Site Search & User Experience

The holiday season is fast approaching, and mcommerce is growing rapidly. According to IBM Digital Analytics, about 23% of ecommerce sales came from a mobile device – and this number is expected to rise. With this in mind, it may be wise to focus on your mobile strategy this holiday season. In order to provide users with an easy and enjoyable mobile experience, your first priority should be improving your “site search” functionality.

Mobile navigation isn’t always easy, depending on the user and their device. For most, the easiest way to shop is to use the search bar instead of navigating around a website’s menu options. If your site search bar is hard to find, hard to use, or ineffective at finding products, you stand to lose lots of mobile users. Since site search is so critical for a good user experience, make sure the search function on your ecommerce site is packed with user-friendly features, like autocomplete and search refinements (e.g. brand, color, size, price, etc.) using tap-friendly dropdown lists.

In addition, make sure all searches return results. If you don’t have an item a user is searching for, let the user know, but make sure to offer results for “similar products” or “other products you might like” – which are much more useful than an “item not found” message. To increase the effectiveness of product suggestions, make sure that you are tracking how customers use the search bar on your site. By mining your site’s search data, you can learn more about what your customers are interested in and the language they use to find it. This can be very helpful in merchandising or measuring changes in the marketplace.

Lastly, take into account the smaller screen size of mobile devices. Ensure that the first 3-5 results of a search are visible. If users need to scroll a lot to comb through results, they’re more likely to bounce.

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