A Google study recently discovered that 28.5 percent of visitors clicked on the first organic search result, and that the first three accounted for over 50 percent of all click-throughs. Users clearly feel drawn to click on the first few results, which makes it ranking your products a critical factor in driving conversions.
Searchandising or search merchandising is the strategic practice of curating search results in order to drive conversions and sales for ecommerce stores. Searchandising typically involves leveraging the search engine’s own personalization algorithms to autocomplete queries based on a customer’s past behavior, as well as boosting certain products or collections within the search results. It also involves using techniques like A/B testing and machine learning to optimize product ranking and placement in order to maximize conversions.
So let's dive into some proven searchandising hacks that will help skyrocket sales for your ecommerce store -
6 Searchandising hacks to optimize your search results and drive conversions
1. Promote products in search results
Promoting certain product listings in search results can be an effective strategy to drive attention to these products, collections or categories for users with a high search intent. Using predictive search and autocomplete, offer specific products (featured products or high-margin items) while users type in their queries can make their buying journey seamless.
Smart merchandising or rule-based ranking can enable businesses to promote items. For example, you could create a rule that says any product with a 4-star rating or higher should always be displayed on the first page of search results.
Decathlon displays discounted product listings as one types in “leggings” in the search bar (along with autocomplete suggestions for collections like “yoga leggings”, “swimming leggings”, and “gym leggings"). They include images and the before-after discount prices to make the options worth noticing. along with autocomplete suggestions for
2. Hide low-margin or out-of-stock products
30% of consumers feel stockouts hurt their shopping experience. If your ecommerce store offers products with a wide range of prices, you may want to consider hiding low-margin or out-of-stock products from search results.
It's wise to bury these items to avoid disappointment or stifled profitability. Further, you can use dynamic pricing rules to automatically adjust the prices of your products based on demand and availability. For example, if you have a product that is frequently out of stock, you can set a rule that when it's in stock, the price will be 10% higher than the average price of similar products.
3. Focus on and promote seasonal products and collections
When customers search for products on your ecommerce store, they should be presented with a mix of both seasonal and evergreen products. Seasonal products are a great way to boost sales, as they allow you to capitalize on current trends and consumer behavior. However, it's important to also promote your evergreen products, as these are the items that will continue to generate sales year-round.
To get the most out of searchandising, you should focus on promoting both seasonal and evergreen products. For seasonal products, make sure to highlight the fact that they're only available for a limited time. This will create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to purchase items before they go out of stock. For evergreen products, focus on creating long-term product visibility by adding them to featured collections and making sure they rank highly in search results.
Decathlon features promotional product listings like “exclusive online”, “Free shipping” and “limited stock” items at the top of the search results to boost sales for these products.
4. Use merchandising banners to boost click through rates
Banners are a great way to catch customers' attention and showcase featured products or promotions that you're running. By strategically placing banners throughout your search results pages, you can guide customers to the products they're looking for while also highlighting other items that may be of interest.
There are a few things to keep in mind when designing your merchandising banners:
- Use images and videos: Customers are more likely to click on banner ads that feature compelling visuals. Including images and videos in your banners will help them stand out from the rest of the search results and encourage customers to click through.
- Keep it relevant: Make sure your banners are relevant to the products or services customers are searching for. Irrelevant banners will only serve to frustrate customers and cause them to leave your site without making a purchase.
- Use eye-catching headlines: Your banner's headline should be brief but attention-grabbing. Use language that will entice customers to click through, such as "Don't Miss These Great Deals!" or "New Arrivals You Won't Want to Miss."
5. Fix the "no results" page
The no-results page is the Achilles heel of ecommerce search and shopping experience. A meager 20% users will refine their search query after an unsuccessful first attempt. What’s worse, 21% abandon the website if they can’t find what they are looking for.
Redirecting users to pages that display products with related semantic meaning or keywords or to specialized category, promotional, or seasonal product landing pages can guide users to other relevant options to choose from.
6. Use data to inform your search merchandising strategy
35% of marketers say poor data quality impacts their ability to target consumers with the right digital ads (Forrester). Site search analytics are a goldmine for insightful data about shopping trends and consumer behavior.
Brands that leverage this data (such as product popularity (clicks, reviews, ratings), inventory levels, keyword data, search history, average order value (AOV)) to fuel their searchandising strategy stand a winning chance to offer unforgettable shopping experiences to users.
Use this data to determine what kind of search results to show for different types of searches, and how to best merchandise products on your search results pages.
Over 35% of shoppers on Amazon click on the very first search result. In an ecommerce environment where consumers expect businesses to know what they want and deliver tailored shopping and product discovery experiences, investing in smart merchandising can be a recipe for long-term success.
AI-driven platforms like Zevi offer advanced merchandising control to businesses, allowing them to fine tune their ranking and merchandising rules based on business priorities. Zevi uses Artificial Intelligence to power product ranking based on multiple performance parameters to drive profits and deliver a seamless customer experience.
To experience Zevi’s merchandising solution, book your free trial today.