Product Discovery
June 22, 2021

How Much Does Site Search Matter, Anyway?

E-commerce has seen huge shifts in how shoppers discover products, especially with the rise of trends like social shopping. This has led many e-commerce brands to ask if site search still matters. However, the data has proved again and again that site search is important — especially in 2021. Many brands that were predominantly focused on their brick-and-mortar stores pre-pandemic have been forced to move online. DataFeed Watch reports that shoppers spent $211.5 billion on e-commerce in the second quarter, up 31.8% from the previous quarter.

Product Discovery
May 22, 2021

How Much Does Site Search Matter, Anyway?

E-commerce has seen huge shifts in how shoppers discover products, especially with the rise of trends like social shopping. This has led many e-commerce brands to ask if site search still matters. However, the data has proved again and again that site search is important — especially in 2021. Many brands that were predominantly focused on their brick-and-mortar stores pre-pandemic have been forced to move online. DataFeed Watch reports that shoppers spent $211.5 billion on e-commerce in the second quarter, up 31.8% from the previous quarter.

Competition to capture consumers’ attention and to earn their loyalty in the digital space is more intense than ever before. This shift has forced many brands to look at ways to enhance the digital customer experience — from AI-powered search to personalization. As a foundational component of a strong digital strategy, effective site search functionality is important for every e-commerce business to get right in order to win and keep customers. Studies show that conversion rates achieved as a result of site search can be up to 50% higher. 

Why Your E-commerce Site Search Is Still Important 

Despite the rise of social shopping and social media campaigns that feature real customer content, reviews and recommendations, a retailer’s website remains a primary destination. As Econsultancy notes, many shoppers still seek out brand sites in search of the “right” product — it’s in these cases that your site search plays a crucial role in sales and conversions.

Visitors who arrive on your site with a product in mind expect to find what they want with ease. Failure to meet those expectations leads to a negative shopping experience that can permanently damage the perception of your business. For example, imagine what happens to a shopper’s impression of your brand when they search for a black tank top and your search results recommend evening gowns. Such disparities frustrate your visitors and spike your bounce rates — often pushing shoppers toward your competitors in the short run and the long run.  

Shoppers have high expectations for your site search — expecting it not just to work but to make sense of very specific criteria. For example, a shopper may arrive on your site and type in “long pink skirt with pleats and sequins.” Sites that can handle long-tail, semantic-friendly searches are more likely to connect customers with what they’re shopping for and convert those shoppers into buyers. In fact, one study found that it reduced cart abandonment rate from 40% to 2%. In a nutshell, you’ll improve customer satisfaction and retention rates by expecting more from your search rather than relying on simplistic functionality.  

Brands that meet visitors’ expectations with a great, frictionless user experience see a direct effect on their bottom line. Shopify reports that users who successfully complete a search are 1.8 times more likely to convert. Moreover, Lily AI customers see a 10% to 15% revenue lift by simply enhancing the product data that powers accurate search results.

Gain the Competitive Advantage 

Despite the proven importance of site search, Econsultancy reports that 42% of companies fail to optimize their site experience. This is particularly noticeable for shoppers on mobile devices. The Baymard Institute’s mobile usability study reports that site search is the preferred method for finding products while browsing on a mobile device, as users consider it faster than category navigation. Despite this fact, Baymard notes that search is almost completely broken on most mobile e-commerce sites.

The simple fact that so many e-commerce brands overlook the importance of optimizing site search puts your brand in a unique position to deliver a better experience. Ensuring that your visitors can quickly and easily find exactly what they are looking for will put your brand well ahead of the curve in today’s competitive online shopping landscape.

Don’t Neglect Your E-commerce Site Search

Site search still matters in the world of e-commerce. You’ll always have customers who arrive on your site with a specific type of product in mind. Failing to meet their expectations damages your brand image and your bottom line.

At Lily AI, our algorithms can recognize and assign more than 15,000 product attributes, enriching the objective and subjective product data in your catalog with up to 99% accuracy. The precision and comprehensiveness built into the Lily AI solution ensure that your customers can find what they are looking for as soon as they arrive on your site.

Curious to find out more about what Lily AI can do to grow your e-commerce business? Get in touch with us here.