Every year, thousands of new e-commerce sites pop up on the Internet. Many are competing at selling the same merchandise. With the number of people shopping online these days, there’s room enough for everyone. On the other hand, roughly half of those new sites don’t make it through the first year. Why? For all of their investment invest in SEO, email campaigns, promotions and what-have-you, they never generate enough sales to keep the business afloat.
If you’re one of the many online shop owners struggling to increase your conversion rate, we’re about to explore some of the most common reasons that visitors don’t buy. Then, I’m going to tell you how something as simple as a site search application can solve all of these issues.
Why Visitors Don’t Buy
- You don’t have what they want: You’re right – this one is a no-brainer. A lot of online shoppers start out knowing exactly what they’re looking for. If it’s not on your site, they can’t very well buy it from you. However, if you’re getting qualified traffic (people who look for the type of products you sell), you certainly should have what they want. You need to know the trends and keep up with them.
- You have what they want, but they don’t find it: This scenario is much worse. If you’re keeping the “hot” items in your inventory, but the people looking for them don’t find them, you have a serious problem. Your potential buyers will become the other guy’s customers and you’ll be stuck with those products when the trends shift.
- You don’t tell them to buy it: This one may be a little harder to comprehend. After all, you’re stocking those products, you’re making them easy to find and people know they can buy them. So, what’s missing? A simple Call to Action. That one thing that says, “Here it is! Buy it!”
- Too many steps: If your site shoppers have to browse around to find the product, then jump to the right product page to find the price, then go through a long process to purchase that item, they’re not going to stay long. Even those that buy will probably ignore any recommendations for other products because, “It’s just too much trouble.”
That’s a fairly short list, but as you can see, it’s not always about traffic. It’s not always about pricing (although that’s sometimes a factor). It’s rarely about the e-commerce platform you’re using. It’s almost always about finding the right product and purchasing it easily. You have to keep in mind that Internet shopping is all about convenience and speed.
Now, as promised, I’m going to tell you how one of today’s many website search tools can help you overcome these problems and many more. If that sounds too good to be true, there are a few things you should know right now:
- On-site search engines have been proven to boost conversion rates.
- Today’s search site tools do much more than search.
- Most online shoppers have done product research before they visit your site to buy what they want.
Why a Website Search Matters
Let’s say I’m a young adult looking for the latest “hot” athletic shoe. I know the brand name, the style name, the color and size I want and exactly what it looks like. If I come to your site and have to go to a brand name page, then browse through your selection to find it, I’m probably going to shop somewhere else.
That’s the most common online shopping situation in today’s fast-paced online retail industry. As mentioned above, most shoppers know what they want and don’t want to waste time finding it. An on site search lets them do that, and Instant Search+ does it brilliantly.
How and Why it Works
Intuitive search with suggestions may have been invented by the big guns in the search engine world, but there’s no reason you can’t have a great implementation of it on your own site. A modern site search gives your shoppers a fast, highly visual experience that’s proven to boost sales on is own. Here’s how the best ones operate:
Suggestions appear with thumbnail images and prices after a keystroke or two. A cloud-based search routine continues to update the suggestion list as your visitor types. It’s responsive, so your users get the optimum experience, regardless of the computer, browser, tablet of phone they’re using. Best of all, the list is prioritized according to the most popular past searches as well as your product placement selections. That means the hottest items are going to appear first!
Items in the suggestion list are displayed with a link or button that displays a popup with a larger photo and details. On many sites, an “Add to Cart” button is included in that view, so if your visitor is that young adult I mentioned earlier, that pair of athletic shoes, etc. sells without the user having to leave your home page.
It’s hard to beat that kind of convenience, but here’s what’s missing: how did you know to stock that pair of shoes? How did the site search tool know it should be shown prominently? The answer to those questions is the one of the best things about today’s integrated search and merchandising apps.
The suggestions work because recorded search data is analyzed in real time with a learning algorithm as your visitor types. That search data can also be provided to you in an analytical application on the back end and lets you optimize your product placement accordingly. So, to answer the questions above, when that item became prominent in past searches, you added it to your inventory and gave it a high priority.
The search engine then found the most likely matches to your visitor’s partial keyword and found that this item was prioritized both by the number of searches for it and your placement instructions. Boom!
The Whole Package
These integrated search and merchandising applications are lightweight, easy to install and created specifically for seamless operation with your current site. They don’t require any coding on your part, nor do they alter your existing site functions.
For a good example. I recommend that you visit the Instant Search+ Website. It’s the best remedy for what ails your sales.