e-Commerce Site Search Review: Urban Ladder
Posted on April 25, 2017 by
Urbanladder.com is one of the leading venture funded curated online furniture sellers in India.
Yesterday I met with Ajay (Advertising professional) regarding a new Tagalys initiative, when he enquired if we powered Site Search for Urban Ladder. Unfortunately we do not, as their engineering budgets, allowed them to build, manage & continue innovating their site search needs. But the conversation with Ajay led to him sharing frustration in his search experience, especially cause he expected more as available in leading sites like Amazon.com. And add to this he was engaging with Urban Ladder via a mobile device, this frustration multiplies. Digging in deeper, he shared specifics of what was missing, so we thought we share this feedback with the engineers at Urban Ladder to help them continue working towards delighting their online visitors.
SEARCH BAR design (4/5)
Both mobile & desktop versions have an expanded search bar, that is visible to visitors on the home page & other product listing pages. What could improve is a more central location with a highlight and a clear call to action to nudge visitors to Search quickly, discover products and engage with Urban Ladder.
Search Suggestions (3/5)
Predictive suggestions are generated as the visitor continues typing the search query. UL either runs the partial query through historical searches, inbuilt suggestions or a combination of both to show a prioritized list of 8 completed suggestions. On the outside this checks the box, but the key metric is the CTR from suggestions to listing page views and lets assume this is also done by the team.
What could really improve is the way the suggestions are presented to the online visitor. It does not break down the suggestions into a category, subcategory or other attributes that matter to the visitor, thus preventing any chance of a search results drill down, thus shortening time to product discovery.
POPULAR SEARCHES (0/5)
RECENT SEARCHES (1/5)
Only available on the mobile app.
SEARCH RESULTS (2.5/5)
80% of visitor are likely to engage with less than 3 actions (scroll, sort, filters) on any listing page pages. It is critical to utilize segment analytics of engagement data to understand and predict what visitors want. That prediction when applied to each search query, shows the products in the order of highest probability of conversion, thus increasing the products viewed from search results.
At Urban Ladder keyword relevance plays a big part as products are displayed in the search results if the keywords are available in the product table. There is no filter being applied at the Search or options to drill down the search results. The default sort is called “Recommended by” which we assume considers engagement data across the site for a period X.
This is not a great strategy for UL as most search results will lead to a large number of product listed, thus requiring users to use Filters quickly drill down, but unavailable hence leading to bounce. This visitor behavior will also be higher on mobile devices. A few examples
Search for “Coffee table” when sorted by Price.
A search for “Study Table” when sorted by New Arrivals
UL should allow visitors to drill down into a category or subcategory right from the Search Suggestions or from a filter in the search results page. This will improve the quality of search results displayed when Sorts or Filters are applied.
Only available filter is price on desktop & mobile. While price is a critical filter, its value is eroded when the search results are no longer relevant on application of the price filter as seen below. In the category of Home decor / Furnishings, we recommend adding filters like Category, Sub Category, Fabric, Material, Color, Discount/Savings as a bare minimum, to help visitors quickly drill down and find something of interest to them.
SORT OPTIONS (4/5)
All obvious sort options expected by visitors are available although it is unknown why “Sort by Discount” is only available in the mobile app. The default sort option is “Recommended” which we assume is a product sorting based on some form of visitor engagement analytics over period X for the search query.
Visitors search the same products in the singular & plural forms and others.. Urban Ladder has enabled stemming to showcase the same search results for both.
Spell Check (0/5)
An easy to implement feature, helpful to visitors but not implemented.
Overall Urban Ladder scored 2.3/5.0 in our review. This means while Urban Ladder is converting visitors to customers, but there is room for improvement to
- Convert more visitors to customers through the Search funnel
- Reduce Time to transact (
- Reduce bounce sessions in Search results