The products in a physical store are carefully curated, stacked, and laid out depending on popularity and sales, a process referred to as merchandising. Online stores have to carry out a similar process which is to put their most relevant and most likely-to-sell products in front of the right visitors, thus increasing the probability that a customer will buy them. With searchandising, businesses can translate the pros of brick-and-mortar merchandising to the online retail ecosystem.
Merchandising that’s carried out through the search interface is called searchandising. It includes displaying and ranking search results in a strategic way to enhance conversions, KPIs, and sales for ecommerce stores. Searchandising leverages data-driven signals to evaluate the products and categories that are relevant to a user. It then uses that information to prioritize the display of those products in search results and on product pages, providing customers with a tailored search experience, which in turn helps in reducing drop-off rates and increasing sales.
What is Searchandising?
Fundamentally, it refers to displaying search results in such a way that sales and revenue can be maximized while also ensuring that customers have a great online experience. On ecommerce websites, around 30% of users head directly to the site search. These users are more likely to generate revenue as opposed to casual shoppers.
Search merchandising leverages the search functionality to list products online in a way that aligns with your business goals. This includes boosting certain products on the basis of pre-determined criteria, such as
- Higher profit margins,
- Seasonal relevance,
- Popular searches and bestselling products, and
- Inventory management
Typically, there are two main ways that store owners can order their site search results:
Manually: This simply means drag and drop results in the order you want them displayed. You can choose to list your products in a way that aligns with your consumer data and business goals. Whether it's a category page or a search result, products will be displayed in the order you specified. You can display search results in a specific order to enhance your customer and user experience, brand awareness, and conversion rates right from the beginning of a user’s online journey.
Dynamically: Create rules to order and display products in the best possible order based on attributes like brand name, margin, rating, and more. Machine learning (ML) can be a powerful technology to drive dynamic ranking – ML algorithms can learn to rank search results by leveraging your business data (including product attributes and performance, sales, ratings, and profit margins).
Using Searchandising to Improve Conversion Rates
The explosive advancement in search technology-led businesses to take note of AI-driven product boosting and personalization to drive higher conversion rates. In fact, around 51% of online retailers attribute higher Average Order Value (AOV) to relevant product recommendations.
Searchandising leverages the selective boosting and promotions of certain products and categories to further improve your profitability and visibility. Let’s dive deeper into how it works -
Catalog v/s Search pages
Catalogs are useful for providing detailed information about the products that a company intends to sell, especially if the company sells a wide range of products. A catalog promotes all the products, and the company can list them in whatever format they want. However, there may be times when you only want to promote a single product or type of product. Other times, you may want to promote specific products based on their attributes (such as on-sale items or certain brands). You'll also want your merchandise to appear in search results as well as product pages.
This is where search pages are more effective. Your site search should allow shoppers to search for what they want and receive relevant results quickly, rather than having to look through a catalog and find that product. This may lead to an increase in customer drop-off or cart abandonment.
Dynamic boosting for campaign optimization
Underperforming ads can be a huge loss for any business - dynamic boosting solves this problem in an extremely efficient way. Dynamic optimization builds real-time advertising campaigns via programmatic means that fit your audiences’ needs. It uses information like geolocation, search history, time of browsing, products that were seen, etc., to curate ads that are specific to each consumer. All consumers have different needs and will respond differently to ads. By personalizing ads, we reduce the possibility of consumer drop-off and increase their engagement with the brand.
Personalization is also proven to improve ecommerce performance and overall customer satisfaction. In fact, research shows that 77% of shoppers are more likely to choose or pay more for a brand that provides a personalized experience. It thus makes sense for companies to invest in dynamic optimization to boost revenues and user experience.
Banner ads are paid ads that are strategically placed around ecommerce websites to boost brand awareness and clickthrough rates. Placing banners in your search results is an effective way to specifically target customers who are already interested in what you have to offer.
Placing banners close to the search bar and even at the top of the search results page can direct shoppers to specific categories, promotions, or discounts you want them to pay attention to.
Personalization and Merchandising
Personalization can take many different forms, but at its core, it is about using customer data to tailor the shopping experience to the individual shopper. It is how brands tailor their offers, communications, and advertising to buyers’ needs. Any consumer is more likely to purchase from the business if they feel like an individual and not just another account.
For instance, Amazon's personalization program has evolved over time to show customers products that are frequently purchased with the item they are viewing, to display items that can be bundled with products in a customer's cart, and to recommend additional products in their confirmation emails.
Searchandising lets you display your website in a way that aligns with your business goals and increases lead conversion. When done right, it can be extremely beneficial for a business and also promote customer loyalty.
If you’re looking to incorporate searchandising tools to expand your business, you can contact our extremely efficient team at Zevi. We can help you promote your business and increase revenue with our seamless searchandising tools. Book your demo with us today to learn more!