What is ‘Search’ and why is it important in E-commerce?
An E-commerce website search feature is a search engine that is integrated into or built into an online store, it works by matching the user's search phrases with the products in a store, it's function is to find the items a user is looking for. It helps high-intent customers in quickly finding the items they want while collecting important data points on what customers want, how they talk about those goods or services, and how to tailor your offer specifically for them. Search is how you understand the words most used by your customers to find products, it is usually the first thing most customers do when they visit a website, apart from the general ambience of the website, the first interaction is usually looking for products and how easily they are able to do this, contributes greatly to the overall shopping experience.
There are four different types of search queries on E-commerce websites
Exact search: when a customer searches for a specific product name or brand name and exact product description
Product search: when a customer searches for a product type e.g. “moisturiser” instead of referring to a specific brand
Problem-based search: when a customer searches for a solution to a problem, this can sometimes show results from FAQs that have been answered on the site
Non-product search: “Non-Product” queries are when users search for something that isn’t a product, such as the return policy or shipping information, to something more general, like searching for content on how to use an unfamiliar product you sell or content from your blog. While the primary function of search in an e-commerce context is obviously to find relevant products, the search engine shouldn’t be limited to just searching the product catalog, as we consistently observe that users expect the search field to search the entire website.
Searching For Fashion Items
The product discovery journey of every fashion shopper starts with a search, shoppers search with general descriptions like shirts, dresses, tops, but also search with more specific descriptions like pencil skirt or skater dress.
Fashion is visual, and sometimes shoppers don’t know the exact words to search with and would rather just search with Images. A lot of people get style inspiration from fashion influencers on social media and would already see how to style their fashion items, therefore they would mostly be interested in shopping when they visit a fashion website. However, it is interesting to know that some fashion websites that display their products styled would still display search results when customers search for how to style an outfit.
Lykdat makes it easy for fashion businesses to add image search to their website so their customers can search with Images.
Searching For Skincare Products
For Skincare, most people find exact search more valuable, as different people have different types of skin and skin concerns so it’s important that they are searching for the exact products that suit their needs, most skincare brands ensure that there are numerous ways for their shoppers to filter search result till they are able to find exactly what they are looking for.
Searching For Automobile
I would go to a car shop and touch the keys if i wanted to buy a car, and to be fair i don’t think i’m alone on this one, although this doesn’t mean that the automobile e-commerce space doesn't serve anyone, most people do their research online before they go ahead to buy their car and there are a few people who would buy their cars online.
Automobile websites put in a lot of effort into the entire appearance of the products on their website, People shop for cars for different reasons, for the functionality, Sustainability and for lifestyle, automobile brands do a good job trying to make their website an online showroom, however some automobile websites only allow you select already displayed products without the need to search and do not even allow users to search, while those that allow users to search only return search results for products. Considering the fact that most people are doing research about the cars they’re trying to buy, they would be doing a lot of Problem based search and non-product search, some shoppers might have questions about insurance for their car, and it would be valuable to automobile shoppers if they could get answers to their questions just by searching.
Searching For Furniture
Product search is one of the easiest ways to search on a furniture website for people who do not have and exact product in mind, furniture shoppers therefore tend to search with general terms like table, sofa, and then go ahead to filter based on the colour, design or price range they're looking for.
However, shoppers also do a problem based search on furniture websites for furniture pieces that require assembling and showing guides on how to assemble such products as search results is a good way to improve the shopping experience on the website. Image search is also an easy way for shoppers to find furniture pieces they've seen online or at a friend’s house, without the need to describe it with text.
Shoppers are searching in different ways across all E-commerce verticals, and it’s important for brands in various industries to recognise how their customers love to search and the best way to help them find what they’re looking for.