interactivated blog

magento & ecommerce

Less Confusion, More Business: Improving Search Functionality for Ecommerce Website

Being able to efficiently search is one of the most important things on an ecommerce website. Even a smaller ecommerce website can have thousands of products, and you need to make sure the website visitors can find exactly what they’re interested in (at an affordable price, too).

When talking about the search functionality on an ecommerce website, we have to start with the simple things. For starters, there should always be a simple search box that’s clearly visible on the website. Use familiar rectangle shape and the magnifying glass symbol. In this way, a user won’t be confused, and they will immediately know what the function of that box is, because they’re used to it.

The search box should not be hidden, even when it’s not in use. You might be tempted to hide it when it’s not being used, in order to have a cleaner, neater interface, but remember – it’s all about improving the functionality, and it should be given priority over aesthetics.

Advanced Search

So far, we’ve focused on simple search – for example, just typing the name of the product in the search box. This is certainly useful, but a successful ecommerce website also needs to have a more advanced search, one that will allow the user to search by different criteria. They can narrow their search by selecting different parameters and filters, such as the price, the manufacturer, the average review score and many others. It’s recommended to add up to 8 parameters, but try not to overburden your website’s visitors. Having a choice is great, but make it too complicated to navigate, and they will soon be overwhelmed with the amount of information.

Once the user has searched for the product they want, it’s time to order the results. One of the most obvious parameters should be the price. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to also suggest other products they may be interested in. Or why not put the bestselling item in that category?

There are many ways to enhance the search functionality, including using a synonyms database and a spell-check tool. These will ensure that the users will find what they want, even if they’re not sure how a specific product is called, or if they misspell the name. Another useful feature is auto-complete, which will enhance the shopping experience, and perhaps suggest something new to users that they haven’t thought about before.

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By interactivated • on May 12, 2017

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