers will go elsewhere. And that's bad news for your business.
A good site search engine helps shoppers reach products of interest faster. When a shopper enters a query in the search box, their results should be displayed as quickly as possible - ideally, in seconds or less.
Helps reduce bounce rate
Today, consumers have shorter attention spans and want things fast. Searching for a product reduces the number of clicks and helps users find what they want immediately.
Helps increase conversions and sales
When visitors can reach products of interest faster, they become more likely to convert into buyers. The more time it takes to find a product in your store, the less likely customers will make a purchase. This is especially true when they are looking for a specific product or category of products.
Helps improve the overall shopping experience
Site search also improves the overall experience of customers who are already familiar with your brand and products. Instead of relying on their memory or asking other customers where something is located, they can find what they're looking for quickly by searching for keywords within your product catalog.
When your Shopify predictive search caters to the smallest of things like synonyms and autocorrect, your site’s UX gets boosted. It leaves a good impression showing you care about the shopper reaching the product faster.
12 tips to optimize your Shopify site search for better conversions
Shopify site search is the primary way customers will find products in your store. If your site search isn't working properly, you're losing business and money.
We've put together a list of three ways you can improve your Shopify site search and turn it into a profit center rather than a burden.
1. Hide sold-out products
When your Shopify store search results display sold-out products, it can affect the overall shopping experience of your users. They can get frustrated when they discover a product they were looking for and then realize it is actually out of stock only after clicking on it.
This is particularly relevant when your store is running a flash sale or BFCM promotion, and customers need to make quick purchases.
In order to execute this on your Shopify store, you will have to deep-dive into the technical aspect and code quite a bit. You can reach out to our team of Shopify experts to help you achieve the best results for your Shopify site search conversions.
2. Restrict site search results to product pages only
More often than not, it is best to display only product pages in your Shopify site search results. This means you will have to avoid any blog posts or regular content pages from your store that may contain the same search keyword.
In this way, you can funnel buyers straight to their products, and avoid distractions from other content.
Adding this much-needed feature to your Shopify site search requires extensive knowledge about Shopify stores and basic coding skills. Our team of Shopify experts works with Shopify merchants like you to design the store that reflects the personality of your brand and caters to the functionalities you require.
3. Strategically design and place your site search box
Generally speaking, your search bar should be somewhere near the top of any page so that users can find it quickly without having to scroll all the way down. Ideally, this would be at the top right corner of every page of your website. This is where most customers expect to find it, which means they're likely to use it if it's there.
You can also incorporate it into your navigation bar by adding a drop-down menu or icon.
Furthermore, ensure that you place search boxes on every page of your Shopify store to boost your website’s UX.
Also read: Shopify Store Design Breakdown - Dissecting Kylie Cosmetics and their Store Design
4. Keep your search box design large
When you're working on your Shopify site, it can be easy to get caught up in the details of your design and functionality. But if you're not thinking about how customers will use your site, you might be missing out on opportunities to make their experience more enjoyable and convenient.
One way to improve customer experience is by making sure that your search boxes are large enough to fit most search queries. Not only does this make it easier for customers who want to find what they need quickly, but also easily type in their full query without having to scroll or zoom in on the page.
Also read: Ecommerce Web Design Breakdown - Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
5. Use auto-complete
Auto-complete is a great way to help users find what they're looking for faster and more easily. Here's how it works - when a user starts typing something, Shopify automatically suggests possible matches from your inventory.
This means that if you have a lot of products with similar names, you can add them all to the same search term and give users the option to choose which one they want - and it will even suggest variations of the original search term, just in case!
This can help customers find exactly what they're looking for quickly, which makes them more likely to buy from you.
6. Provide category-wise search options
If you have a lot of products that fall into a very broad category like “women's clothing", consider adding a subcategory like "blouses" or even more specific categories like “tank tops”. This will help people find what they're looking for faster and more accurately.
Well-organized Shopify store categories make it easy to navigate through the store even from the search bar.
