Personalization of eCommerce Search: Complete Guide

| Shane

Online retail is evolving very fast and is increasingly complementing in the offline market. In offline stores, visitors ask the salesperson specific queries to engage with products of personal interest to them.ut

The ‘eCommerce Site Search’ feature in online stores is nothing but a virtual salesperson. 

But the question is how intelligent is the Site Search feature at your online store?

The offline store salesperson can recognize visitors and has the ability to suggest relevant products based on the historical shopping behavior of the visitor. Online visitors can also be delighted by offering search results that are personally relevant to them. But unfortunately, most online stores do not have a personalized site search engine to deliver relevant results, as they are not technically equipped to deliver personalized services.

This article talks about the importance of personalization in eCommerce Site Search

Why personalize eCommerce Site Search?

Every consumer has preferences in the products they buy and the same continues when they shop online. Our interests or preferences can be understood by analyzing the attributes of interest to each of us.

According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when retail stores offer personalized experiences.

Now, let us discuss some of the benefits of personalization

  • Personalization improves visitor engagement

Just imagine a visitor who does not prefer Brand A is mostly shown Brand A products in his/her results. Wouldn’t it be obvious for the visitor to drop off? This behavior increases especially when they search for products on a mobile phone, as the time it might take them to reach a product of personal interest is long since we see 2 or 4 products maximum per scroll. 

The longer we spend time before viewing a product, the more likely we are to leave/bounce from the site.

Hence displaying results that are personally relevant increases visitor engagement which in turn increases the CTR and thereby conversion.

  • Personalization saves visitor time

Today, most of us are leading busy lives and we only get a little time before we get distracted or occupied into something else. Hence retailers need to quickly grab the attention of the visitors. And visitors, particularly on mobile, are too quick. Personalized search results mutually help both retailers and visitors by reducing the time to discover interesting products.

  • Personalization improves customer loyalty & satisfaction

According to Brainsins, 59% of online visitors are more likely to return to a store that personalizes results. This is a clear indication of loyalty and satisfaction among visitors.

  • Personalization provides competitor advantage

Online retail is very competitive as visitors are exposed to a lot of options. The barrier to exit from a store is almost minimal. If two stores offer the same product with the same price & service, personalization offers a better consumer experience, which is going to give you an advantage.

  • Personalization reduces customer acquisition cost

The probability of conversion of personalized site search results is 2X greater than non-personalized results. In addition, Personalised stores also attract more return visitors thereby reducing the customer acquisition costs (CAC).

Requirements for eCommerce Site Search personalization 

Having spoken about the benefits and potential of Site Search personalization, its effectiveness depends on the nature of attributes & tags assigned to the products. String fields should be avoided and the tags must be defined properly. Example: consider a shirt and the following are the tags that can be assigned for effective personalization.

Brand: ABC

Color: Red, Blue

Sleeve Type: Long Sleeve

Material: Cotton

Collor Type: Regular

Front Pocket: Yes

Duplication of tags should also be avoided

How is Site Search personalization done?

The personalization (site search) engine records every activity (Product views, Add to carts and Buys) of the visitor (without any personally identifiable information) and learns from the trends across the attributes/tags engaged with the visitor. The search results are displayed based on historical user behavior.  

site search personalisation in ecommerce

(Search results for visitor A vs visitor B)

Comparison of various Site Search engine personalization providers 

Choosing the right Site Search engine will definitely make a big difference in the outcome of the results. Below is the list of comparison of various software in the market

Site Search solution Monthly Pricing starts @ Pricing based on  G2 Rating (out of 5)
Tagalys Search Personalization $799 (10 K unique visitors) Unique visitors 4.8
Algolia Only on Enterprise plan (greater than $499) Operations & Records 4.6
SearchSpring | Nextopia ** Traffic & Product Count 4.8
Klevu $799 (200K search terms & 100K records) Search terms & Records 4.3
Attraqt | Fredhopper ** ** 4.0 ** Search terms 4.5
Hawksearch ** ** 4.2
Reflektion ** ** 4.5
Certona ** ** 3.5

Tagalys offers value-based pricing to eCommerce retailers. The more the visitors search at their online stores, the lesser they pay at Tagalys vs other tools, as our pricing is based on visitor volume & not search volume. 

The other site search features provided by Tagalys are  Conversion optimized sorting (Trending sort order), Synonyms, Spell check, Popular & Pinned searches, Search results merchandising, Search suggestions, Query stemming and Detailed reporting

Tagalys’s other solutions include Online Product listing page merchandising and eCommerce Product Recommendations.

Interested in Tagalys. Book a demo and start your free trial today!

*Comparison as on March 20, 2020 **Data publicly not available as on March 20, 2020