To build a successful eCommerce site or store, you have to help customers discover what they're looking for. Imagine walking into a retail store intending to buy a specific product. You can't find it—and there's no salesperson in sight to point you in the right direction. Chances are high that you'll walk right back out the door—and never return.
For online retailers, a site search box plays the role of that helpful salesperson. Site search is essentially a small box that you add to your site to enable customers to search your entire site for a specific product or service.
Why You Need Site Search
Just like a customer who walks into a physical store with a shopping list, online customers who use site search are shopping with intent, and are often in a late-stage buying mode, according to Ornaith Killen, a researcher for Econsultancy.
About a third of online shoppers will use the site search box when it's provided, and research shows that they are more likely than other shoppers to make a purchase.
“By offering a user-friendly site search experience, businesses can help customers find items they're looking for in a more streamlined way," says Killen. “This places visitors in control of their own shopping experience, which helps increase customer loyalty and makes then more likely to convert and return to the site for more purchases."
Online businesses that provide site search also reap the rewards of increased sales: Customers who use site search have conversion rates that are up to 50% higher than the average shopper, Killen said.
"While not everyone utilizes website search features, those who do are looking for something specific and expect to find answers quickly and easily," reports Search Engine Land columnist Paul Shapiro. “If your search function is weak, users may leave your site, meaning you're losing a fan, a lead and a customer—and in 2017, that is simply unacceptable."
How To Add Search
Adding a search box to your online site or store is simple for users with Pro plans and higher. It can be added to the header or footer of any page to improve your customers' shopping experiences and increase your overall sales. Make sure it's easy to find to get the best results.
Glory B Soaps provides a search box in the footer of its homepage, which allows visitors to search for specific items if they cannot locate it on their product page.
Just like other elements, the search box can be dragged to multiple pages. If your theme supports it, you can also activate a search box in your site header by using the Design Elements section located under the Theme Tab.
Using the search box, your customers can easily enter a word or phrase to search your entire site, with immediate results provided in text that matches your global font settings. If the search finds no match for the query, a simple message lets customers know that no results were found.
Showing search suggestions on the results page also gives your customers more purchasing ideas and encourages them to check out additional products. About 25% of site visitors will click on a search suggestion provided to them on a results page.
The search bar has no analytics or SEO, so your search pages will not show up in general searches. They're just a tool for your customers to use to more quickly find–and purchase–what they're looking for among the many pages and posts on your online site or store.
Site search is an important tool for the growth and long-term success of you online business. It's easy to activate in the Editor, and helps improve customer satisfaction, boost loyalty and branding, and increase overall sales. Don't leave your customers feeling lost. Guide them to the products and services they're seeking by installing a site search box today.