eCommerce Search and Merchandising
What is Search and Merchandising?
Search and merchandising when combined is the ability to tailor your eCommerce site search results to fit the criteria you define. You provide your users with the ability to search your site for specific products, then through your merchandising you ensure they see the best possible results for them. But also for your business.
This could include trending products, seasonal items, related products with higher margins for example. By tailoring your search results in this way, you cater to customer experience and business priorities.
Do it well and you’ll boost your conversion rate
When done well, search and merchandising work in tandem. If combined correctly, they can serve both the users and your best interests.
In fact by providing site search, you’re tapping into an increased user intent – when your users search they have more intention to buy as opposed to simply browsing. By tapping into this, there’s a chance to increase your conversions by up to 5 to 6X. Get your merchandising strategy right and you’ll enjoy significant business benefits. And growth.
But too many websites are getting this wrong. Common mistakes include:
- Not supporting searching by product name or number
- Providing no useful search results when users get one character wrong in a product name
- Requiring users to search with the exact jargon used onsite
- Poor autocomplete suggestions
Mistakes are being made and poor user experience is the result. Get your search functionality optimised and your merchandising strategy on-point and you’ll find your competitive advantage.
Implementing the right strategy is to key to effective Search and Merchandising
The best approach is often to work alongside your search platform vendor and provide them with your merchandising strategy – together you can define which algorithms are right from a business standpoint. This should consider the likes of seasonality, trends and specific business requirements.
Custom algorithms should then be imported into your site search. Monitoring and adjusting results as you go is key. To help set your strategy, consider the following:
Define business priorities: Understanding key business goals will help align your search results with business performance.
Define merchandising factors: This plays into what results are shown when a specific search is conducted. Common data points to include into the algorithms include:
- Number of sales in a specific timeframe
- Product availability
- Click-through rate
- Profit margin
- Product release date
- Stock levels
Implement algorithms: Once your factors are defined, it’s key that you work with your provider to integrate these into the system.
Monitor and iterate as you go: Once your functionality is up and running, test, measure and adapt.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements.
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