Two days ago we came across this blog summarising the benefits of site search for conversions and 13 best practice tips to get it right. You might be forgiven for thinking that with eCommerce as massive as it now is our industry has site search all sewn up. Not so, according to EConsultancy blog Editor Graham Charlton who correctly recognises the benefits of getting your site search right. As well as the obvious wins (more conversions, higher sales) he also points out that effective search can improve customer retention, loyalty and brand presence.

Yet in the same blog he identifies some key branded sites whose search functionality isn’t up to the job. “If they can’t get it right I don’t stand a chance” is probably what you’re thinking. But in fact achieving smooth, productive searches every time for every customer isn’t as difficult – or as expensive – as you might think. A lot depends on understanding your technology choices and how they’re equipped to address different search scenarios. But if you don’t have time to do that – or if your world isn’t set on fire by tech-speak, here’s our simple guide to value adding search tools that can leverage better results.

Eliminate typos: the enemy of the effective search

 

Our research has shown that up to 50% of searches feature spelling or typing mistakes. If your search software isn’t capable of dealing with them you’re in a dangerous situation. You risk your customers giving up and looking elsewhere. These days users expect a level of search sophistication that means traditional dictionary software will leave you well behind the game. Why? Because of its limitations.

Dictionary software depends on its own database – which has to be maintained and kept up to date – and also works on the principle that mis-spellings only occur at the beginning of a word. Throw in a typo later on and the logic can’t cope. So we’ve developed Locayta Spell Correction, clever technology that can break words down, spin them round, and analyse and predict every mis-spelling eventuality that could conceivably occur. The result? Happy searching, which equals happy customers and more profit for you.

Drive more traffic with SEO Page Builder

For almost every ecommerce merchant a front page ranking is the holy grail – and the quest to get there can be fraught with costly errors and wasted time. SEO Page Builder has been developed by Locayta to optimise your online presence even as your users search.

Whenever a customer searches your site SEO Page Builder dynamically creates a new report on the search terms and results and presents them to the search engines for indexing. The clever bit is that your search terms aren’t based on guesswork – they’re based on what your customers are actually looking for and the terms they’re using to find it. That’s why Locayta clients using SEO Page Builder typically significant increases in organic traffic.

Translate your search functions to multi-channel

 

Most of us know the stats – Marketwatch‘s recent report confirms that 55% of shoppers now purchase online with their smartphones. More recently it seems that tablets are accounting for 4 out of 10 mobile searches. You need to be geared up for multi-channel or you’ll quickly frustrate potential customers and start to lag behind.

But making the leap doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take a look at Locayta M-Commerce – a click to buy shopping app that deploys a totally functional version of your ecommerce site to mobile phones, and Locayta Search Mobile – one of the most advanced mobile search engines for Apple iOS you’ll find anywhere. Both of these can help you extend your presence and keep up with consumer expectations in a cost effective, flexible and user friendly way.

Search is just one of the key areas where Locayta’s clients are experiencing impressive results by using our technology. They include the likes of Tesco Clothing, boohoo.com and Superdry – but you don’t have the be a market leading brand to benefit from cost effective and profit driving solutions. Just visit our website to explore our full portfolio and start driving your sales forward.

 

Read more:

Site search for e-commerce: 13 best practice tips Econsultancy July 2012

Tablets account for 4 in 10 mobile e-commerce searches Hostway, July 2012

The global rise in “always-on” shoppers is driving ecommerce MarketWatch April 2012