What do integrated onsite searches of shop systems offer?
According to the study by the eCommerce-Leitfaden, around 23% of online shops use the standard search of the shop system used.³ These are usually included free of charge in the subscription price and are easy to integrate.
Standard search with important basic functions
Standard searches vary in maturity depending on the shop system, but usually offer the essential basic functions such as a full-text search and simple filters.⁴ Efficient and user-oriented functions such as error tolerance, autosuggest or the option of weighting the search results yourself are usually missing. However, this is exactly what shop operators expect from an onsite search: a high quality search function and many search functionalities.⁵
Standard searches also reach their limits when it comes to implementing individual shop requirements. This can include, for example, the mapping of business-specific processes or the adaptation of the search to the shop’s own product data model.
As a shop operator, it must be weighed up here whether the advantages (no further costs and no additional integration effort) compensate for the disadvantage (usually inefficient). However, especially for smaller shops and newcomers, an onsite search of the shop system is a good variant so that a search is offered in the online shop at all. At the latest, however, if the search function has to be adapted due to individual requirements, you will not be able to avoid an intelligent onsite search.
Higher satisfaction when using intelligent search
Only 10% of shop operators who use the standard search function of the shop system are “very satisfied”. As many as 60% of shop operators use additional modules from third-party providers. These show a significantly higher level of satisfaction: at 52%, the most satisfied shop operators are those who use an additional module or an intelligent search instead of the standard search.⁷
The high satisfaction of shop operators with an intelligent search in use shows: Optimising the onsite search is worthwhile and the potential should be exploited. We will now introduce you to the important functions that an intelligent onsite search should contain.
What is your situation? Do you use the standard search of your shop system or do you rely on an additional module from an external provider? And how satisfied are you with your onsite search? Share your opinion with us!
What functions should an optimal onsite search offer?
There are many advisors and tips for an optimal onsite search. In addition to the “right” placement in the online shop, the colour used or the search icon used, the functionality plays an important role. This is what determines how quickly and easily shop customers can ultimately find the desired products with the help of the search function.
An onsite search should fulfil the following criteria: Accuracy, user-friendliness and speed. This is also confirmed by the study of the eCommerce-Leitfaden. Here, 73 % of respondents stated that they mainly expect a high quality of search (e.g. very error-tolerant, very accurate and very fast).⁸ Speed guarantees that the search results are calculated and displayed within the shortest possible time (usually within milliseconds) and that the autosuggest is also loaded immediately. An intelligent search also includes an intelligent algorithm that calculates the search results in a targeted manner, takes automatic and manual adjustments into account and thus displays the appropriate results. Your onsite search should also be able to handle the following functions so that your shop customers can find what they are looking for:
Thesaurus for the consideration of language use
Every shop customer searches differently. On the one hand, this depends on the respective level of knowledge, but also on geographical or demographic differences as well as personal preferences. The search algorithm must therefore cope with different terms and spellings and understand the search input. This starts with singular and plural differences, but also concerns the recognition of synonyms (e.g. socks = stockings). To avoid problems here, the thesaurus can help. This function can be used to set synonyms or alternative terms.
Error tolerance to avoid zero-hit pages
Even the most attentive user sometimes makes a typo. An error-tolerant search has therefore long been a must in e-commerce. It recognises errors (e.g. careless mistakes and incorrect spellings) in the search entry and suggests alternative search terms to the customer that he could mean with his incorrect entry. This prevents shop customers from ending up on a zero-hit page.