Since we can all agree that Google is an essential part of our lives (according to SimilarWeb 92.42 Billion visitors and first place globally), we can all agree that search is crucial as well. Now, think back to the last time you searched for a product online. If you’re like 93% of online shoppers, the experience began with a search box and a few relevant keywords. Moments later, the resulting surge of sponsored ads and organic search results appeared. After that, the long journey to purchase began, as you tried to navigate throw thousands of results across channels.
Consumers like finding products, not searching for them. The tiring process of improving keywords, checking off filters, and comparing product descriptions in order to make a purchase has made shopping into a headache that consumers dread. In spite of the fact that shopping methods have evolved over the last two decades, the search experience has continued to rely on outdated practices.
Search is mostly the same
The digital age revolutionized where we shop, buy The way we search hasn’t changed in nearly a century. The three elements of the “modern” search experience are the faceted or filtered search, keywords, and page rank. Each have different effects on how consumers navigate digital search experiences.
eCommerce product filtering allows your customers to narrow in on specific products they’re looking for and find products they are likely to be interested in based on particular features (e.g. size, color, category). The use of filters based on predetermined groupings to classify data and find relevant information originates from the Colon Classification system developed in 1933. Today it is common in most e-Commerce sites to provide search filters – usually as a sidebar where consumers can choose factors to narrow down the search.
The most common search solution – the user types some words that he finds relevant to the search and hopes to get matching results. This field became mostly familiar thanks to the Google SEO ranking algorithm, which was based on keywords up until recent years. Today, search technologies have advanced greatly due to the increased utilization of natural language processing. Yet, eCommerce sites still rely on keywords and tokens searches (e.g ElasticSearch, Klevu)
The challenges modern consumers face
Now that you understand today’s search experiences, you need to understand how it impacts consumers who shop on your site. Remember that last time you shopped online? What were you feeling when you encountered so many options ? Chances are you experienced one or maybe all of the challenges and frustrations your consumer feels every time they search.
TMI (Too Much Information) – A simple search for “Laptop” generates over 200,000 results on Amazon. Try narrowing down that with filters like CPU, GPU or screen resolution. It’s not surprising that 41% of consumers are totally overwhelmed by the amount of choice available.
Shopping FOMO – Because there are Too many options shoppers have Fear Of Missing Out. they have the feeling that there is something better available and they just haven’t found it yet. It paralyzes our ability to make a decision and results in another loss of conversion. And the worst thing is that it is only getting bigger, latest surveys indicate that 73% of shoppers express FOMO when searching for products online.
Low confidence – The internet brought data into our life. But what happened when we jumped from 3 to 4000 reviews? from 5 products to 200 products? These changes resulted in a constant feeling of low confidence and lack of knowledge by the consumers. Add to it the product pages with the technical jargon and a lot of keywords the business stuff for SEO, and you get even more confusion. Consumers are not product experts, so they shouldn’t have to parse through technical specifications and industry jargon to determine whether a product is right for them.
Resulting the constant consumer question – What is best for me?
If you feel overwhelmed by the difficulty of searching online for products or services, you should be aware that all these challenges can be solved with the right technology. Delivering a superior search experience that consumers will enjoy requires leveraging conversational search.
Conversational search: the future of search experiences
A traditional shopping experience, where a salesperson would ask a few questions about what you need and wants, is the model of a consumer-centric experience. It was an authentic and personal experience that the salesperson with all his knowledge and experience was able to anticipate what you wanted. AI powered conversational search, also known as conversational commerce, digitizes what is lacking in search today, the human experience. We call it the Seller Instinct, the ability to know when and what to ask, all to help the consumer find and feel it is the right product for him.
Consumers deserve a better shopping experience, and AI-powered conversational search is the only way to deliver it.