Ones your potential customer visited your website whether this is a web-shop or product catalog, he is looking for the right product. Obviously, if a customer cannot find the product he will not be able to buy it. The searching tools are extremely important to get the desired conversion rate because users not only visit the specific product card, but very often go to the home page or other pages, not related to the product they are looking for.
Starting with the basics, the search bar is a foundation. First of all it should be visible as much as possible, especially for users who know exactly what they are looking for. Very often the search bar merges with the design of the web shop and it takes some time to find it. The best way is to put search bar on the top of the page, within the header block.
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Moreover, locating a search bar near to the navigation simplifies the design of other pages. Keep it simple and visible. The traditional process implies a search with words and phrases, where the result is a list of product matches. Typically it’s enough to search for certain characteristics of the product like name, article/item number, packaging codes etc. According to the NNGroup research there is no need to implement very advanced or scoped search options if you are not an Amazon, Wallmart or eBay. It helps users manage complex product offerings but people mainly work with search results. If you are selling complex products or you have broad range of products, it would be better to consider a product selection tool instead of the advanced search.
One of the commonly used and most flexible search feature are filters, which allows users to narrow the range of results by selecting several options. There are two main advantages of this search:
Due to the simplicity of navigation elements, the search process reduces the number of the results by discarding those that don’t match the user’s needs.
Simultaneous display of predefined filters and search results helps users to understand the connection between them. So the search results are updated as soon as the user adds or removes a particular filter.
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Faceted search allows to enhance product search experience, very often customers are unsure of what they want and would like to explore products before the final decision. Filters simplifies how user work with results ale allows to explore many alternatives very efficiently based on certain criteria like color, size, brand, price range etc. While it is a great instrument it must be “usable” as the vast possible choices can make the search difficult.
Another effective solution are search suggestions or autosuggest. When the user types a word in a search bar, the system automatically suggests relevant products in a drop-down list.
(image credit of amazon.com)
Search suggestions is a trend that has been gaining popularity over the past few years. Sometimes the search results are not limited to the matched words and phrases but also it can contain images, recommended products and other content.
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Over the past few years, the growth of mobile traffic directly affects user behaviors and sales, the huge percentage of online purchases are made on smartphones or other mobile devices. People not only buy online, they also use their mobile devices for making research before the final decision. Since confidence in online shopping is growing, consumers feel more comfortable shopping on mobile phones than ever before. Improving eCommerce experience for mobile users can be a huge business opportunity.
To meet mobile users’ needs, eCommerce solutions should provide intuitive and affordable interfaces to make the phone shopping quick and easy. Designing mobile web shop, it is important to understand the basic differences between mobile and regular devices:
Much lower screen and less space to present the information
The search input field should be clearly defined with clearly understood search symbol
Mobile provides new tools for CTA (search-driven notifications, call button)
Mobile search requests are shorter
Mobile users expect instant search responses
There is a need to adjust SEO strategy to mobile search requirements