If your store categories and subcategories aren't organized well or are too confusing, then people won't know where to go when they're searching for something specific (and they'll probably just give up). It's important that your categories are intuitive so that customers know exactly where they need to go next without having any trouble finding their way around
Adding a ‘search by category’ option on your Shopify store is great for shoppers who aren't sure what they want but know generally what kind of thing they're looking for For instance, a shopper may know they want something related to footwear but not sure what kind of footwear. Searching and browsing through the ‘footwear’ category will help them make a definitive purchase decision.
7. Let shoppers search using product codes
Don't forget to allow shoppers to search product codes! This can be a very effective way for shoppers to find what they're looking for in your store, especially if you've got a lot of products that are similar.
This is also especially useful when shoppers try to repurchase a specific product.
So, they might already know the unique ID number associated with that item. In such situations, you need to be able to let your shoppers search for the desired product by SKU or UPC code! This can be done by adding some custom coding to your site's backend.
8. Avoid pages with zero search results
You can easily discourage a potential customer from making a purchase from your store if they come across a search results page without any results. But despite knowing this, 10%-25% of all searches end with zero search results.
Let’s say, your store doesn’t necessarily contain products that the user is searching for, even then add other recommended products here. This tiny integration could prompt users to explore your product catalog and buy from you.
9. Enable image search
Visual search is a new way of enhancing your store’s search functionality to improve the customer experience. The idea is that customers can find products by using pictures rather than typing in the name or description of a product.
Retailers who use visual search have a huge advantage over their competitors: it allows them to offer customers an enhanced customer experience by helping them find the products on their site quickly and easily.
10. Enable voice search
Today, over 91% of brands are choosing to make significant investments in voice technology. This is because 71% of online users would rather search using voice than a keyboard.
Voice search is a way for users to interact with technology by speaking to it and it is becoming increasingly popular. It's about more than just searching for something on your phone or computer—it's about using your voice to accomplish tasks, like finding a specific product or service. It's important for retailers to understand what voice search means for their businesses and how they can use it to enhance the customer experience.
11. Enable synonym search
Increase product discoverability through your Shopify search by using keyword synonyms. Keyword synonyms are terms that mean the same thing as each other. For example, if you are selling a product called "Red Dress," you can use keywords like -
- Red dress
- Dress in red
- Red dress for women
The more variations of keywords you use, the more likely it is that someone looking for a product will find yours. This helps provide a frictionless search experience that prevents you from losing shoppers to uncommon keywords.
Sometimes, your customers are going to misspell words. And sometimes, they'll use words that aren't in your site search's vocabulary.
That's okay! Your site search doesn't have to be perfect - it just needs to be ‘smart’. Your Shopify store search should be able to gauge your user’s intent even if they misspell a word or two in their search query.
There are a lot of Shopify apps available today that can help you easily make this possible for your online storefront, with no need to write lengthy codes whatsoever!
Bonus tip: make sure you have product filters
The tips mentioned in the previous section can help shorten a visitor’s way to finding products they want. But if you have a large inventory, you want to make it simple for them to sift through the search results too. That’s why it’s important to have some kind of filtering system in place.
By adding more filters and sorting options, you can help customers find what they're looking for even faster than before! These are tags that allow visitors to narrow down results based on price, color, size, etc.
You could have your most popular products at the top of your list or sort by price or other information like color or size. There are lots of ways to do this, so get creative and come up with a solution that works best for your store!
Is your Shopify store seeing too much of a bounce rate lately? Optimize your search functionality to combat that.
Site search optimization is completely taken for granted on plenty of sites. But when even the smallest adjustments to your search feature can see a dramatic improvement in conversion rates, it's important that you make sure that you're doing everything you can. Focusing on improving your site search will see a huge impact on your business overall.
We help you bring your ideas to life with Shopify web design, development, marketing, and support services from experts. Our team of Shopify experts works with Shopify merchants like you to design the store that reflects the personality of your brand and caters to the functionalities you require.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you optimize your Shopify site search!