While attending the Best eCommerce Tests webinar recently hosted by Anne Holland at whichtestwon.com, she referenced a Marketing Sherpa study about the behaviors of on-site searchers. A few key takeaways from those studies:
- Searching has become the predominant method for users to find products on websites. While navigation tools and site architecture are almost equally important, more and more, consumers are using your on-site search to find what they are looking for quickly.
- Searchers are almost twice as likely to convert as non-searchers in a given visit.
- More often than not, a vertical listing format on the search results page converts better than a grid layout.
Suffice it to say, the search results page on an eCommerce site is something that is of high importance and something that deserves your attention. Specifically, I want to cover how you can improve the performance of your site search within Magento Commerce– although the tactics can be applied to any eCommerce platform with similar capabilities – but Magento has some fundamental, out of box features to help you improve your search results.
Improving Magento Search Results
One of the great features that Magento Commerce offers above and beyond other eCommerce platforms in the small to mid market space, is the ability to actually modify and control your search results page. While, admittedly, these features do not compare with the advanced business intelligence and merchandising features of many enterprise eCommerce platforms (although it looks like Magento is moving in that direction especially with the enterprise product), they do nonetheless provide any online retailer some relatively advanced capabilities that allow you to control your destiny when it comes to the quality of your search results page. Here are some tips on how to improve your search results page in Magento to improve the conversion rates of your visitors performing site searches:
- Setup your products with best practices to begin with. Too many times I see merchants trying to take shortcuts when it comes to product data. They have 100 different models of virtually the same product so they plop everything in Excel and use that dreaded “fill down” feature for meta data. Take your time with your data, and be specific with each product and provide as much detail and information as possible.
- Configure your attributes to match the user behaviors of finding products on your site. Carefully analyzing which attributes are available via quick search, which attributes show in the layered navigation of the search results page, and even the sorting order of those attributes on the search results page (more important filters towards the top) you can craft your search results page with user friendliness in mind in a few simple steps.