Ecommerce plugins are used to add extra functionality to an online store, such as the ability to take payments or manage inventory. These plugins can range from simple, single-function add-ons to complex suites of tools that provide a comprehensive package of ecommerce features.
Some of the most popular ecommerce plugins are powerful platforms (like Shopify, Woocommerce, and Magento) that elevate the functionality of a website. These include cart recovery, payment processing, logistics fulfillment, catalog management, social media integrations, SEO and search plugins.
Let's take a look at the most common types of plugins used by ecommerce stores -
Types of ecommerce plugins
Payment gateway plugin: A payment gateway plugin enables a website to accept credit card payments. Payment gateway plugins are usually provided by third-party service providers such as Paypal or Stripe.
Shopping cart plugin: A shopping cart plugin allows visitors to your website to add items to their shopping cart and then checkout using a credit card or other payment method. Shopping cart plugins are typically integrated with payment gateway plugins to provide a complete ecommerce solution.
Inventory management plugin: An inventory management plugin helps you keep track of your stock levels and ensure that you always have enough products on hand to meet customer demand. Inventory management plugins can also automate the process of reordering products when stock levels get low.
Product catalog plugin: A product catalog plugin allows you to showcase your products on your website and give visitors the ability to search for specific items. Product catalog plugins typically include features such as product reviews, ratings, and related items suggestions.
Search plugin: A search plugin allows visitors to search for products or information on your website. Plugins are a great way to help them find what they are looking for and make purchasing products from your site easier.
Ecommerce search plugins - why they matter
According to a study by the Baymard Institute, poor site search results are a leading cause of shopping cart abandonment, with up to 67% of customers leaving a website due to poor search results. Another study by SaleCycle found that search functionality is the most important feature for customers when browsing ecommerce sites, with 72% of customers saying they would leave a website if they cannot find what they are looking for.
When customers can find what they want quickly and easily, they are more likely to make a purchase. On the other hand, if the search function is slow, inaccurate or difficult to use, customers are more likely to leave the website without finding what they were looking for. This is why many ecommerce brands rely on third-party tools or plugins to offer cutting-edge search experiences. These tools could range from simple recommendation systems to pre-built search engines that can be easily integrated into the website to machine learning and NLP-based techniques for enhancing search functionality.
Why invest in a site search plugin for your ecommerce store
Site search plugins offer several advantages over building your search engine from scratch. Some of them include the following -
- They allow brands more control over their search functionality while offering custom search features.
- Plugin-based search engines usually offer more features than built-in ones. These include advanced features such as filtering, sorting, and autocomplete, which can help improve the user experience on your website and result in more sales. An independent study found that autocomplete and autocorrect features can lead to a 24% increase in search conversions.
- Site search plugins are often easier to set up and manage than building your search engine. This is because they come with pre-built templates and configuration options that make it easy to get started.
- AI-powered search plugins can enhance your search performance exponentially, offering users functionalities such as typo-tolerant and natural language search, advanced personalization, autocorrect and synonym detection, and data-driven suggestions. These plugins ensure superior customer experience by focusing on search relevance and intent.
Five things to keep in mind while choosing the right ecommerce search plugin for your website
Choosing the right ecommerce search plugin for your website is crucial because it directly impacts the user experience and, ultimately, sales. A well-designed search function can make it easy for customers to find the products they are looking for and make a purchase, while a poor search function can lead to frustration and lost sales.
The right search plugin can also improve the overall performance of your website. A search plugin optimized for speed and accuracy can help reduce the bounce rate and increase the time spent on the site, which can help improve your search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic.
Features such as filtering, sorting, and autocomplete can help customers find the products they are looking for more quickly and easily, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, using the right ecommerce search plugin can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. Many plugins offer analytics and data tracking features, which can help you gain insights into how customers use the search function and identify areas for improvement.
Let's dive into the different ways ecommerce plugins can boost your site search performance -
- It supports autocorrect and synonym detection
When choosing the right ecommerce search plugin for your website, it's essential to look for a plugin that supports autocorrect and synonym detection to improve search accuracy. This will help ensure that customers can find the products they are looking for, even if they make a typo or use synonyms.
- Filtering and sorting capabilities
Another vital feature to look for is filtering and sorting capabilities. These features allow customers to narrow their search results based on specific criteria such as price, brand, and color. This can help them find the products they are looking for more quickly and easily.
- Driven by powerful AI and ML algorithms for superior search performance
Choose a plugin that is built for superior search performance. These algorithms can help improve the relevance of search results and ensure that customers can find what they're looking for, even if they use non-specific keywords.
- Natural language search to accurately understand the search intent
Choose a plugin with natural language search capabilities to understand user search intent accurately. This allows your site search engine to understand a user’s query even when it may not exactly match the keywords. NLP-based search engines understand the search intent and context and continually improve with time and feedback.
- Enable smart merchandising for insight-driven marketing.
Choose a plugin that enables smart merchandising. This feature allows ecommerce brands to use insights from customer search data to restructure their marketing and merchandising strategies. It can help identify popular products, trends, and customer preferences, which can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and improve the overall shopping experience.
Conclusion - Plugins are impactful in enhancing the ecommerce experience
Ecommerce plugins are a powerful tool to help improve multiple functionalities on your ecommerce site and drive sales. By keeping in mind the essential features such as autocorrect, filtering and sorting, powerful algorithms, natural language search, and intelligent merchandising, you can choose the right plugin for your website. An excellent example of such a plugin is Zevi's search and discovery solution, which offers all of these features and more. If you want to improve your ecommerce site search, consider using a plugin like Zevi's to drive more sales and enhance the user experience on your website. Book a free demo today.