As eCommerce recruiters, we know that staying relevant in today’s market has never been harder. New technologies combined with increased expectations from consumers have challenged all businesses to provide a better digital user experience that is easy to navigate.
This is especially true as the consumption of goods and services online continues to increase. In a digital world, the user journey and eCommerce experience need to exceed your customer’s expectations and needs. Here are some of the top eCommerce practices the leading VP eCommerce executive search firm is seeing from marketing executives.
Best eCommerce Practices We Are Seeing From Top Marketers Now:
When you think of eCommerce, you may associate the success and failure of the overall website to be linked to the availability of product or order fulfillment speed. This is only partly true. Like any great marketing strategy, you need to have a strong foundation. The backbone of every eCommerce site is eCommerce search. It powers the user’s shopping experience.
Accurately predicting how consumers utilize the search tool is a key component to operational success. Can the search engine understand the user’s input? Are the results accurate? Does it retrieve the results quickly? According to Forrester, a study found that 8 out of 10 users leave the online store if it fails to provide its customer with convenient website navigation, relevant results, or clear product information. Most likely, they will never come back.
To ensure that customers have a smooth user experience and don’t abandon you while shopping, here are some eCommerce site search best practices and features eCommerce recruiters say you should consider in your eCommerce search engine.
Natural Language Processing
Natural language search is a computer program’s ability to understand human speech as it is spoken. It is commonly used when you communicate with Amazon’s Alexa or your iPhone’s Siri and is becoming more popular through many retail channels. Not only can it be used to find results based on what was said, but it can also exclude products or services that do not contain any of the words said. Natural language processing provides your user with more accuracy, which increases the chance of a complete buying journey.
Long & Complex Searches
More often than not, consumers who use search bars are looking for specific items. They know exactly what they want and do not have time to scroll through a long list of products or services. eCommerce executives are seeing that consumers who use search are 2.4 times more likely to buy. So when someone comes to your site with a purchase behavior in mind, make sure you provide accurate information or results and increase your chance of closing the transaction.
As the leading VP eCommerce executive search firm, we are seeing the biggest challenge is making sure your search engine can read long and complex searches. Instead of users typing in “women t-shirts”, they might enter “long pink women t-shirts with pockets”. This is when your search bar will be put to the test. A smart search engine will return a match that includes the color, style, and category the search was asking for.
Many companies—- approximately 72%— completely fail site search expectations. Having a strong eCommerce marketing professional is your best safeguard to ensure that each eCommerce site element is running effectively and efficiently.
Reducing “No Results” Pages
Most eCommerce websites have “no results” pages. It could be that the user had such a complex search that it was impossible to read or you simply don’t sell that product or service. This result doesn’t have to be a dead-end in the consumer’s shopping journey.
As eCommerce recruiters, we recommend training your search engine to recognize what the user is searching for and return recommendations or suggest alternative results. A list of relevant products and services is always better than an empty screen. Providing contextual results, even if not the exact match, could provide an incremental lift from traffic that was previously lost.
You could also go as far as incorporating past browsing history. It makes the page more personalized and feels like they have an in-person sales representative to guide them from start to finish.
In the end, many components go into a great eCommerce website. The most important component of your eCommerce strategy is having the right marketing executives leading the way. It’s your best chance for success. If you need an eCommerce marketing leader, reach out to the leading eCommerce executive search firm to fill in any gaps within your team and start returning results.