Shoppers who interact with the search bar on your eCommerce site are expressing a high level of intent to purchase a specific product. Unfortunately, these shoppers are also motivated to take their business elsewhere if they can’t find exactly what they’re looking for, quickly. While a browsing visitor might take the time to explore your product categories, shoppers who search expect a more streamlined experience.
Effective site search delivers relevant results, reduces bounce rates and shortens the path to purchase. Magento’s native search functionality often performs sufficiently for basic search terms on smaller stores. However, as businesses grow and searches become more complex, the Magento platform can struggle to keep up when it comes to relevancy, automation, and personalization.
Relevancy is always king when it comes to the search experience, regardless of industry, platform or business size. Providing a site search function that autocorrects user errors and displays products directly related to the search term will significantly decrease the likelihood of shoppers bouncing. Despite this, many merchants overlook the impact of irrelevant or limited search results on conversion rates.
Even in cases where your site is unable to match a search term to specific products, the “no results found” page doesn’t have to mean the end of the shopping journey. Use this opportunity to recommend products, suggest popular categories, and provide links to help pages to encourage customers to continue browsing.
Search relevancy also encompasses terms outside the English language. SKU or code-based queries are a crucial element of site search, particularly in the B2B space. Unfortunately, many Magento search experiences can be rendered useless with the simple addition of a space or character such as “-” within a SKU-based search.
eCommerce solution providers like Nextopia improve on the native search provided by Magento with features including fuzzy matching, stemming tolerance and English language rules. Delivering highly relevant search results is at the core of Nextopia’s functionality, most of which is implemented “out of the box”.
The day-to-day requirements of running a Magento store are varied and time-consuming. While Magento is infinitely customizable, it’s nearly impossible to take on every piece of required functionality by building (and maintaining) custom solutions.
Search is no different. In fact, most of our Magento clients transition to Nextopia after maxing out their capacity to maintain a search solution using SOLR or Elastic Search. While these solutions are great, they become incredibly time-consuming to maintain once catalogs grow, and your eCommerce business becomes more complex. These solutions are often regarded as “free”, but there comes a time when you have to evaluate the cost of the time spent tweaking and refining your search experience.
Not only does Nextopia provide a far superior search experience than most of the custom-built solutions through our relevancy logics, it also gives you the ability to quickly and easily customize and automate merchandising workflows. Whether it’s utilizing Nextopia’s WYSIWYG functionality to promote high priority products within search results, or quickly front-loading targeted banners on the results page for upcoming sales, Nextopia enables you to manage the search experience in a fraction of the time needed for default Magento solutions.
3. Machine Learning
When it comes to personalizing the shopping experience, Magento can dynamically segment new site visitors based on how they browse and interact with product categories, as well as which products they place in their shopping cart. For registered shoppers, personalized offers can be displayed based on segments including lifetime value, preferences, purchase history and more.
Segmentation is a helpful feature when building a strategy to increase conversions, but it only allows for search results that are tailored to general shopper behavior. Nextopia utilizes machine learning to intelligently personalize search results to each individual shopper’s unique browsing history, ensuring relevant, high-engagement products are presented to each visitor.
Intelligent algorithms learn the shopper’s preferences as they interact with your site, refining the experience further as they continue to search and browse. Site reporting on this behavior can also provide valuable insights into visitor patterns, and inform future strategies for merchandising, promotions and more.
Magento’s platform is developing and improving all the time, and for businesses with limited inventory, much of its native search functionality is perfectly adequate. However, as your store expands, you may find an enhanced search solution is necessary to deliver a shopping experience that supports your growth. If you would like to learn more about Nextopia’s Site Search, or our other solutions in Merchandising, Navigation and more, please reach out to request a demo.