When is the last time you thought about your e-commerce site's search solution? If you're like most digital retailers, you probably haven't given it much thought in years.

Site search is the workhorse of online shopping, yet it is rarely considered a critical part of an e-commerce strategy.

That's a huge mistake. Site search is the single strongest indicator of online buying intent. When customers use site search, they're likely looking to buy. If your site search isn't running optimally, you're missing sales opportunities.

Let's take a look at five things every e-commerce site should be doing with its site search.

1. Feature the Search Box

Most e-commerce sites treat their site search as an afterthought. Compared with featured-product slideshows and animated overlays and other "toys," the humble site search box can seem static and utilitarian. But it doesn't have to be.

More than most other pieces of the online shopping experience, site search allows for direct communication between the customer and the retailer. It doesn't need to be limited to that dictionary-like lookup system of the last generation of e-commerce. It can be a dynamic, intuitive, and interactive tool for directly connecting with the customer.

Instead of hiding the search box in a corner of the site navigation, A/B-test locations to find where search performs best and where it's most intuitive for your visitors.

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image of Kurt Heinemann

Kurt Heinemann is CMO of Reflektion, which provides a 1 to 1 e-commerce personalization solution for leading brands.

LinkedIn: Kurt Heinemann