The need for personalized search in your eCommerce business
Posted on December 20, 2016 by
eCommerce Search, Site Search or Product Search are a few of the terms customers refer to the experience of allowing a visitor quickly find a set of products that match a search query entered in the search bar within an eCommerce store. Search is key revenue driver at the lowest operational cost for leading retailers across the world. Data recorded by Tagalys across clients shows that although less than 10% of visitors search, they drive anywhere between 30% to 40% of the stores revenue. This is evident as leading global retailers display a prominent search bar with a clear call to action, that drives visitors to search for products. Interested – Sign up now.
Site Search is a product discovery channel that can deliver conversion rates almost 2X higher than regular listing pages. These numbers hold water only if you have the right engine and not based purely only on keyword relevance (Search 1.0). Some of the other benefits of Site Search are reduced time to checkout, higher product views per visit and increased order value per customer. But there are many instances of online retailers giving little or no importance to the Search experience within their store. If you already know this, Sign up now and improve your visitor engagement.
Lets take a step back and consider offline retail, cause online commerce is only an extension of offline retail. Hypothetically, you own this fabulous brand and open two stores in the same city. They have the same inventory (Product catalog), physical store format (UI) and display Merchandising (UX). But one has a shopping assistant and the other does not. The store with an assistant will deliver more sales and the amount by which the sales will improve will depend on the aptitude of the shopping assistant. Most visitors with an intent of purchase will interact with the sales person – “Do you have shoes?”, that leads to relevant questions “What brand, size, color?”, resulting in products that best suit the query. This is what Search 1.0 for eCommerce is expected to do. Understand what your visitors seek (Search query), ask relevant questions about that query (Filters) and show products (Search results) that match the query (No usage of data analytics). Then came along a smarter shopping assistant (Search 2.0) who started to consider what was sold, what products were viewed and visited the dressing room. With this intelligence, products shown not only match the query but also consider store analytics to support the increase in sale probability. But today, a sales person remembers you, knows what you like or what someone with your shopping persona may like, will show you products for the same query based on individual persona data. Ensuring products shown are not pushed based on store data, but personally relevant to you as it is based in individual shopping persona data. This is Search 3.0. Interested – Sign up now.
The rise of Search 3.0 or personalized search is driven by the “Attention Economy” and the rise in mobile first discovery. Almost 60% of visitors engage with an eCommerce store via a mobile device, they are on the move, pressed to time and prone to distractions. Personalization of Search improves visitor engagement as it makes Search a personally relevant experience.
So if you think intelligent or personalized search will boost sales for your eCommerce business, start considering the following
- Make vs. Buy
- What will be lost revenue over 8 to 10 months by not installing intelligent or personalized search
- What will be increase in operating cost when internal resources are deployed to build the same inhouse?
- What will be monthly recurring cost (hardware, software and human resources) to build, maintain and continue keeping abreast of the best in technology?
- What should I budget every month to gain access to reliable intelligent or personalized search almost instantly?
- What uplift in sales will a 3rd party Search solution offer my eCommerce business
- What will be increase in visitors who search, if I make the search bar more prominent with a clear call to action and resulting increase in revenue if my search conversion were to improve by a minimum of 50%?
- What will be the increase in cash flow if visitors become customers faster?
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