Mobile eCommerce Site Search Tips


Mobile shoppers and mobile devices are drastically different than traditional online eCommerce scenarios.  Mobile shoppers typically have less time to browse, screen sizes are tiny in comparison, keyboards and eCommerce navigation are awkward and voice-enabled features are becoming more common.  Here are a few things to consider while building your mobile eCommerce site.

Search is King
The limitations on mobile devices prioritize search on mobile eCommerce sites.  Faceted navigation and browsing just don’t cut it.  Shoppers want to see what they are looking for quickly and the search box is the fastest path to purchase.  You should assume that the vast majority of your mobile eCommerce shoppers will interact with your search box before making a purchase.  How can you make it easier for them to get to your search box and enter what they are looking for?

Accurate results
The importance of eCommerce site search in mobile environments means that the search box must produce accurate, relevant results, even when shoppers enter partial or complex queries.  You need a backend system that understands shopper intent and that can showcase the most relevant items from your product catalogue.  Quality trumps quantity – mobile shoppers are much less likely to scroll through pages of results.  Results need to be displayed clearly, with uniform images ranked by relevancy.

Voice enabled
Most new phones, including the iPhone and Androids, are voice enabled and your shoppers are becoming much more comfortable speaking to their devices, as they would a personal assistant. People can now click a microphone button on their mobile devices to enter text into your search box and this is leading to more naturally spoken, descriptive queries.

Remember: Mobile DEMANDS great eCommerce site search.  Consider natural language processing solutions, which automatically understand shopper intent and match queries to the most relevant items in your product catalogue.  Natural language and semantic solutions are vastly better at understanding longer, more descriptive queries, like those spoken into voice-enabled devices.  If you are not able to upgrade from keyword to natural language or semantic search, make sure you tune your system as best as possible – adding all relevant synonyms, common misspellings, as well as commonly associated terms and product descriptions for each item in your catalogue. Also frequently review your site’s analytics to see how people are searching, which will help you improve your site’s results over time.

Do you have additional mobile eCommerce site search tips to share?  Drop them in the comments below or Tweet us with #EasyAsk.


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