eCommerce Site Search – Relevant, Trending or Personalized – Whats right for you?
Posted on February 1, 2017 by
Site search is a cash generation engine when done right for your ecommerce business. But assuming you do have an engine in place, what should it do for you? Search engines are aplenty and at Tagalys we offer 3 versions for retailers to choose from that will best suit their business needs. If we equate Tagalys to a Mercedes Sedan (a bias I have over the BMW), we can rank the technology behind our search engines as Relevant = A class, Trending = C class and Personalized = S class. The technology that drives the order of the search results is the biggest differentiator across these three versions, besides a few minor aesthetic differences. So let’s dig in deeper. Please note that the search results are universally accurate across all 3 versions, the stand out difference here is how product sorting is impacted in the search results. Interested already – SIGNUP NOW
Relevant search results = Mercedes A class
This is an entry level search engine, most suitable for retailers with less than 10,000 monthly visits. Tagalys also offers a free plan for this engine. This version of the engine will still show you accurate search results for any simple or complex search query, but it does not have the ability to personalize results (visitor analytics) or sort results by what is trending (site analytics). You might still consider opting for the C class or S class models, but based on our data analysis across existing clientele we have some average user engagement metrics that point out that this engine is most likely to give you better ROI that the other two. But if your average cart size ($50) or percentage of visitors who search (5% – 10%) far exceeds industry benchmarks, you might want to consider the other engines. We also acknowledge that if you are smaller business you will be starting out with low mobile traffic, acquiring analytics data and visitors are getting to know more about your online store. This a great starter engine to help you tread the waters of online commerce.
Trending search results = Mercedes C class
This mid-segment engine is ideally suited for retailers above 10,000 visitors a month. Retailers at this size start showing patterns of in data as the volume of data show patterns on what products have the best engagement. With this engine, besides showing accurate search results regardless of search query complexity e.g., dress, maxi dress, Zara maxi dress, Zara cotton maxi dress, Zara cotton floral maxi dress, the engine considers historical engagement analytics across the site to determine the best sort order for search results that increases the probability of conversion. This engine should be used as a bare minimum to sort search results which are most likely to sell based on engagement data from the entire site. These results will appeal to your larger audience but not everyone because individual preferences are not considered in product sorting. Hence while this engine may cost more than the A class, it is more likely to convert more visitors to customers. Hence ROI for this engine starts to make sense when you have high traffic leading to high search volume.
Personalized search results = Mercedes S class
The top line of our engines is ideally suited for retailers who attract over 50% of traffic coming in via mobile devices and where this traffic is mainly composed of return visitors. Why? Return visitors have shown interest in your retail business. They will share hard and soft data on their intent and as a smart retailer, you can make sense of this data. If your return visitors are primarily engaging with your commerce store via a mobile device, there is a good chance almost 55% may bounce after the first 30 seconds (Refer Hubspot). These visitors get to engage with 2 to 4 products per page screen in a mobile device and in order to find products that are personally relevant to them, they are then expected to filter, sort, scroll and invest their time in product discovery, when you already know what their intent is. How do you keep them engaged in the first 30 seconds?
Return mobile visitors is the key driver for search personalization, cause menus, filters and sort options are typically hidden from the mobile interface to reduce clutter. This user interface leads most visitors to scroll through the results and prefer frictionless experiences. And the longer a visitor scrolls to find a product of interest, increase the probability of bounce. So to keep these visitors engaged, the personalized search results from Tagalys, considers visitor specific engagement data to showcase results that are personally relevant to each shoppers persona. Objective is to generate visitor interest to click on a product, to engage. Please note that there is a direct correlation to product views and customer conversion rate. Our analysis with personalized search shows almost 68% of the clicks to a product page happen within the first 4 pages of search results. Hence showing the most relevant personally products, on top per unique visitor increases engagement. Increased product engagement from search results leads to higher search revenue.
There are many more fine details that differentiate the workings of each engine and there are a few cases not outlined here, where a mid sized retailer might still want to use a personalized search engine.
Interested already – SIGNUP NOW and see your visitor engagement improve.