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Home Blog Search-Led Success: How to Boost Conversion Rates With On-Site Search


Search-Led Success: How to Boost Conversion Rates With On-Site Search

by Klevu on

Looking for a way to increase the conversion power of some of your most motivated customers? This article will show you how to increase both the number of search-led user journeys on your e-commerce store, and the rate at which these customers can be encouraged to convert.

Want to get more sales across the line? Here’s why you should be focusing on search-led user journeys…

When it comes to optimizing our e-commerce stores, we all know the devil’s in the data. The concrete numbers that we pull to check against KPIs are the lifeblood of our online brands — keeping us accountable, efficient, and always improving.

Conversion rate has long been a key barometer of a store’s success. But in today’s competitive market, it’s important to dig even deeper — differentiate between (and subsequently optimize for) the many different pathways our customers take on the road to conversion.

By focusing on the conversion rate of customers who specifically interact with on-site search, you’re niching down on a highly valuable segment of your audience and setting yourself up for a broad range of long-lasting benefits. Read on to learn how.

Why Focus on On-Site Search Conversions?

What’s so special about customers who engage with on-site search?

First, they’re giving you one of the clearest possible signals of intention to convert. It’s hard to think of a more promising profile than the shopper who navigates to your store, immediately demonstrates that they have a particular item in mind, and shows that they’re actively interested in purchasing from you. The stats back up this theory: customers who engage with on-site search are 5–6x more likely to convert than the average visitor.

Secondly, they spend! Site searchers account for up to 14% of all revenue. There are a few factors that contribute to this. They already had a specific purchase in mind, but by choosing to engage with on-site search, they also increased their chances of finding a suitable product, in a shorter amount of time. And they’re more likely to return to a site with intent to purchase, boosting customer lifetime value.

Another win: this category of shopper can give you valuable insight into customer behavior and motivation. If you’re making good use of your site search data, you’ll know exactly which products are proving popular (even if this interest isn’t reflected in sales — in which case, examine your pricing). You’ll also learn what people assume you stock (even if you don’t — in which case, perhaps you should!)

So far, so desirable. The good news is, site searchers probably already make up a sizeable percentage of your traffic. On average, 30% of visitors will perform an on-site search. But by taking steps to proactively boost this percentage, you’re stoking a fire that’s already burning brightly, and setting yourself up for significant improvements in your conversion.

How Can You Go About Increasing Your On-Site Search-Led Conversion Rate?

If you’re looking to boost the number of search-led journeys taken by your customers, and by extension, optimize their conversion rate, there are few practical steps you can take.

Make On-Site Search More Appealing

Ensure that your customers are thoroughly encouraged to interact with on-site search from the moment they begin their user journey. Start by making sure your store gives the search bar a starring role. This is about much more than just prominent positioning (although that’s important too)!

Be sure to deploy some carefully chosen, pre-filled search bar suggestion text. This could be as simple as “Search…” but you can also get a bit more detailed and suggestive, by including categories or other prompts to get your customer started, eg. brand, size, color. What you choose to use could even be informed by on-site search data, as you learn what’s proving popular that particular week, or which products are converting most successfully.

A fantastic example of imaginative use of the search bar comes from clothing retailers HOMAGE, who use the space to encourage customers to search for their team, sport, college or city, with text that cycles through these prompts automatically.

Another way to enhance your search bar experience is to deploy auto-complete. With 63% of traffic and 53% of sales now coming from mobile devices, we’re increasingly shopping on the fly. Anything that enables less typing and a faster pathway to products should be welcomed with open arms.

In a similar vein, quick search overlays (“search as you type”) are an excellent way to get products in front of your shoppers’ eyes before they’ve even completed their query. They’re visually compelling, with the capacity to display appealing product imagery in dropdown results while offering quick suggestions for easy and relevant click-throughs.

How Klevu Helps

Klevu helps make on-search more appealing in a number of ways. As well as offering pre-filled search bars and rich auto-complete functionality to assist with mobile optimization, trending searches can also be suggested, helping to prompt more spontaneous interaction.

