What e-Commerce Conversions Are You Missing Out on with Textual Site Search

What’s the conversion rate for your e-commerce website? According to the e-commerce industry giant Magento, the average across all online retailers is usually only about three to five percent. In fact, few retailers find themselves ever achieving higher than eight to nine percent (outside of the site search segment), even during peak sales periods.

Getting your e-commerce’s conversion rate into the average conversion range is a difficult enough task for many online retailers: excelling past it is a never ending strive for constant success. And while many online retailers will continue to push new marketing campaigns and invest in gimmicks that push sales on customers, smart e-commerce managers will turn their attention to a more sustainable, passive way to boost their conversion rates: semantic site search.

Catching conversions before they disappear

Retailers often concern themselves with generating new potentials for conversions… but what about salvaging those that might already be prospects, who might be falling through the cracks due to frustrations with your site’s search function?

A staggering volume of customers willingly funnel themselves into the sales pipeline by choosing to use the on-site search. Capitalizing on these leads by giving them a) immediate product results (options) and b) ensuring that results are relevant to their interests means captivating an audience that might otherwise push your conversion rate down.

In order to generate better conversions through your on-site search, focus needs to be shifted away from standard textual- and keyword-based search algorithms. In today’s innovative age of online shopping, these site searches could actually be doing you more harm than good:

  • These searches narrow results only based on recognized keywords, which may not refine searches to a level that’s helpful to a shopper.
  • Text-based searches are nullified by spelling errors, improperly parsed text and the absence of applicable keywords.
  • These searches are not robust enough to factor in critical variables, such as item popularity or brand relevance.
  • Keyword-based searches do not delineate hierarchies, making it difficult for them to cumulatively process extended search phrases that include multiple keywords.

All of these variables negatively impact your on-site search’s ability to funnel sales into your conversion rate. With results that are too broad, too refined or simply not applicable, customers will simply leave in favor of more helpful platforms.

Semantic site search streamlines conversions

If you’re one of the thousands of online retailers using a platform like Magento to power your business, much of the interface of your e-commerce site is readily provided for you. But, while your site might feature a search box, the technology that powers this search may be leaving you wishing for a more robust solution to capitalize on potential conversions. It’s important to recognize that not all search results are returned equally and the gap between text-based searches and semantic searches is expansive.

Platforms like Magento also offer statistics and data in regards to the many measurable actions of your site: namely search data. Through admin controls you can access reporting on search terms and, if you’re a data connoisseur, it’s easy to pair that data with sales figures and other invaluable data that can teach you about the behaviors of your customers on your website. What you’re bound to find is that the more effective your search function, the higher your sales are going to be, which means higher conversion rates.

Replacing stock site search with semantic site search options will fuel the functionality you need from your on-site search, giving you the potential to tap into sales that may not otherwise have occurred through a substandard search function.

Creating search sustainability

There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into optimizing your site to corral sales that might boost your conversion rate: be sure you’re not overlooking one of the most critical variables in your on-site search function. If you’re working with a foundation e-commerce partner like Magento, going above and beyond to upgrade your site search means going above and beyond to increase your conversions in a sustainable and meaningful capacity.

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