It’s no longer an e-commerce secret: the number of users accessing online stores with mobile devices is increasing significantly every year. And the basic rule is: the less information the consumer has to provide when using the store, the better. However, it is often the case that customers prefer to use the search function on the desktop rather than on mobile devices. They usually prefer Google search to find a direct entry at the desired site. The conclusion is: mobile users do not have much confidence in the internal search systems. Exceptions that offer a sophisticated search functions tend to be in the minority – Amazon, for example. In this blog post you will learn how to improve the mobile search functions of your online store and thereby increase your sales figures!
Positive user experience – a must for the modern online store
Why do mobile users prefer to search for the desired product via Google rather than directly in the online store? One reason could be that the search function is not noticeable. Since most consumers are increasingly surfing with the throw-away mentality, it makes sense to place the search more in the spotlight of the website. After all, the customers want to satisfy a specific need quickly and conveniently on the go or from the comfort of their own home. It is important that the search meets the high expectations of the user experience (UX). Once users are not convinced of a store search, it is difficult to regain their trust – they will switch to Google search instead. And the competition is fierce there. A good search function can transform to a business decision and therefore requires a positive user experience.
The way a search result is delivered varies from device to device. However, the screen size shouldn’t have a negative impact on the customer’s experience. In other words, the following formulas should apply to all viewports – regardless of whether they are mobile or desktop.
How to design a better store search
When a user activates a search engine, the context is clear: he makes an effort to satisfy his need. At this point it is recommended to minimize the “background noise” of animated banners or other store content. The use of overlays that darken or even hide the entire page can support the user’s focus on the search context.
Amazon demonstrates it perfectly: When tapping or clicking within the search field, search terms are already suggested. So the user doesn’t have to think twice and chooses one of the suggested search terms, freely based on the presumption: “Don’t make me think.”
The search should be fast and precise! Search results can be displayed as soon as the search parameter is entered. Clustering the search terms helps to quickly deselect options and concentrate on the relevant results.
Do not display a “no result” page! Users should always feel like they are approaching their goal. For example, are they looking for a special dress that your online store does not carry? Then you can immediately inform them through a message or offer them suitable alternatives from your store.
Do not forget the product content when searching for a store!
If you want to sell your goods in your online store via mobile devices, the product search must meet special requirements. For an internal search, a standard search function in the existing store system is not sufficient: The presentation of more complex products on the result pages requires a different concept than the presentation of self-explanatory products. Why? For example, certain niche articles that are targeted towards a specific group require different real-time suggestions in the search field than articles for the general public. Therefore, when designing or developing your online store, do not underestimate the search function! After all, an intelligent search not only searches page or product names, but also product content or even content of linked PDFs, which is essential in modern online stores.
From duty to choice: The performance of the store search
Speed is also crucial for internal product searches: if the search process takes too long, the user gives up. Therefore, you should thoroughly evaluate your target group and their needs in advance. Based on this, you develop a functional concept for the internal search. On this basis, you then add providers of search systems for external searches with their own server. Do not neglect testing! Hardly any other function in the store system requires such an intensive and permanent quality management like the search function.
Search engines like Google set the bar very high for internal product searches in online stores! Therefore, we should consider user’s habits – simple and intuitive search engines are the key to success. It is important to harmonize all components from user experience to performance. It’s crucial to concentrate fine-tuning on the essentials.
Want to learn more about an intelligent search implementation or need support with your online store? Then contact us – our e-commerce experts will be happy to advise you!