Quick search overlay is also included, and kicks in after a single keystroke. Personalization of course comes into play here too, and Klevu’s newly enhanced capacity here means your users are going to be served suggestions, images and products that are perfectly curated for maximum appeal.

Make On-Site Search More Successful

After you’ve encouraged your customers to engage with on-site search, it’s time to make sure their efforts are rewarded.

First and foremost, speak your customers’ language. On-site searchers tell you what they want with their own words. This is absolutely golden information — use it wisely. It’s crucial for your catalog to be enriched with contextually relevant synonyms. Don’t leave someone frustrated because they’re searching for a “runner” when all you stock are “hallway rugs.”

Natural Language Processing is something that retailers should also be making active use of. Your customers shouldn’t have to guess at the search term that will bring them the result they’re looking for. NLP switches the focus from the keyword itself to the meaning and context of the search query used. This semantic approach means that user intent is much easier to fathom, meaning far more accurate results.

How Klevu Helps

When you choose to install Klevu, in addition to Natural Language Processing, your catalog is automatically enriched with our substantial database of synonyms. This results in three times the depth and coverage of search results, meaning more satisfied customers.

Additionally, you have the ability to train the Klevu search robot to recognize specific or unique elements related to your store by providing a list of your own custom keywords. These words will be automatically identified by Klevu, and deployed to optimum effect.

As a self-learning technology, Klevu is always working away in the background to analyze and optimize your store based on consumer behavior — no manual input necessary.

Make On-Site Search More Profitable

So, your customers are opting to use on-site search more frequently, and successfully finding the products that they were looking for when they do. Now it’s time to make those conversions really pay, by optimizing for AOV.

To do this, you need to ensure that your merchandising is firing on all cylinders. Once you know what people are looking for, you can significantly boost conversion by personalizing the prominence of the products their search recalls.

Many of our customers choose to apply their own rule-based merchandising, in addition to Klevu’s AI-fueled automation. Careful curation of your results pages brings many benefits in terms of profitability. Boost stock with higher profit margins, or products that you know appeal to customers who bring greater AOVs. You can also promote stock that you need to shift quickly to free up warehouse space, or products you know are likely to have seasonal appeal.

How Klevu Helps

Having boosted the appeal and accuracy of your on-site search, Klevu also provides a significant advantage when it comes to the final step of getting those order values up.

Taking away all of the labor and guesswork from ensuring your products are perfectly ranked, Klevu’s algorithm gets to work ordering products for optimal visibility across your store. Your customers are presented with highly relevant, perfectly personalized products every time.

Use some of the time saved from manual merchandising by getting creative and letting on-site search become your latest billboard. Make the most of our banner ad function, creating promotional messaging that‘s linked to specific keywords, visible within quick search overlays and on search results pages.

When it comes to optimizing the impact of your on-site search, as a dependable plug and play solution, Klevu helps across the board.

Our customers’ success is testament to this. Early adopters of Klevu, Soak & Sleep, saw a 35% increase in sessions with search, which led to a 50% increase in search-led transactions and 10% increase in their e-commerce conversion rate.

Looking to grow their digital presence and create an online experience that matched the personalized service delivered in their physical pharmacies, Kronans Apotek saw sessions with search boosted by 44% after deploying Klevu. This resulted in a 32% increase in search-led revenue and 33% more search-led transactions.

During February and March 2020, Klevu customers Benuta GmbH saw that 8% of search sessions accounted for an incredible 27% of their total revenue. Installing Klevu saw their search sessions leap by 170%, and a 220% increase in search led transactions helped to boost their e-commerce conversion rate by 18%.

Better Search, Better Sales

If you’re nailing all three of these areas – making search-led journeys more appealing, more successful and more profitable – then you’re set to see a marked improvement in your conversion metrics.

Klevu helps boost your on-site search performance across the board, enhancing all aspects of your customers’ shopping experience, while saving you an enormous amount of manual work. Focusing on on-site search-led user journeys is a smart investment of your attention and resources, and Klevu is here to help you every step of the way.

Want to see the impact Klevu could have on your on-site search figures? Book a demo today and let’s talk.

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