Advances in technology, including eCommerce search, have given brands numerous ways to engage with consumers. However, with customer expectations at an all-time high, shoppers can change loyalties with ease as well.
By now everyone had an experience with e-commerce search.
Imagine this scenario: You’re looking for a specific product, so you go to your favorite online store. You type in a search query, but the product results you see are inaccurate or not even relevant. You try to mix up the keywords and hit enter again. Next, you get a message stating that no results were found. You try a couple more words, but no luck. With no time to go through all the category pages, you go to the next eCommerce site that comes to mind.
That same brand immediately lost sales from a potential or long-time customer, and created a bad experience with a dire ripple effect.
Obviously search is only one out of many parameters, but as salesforce research stated –“76% of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere—switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations.” And it doesn’t end up in leaving the brand site, more than half of them will also share their bad experiences with friends and family.
On the other hand, when brands meet or exceed customer expectations — in this case, an eCommerce search engine that actually works — opportunities to build loyalty and increase revenue are created.
Let’s drill down to this experience
Search is used by High-Intent Shoppers
One reason eCommerce search engine users typically convert at a higher rate is because they have a higher purchase intent than regular visitors. According to WebLinc Customers who use on-site search are known to convert 216% more than those who don’t.
These customers already have a specific product or idea in mind, and your job is to connect them to it. They might have a specific search query, but they usually rely on the site to guide them to the best option using the best search solution.
In today’s expectations, product search and discovery must be fast, consistent and essential ( not a nice-to-have solution ). This means that a good customer experience in eCommerce site search minimizes friction and maximizes speed and efficiency.
The time from idea to purchase
Today, consumers expect fast and convenient shopping experiences, and they expect to get everything instantly in just a few clicks.
Research shows that the longer your shoppers take to search for a product on your site, the less likely they are to make a purchase, and the more likely it is that they’re suffering a bad customer experience. They want answers, guidance and assurance, but most importantly they want it fast and now.
How can a brand break the search cycle and deliver the best experience? by optimizing the search and shopping experience to match the most converting one – the in-store seller.
There are many eCommerce product search and discovery solutions available today. Certain features like auto-complete, smart filter suggestions, results preview, spelling correction, and more have become must-haves to meet customer expectations.
But none of these capabilities matter if relevance, accuracy, and context are not present. That’s where personalization comes in.
According to a PwC survey, “70% of consumers say a brand’s understanding of their individual needs influences their loyalty.” Meaning the best eCommerce site search engine delivers personalized experiences that ultimately drive customer loyalty.
By using a solution that incorporates conversational AI with deep product understanding, brands and retailers can understand their customers’ intent and context of the search query. As a result, customers are presented with accurate and relevant results that reflect their individuality and uniqueness regardless of whether they use “optimal” keywords or even know where to start (“Laptop for design student”).
A powerful and seamless way to bridge the gap between product search and purchase is to simplify and personalize the product discovery experience. Customers no longer have to deal with the frustrations of endless product research, poor search results or blank results pages. Instead, brands can deliver data-driven, customer-focused experiences that continuously adapt to new consumer behaviors and expectations.
Differentiation among brands and retailers today lies in the value and shopping experience created and delivered to customers. A conversational search and discovery based on conversational experience that truly understands your shoppers provides just that.
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