If you’ve been following our Holiday blog series, you’ll be getting the idea by now; small changes can make a big difference to your bottom line. Creating an optimized shopping experience for your customers will be a gift to your business accounts as well as your customers. This blog post is the fourth in the series that will lay out best practices and tips as you prepare your eCommerce site for the biggest commercial period of the year.
Our last blog provided useful tips for using your site’s Search Analytics to improve your bottom line during the Holiday Season. Creating an optimized shopping experience for your customers will be a gift to your business accounts as well as your customers. This blog post is the second in the series of posts that will lay out best practices and tips as you prepare your eCommerce site for the biggest commercial period of the year.
1: Interpreting Search Analytics
We know your mind is still on camping trips and barbeques, but now is the time to act in order to maximize revenue this Holiday Season. Creating an optimized shopping experience for your customers will be a gift to your business accounts as well as your customers. This blog post is the first in a series of posts that will lay out best practices and tips as you prepare your eCommerce site for the biggest commercial period of the year.
Chatbots are big business right now. They are appearing on sites and apps across the world, from ordering take out to organizing your life. There’s even a Chatbot Annual Conference.
What is a Chatbot?
Users interact with a Chatbot via a chat or messaging interface, imitating a conversation. After a series of questions and responses, users should arrive at an answer or product. Chatbots have moved on from their beginnings as a text-based response tree to now include elements of Artificial Intelligence such as Natural Language Processing. The most common use for Chatbots is for customer service. The Chatbot can answer the simpler customer queries, leaving the complex answers to the ‘living’ employees. Read More
There is no denying Amazon’s domination in the eCommerce industry. Selling nearly anything you could imagine, Amazon’s sales account for 43% of all online sales. Amazon’s Prime Day official sale results marked the biggest-selling event in its history.
Being the force of nature that is Amazon has its advantages, but there are ways in which eRetail businesses smaller than Amazon can have the upper hand in the mobile arena.
Sixty-five percent of consumers say Amazon makes it easier to find what they are looking for. Good UX for mobile shopping is being able to say what you’re looking for and see exactly that. But does Amazon really do that? Is it really that difficult to compete with Amazon? Can smaller eRetailers make it even easier for customers to find what they’re looking for?
What’s that you say?
In a mobile shopping environment, particularly with the proliferation of voice search, we have no idea how a shopper is going to search. There is the unknown factor of how a shopper may choose to speak their request. When using voice search, people are more verbose; they don’t think as carefully about the words they will use, and they throw in unexpected words. Many eRetailers are trying to dictate how a shopper may search, but there is truly no way to know. Therefore, it is imperative that the engine processing the request is incredibly intuitive and flexible. This way, no matter how a shopper asks, they can find what they asked for.
Let’s play off the results from different voice searches on Amazon against search results from The North Face, a store that uses EasyAsk search.
Using voice input, we made the following search: “Show me red jackets for my wife under 200 dollars”
Here are the results pages for Amazon:
And here they are from The North Face:
The Amazon site displays a no results message then searches for different combinations of the words from the original query. Unfortunately, instead of throwing out the conversational words, Amazon uses these words to search, and consequently shows many irrelevant results.
EasyAsk has intuitively ignored the extra words used in voice search on the North Face site and has found 34 relevant results that match what was being asked for. EasyAsk recognized the term, ‘wife’ to be synonymous with ‘women’s’ and therefore the results show only women’s jackets.
We thought we needed to give Amazon another chance with different language and by being more specific. We next made the following search using voice input: “I’m looking for a ladies waterproof red jacket for less than 200 dollars”
Here are the Amazon results:
And again from The North Face:
Once again, Amazon displays a “No Results” message and a selection of results using various combinations of the query words. The results shown include a fitness tracker, cleansing wipes, and hiking boots, but absolutely no jackets.
Conversely, the North Face site displays 11 red ladies’ waterproof jackets that are all less than $200. Exactly as requested.
So, Amazon hadn’t made it easier to find what we’re looking for when we used long-tail conversational queries. But surely, they would have the victory when it came to a more keyword-based search?
We tried the following search: “men’s blue ski jackets”
Here are the Amazon results:
Amazon was able to process this request and has returned over 1000 results. Although the first result is a men’s blue ski jacket, the second result is blue pants and the third, a water-ski vest. The sheer number of results returned means that the relevant results are buried.
In the North Face results, we have the perfect outcome; 6 or 7 results that match the query exactly.
Three strikes and you’re out Amazon!
One minute, Amazon has no results, and the next it has thousands. Neither option equates to a good mobile shopping experience. If a customer has to scroll through 600 products, they are not likely to buy anything.
So how do you compete against Amazon and win? By showing customers fewer products, not more. But those products need to match the requests made by the customers. An excellent shopping experience is when a search brings back 6 results that fit.
Once eRetailers recognize the forecasts that mobile is the right user experience, they must take advantage of smarter search and start competing. Amazon has thousands of products. So even if they get the search right, there are too many results. EasyAsk is the world’s smartest eCommerce search engine. If you’ve got EasyAsk, you’ve got the advantage – you can compete with Amazon. You’re competing because you’re making the UX better than Amazon. You can provide concise, meaningful search results and experiences that result in transactions.
That’s how you win!
|Search||# of Amazon Results||# of The North Face Results|
|Show me Red Jackets for my wife under $200||0||34|
|I’m looking for ladies red jackets under $200||over 10,000||34|
|Show me ladies waterproof jackets in red||0||18|
|I’m looking for waterproof red jackets for my wife for under $200||0||11|
|I’m looking for a ladies waterproof red jacket for less than $200||0||11|
|I’m looking for a warm red coat for my wife||0||33|
|I’m looking for warm red ladies coats||over 2,000||33|
The Dreaded Message?
“We’re sorry, your search returned no results”
It’s the page many Search and Merchandizing teams hope will never appear to their customers. And of course, good search should avoid the “No Results” page showing unnecessarily – for example, if a spelling mistake has been made. However, customers may be searching for products that are simply not available in the product catalog and therefore “No Results” pages are sometimes inevitable. But they don’t have to be a dead-end for potential customers; they can be an opportunity to engage with your users. Read More
Do your search marketers have a plan for voice search optimization? According to research from BrightEdge, 31 percent of marketers see voice search as the next big thing. However, approximately 62 percent have no plans to prepare for voice search.
Outstanding pizza and fireworks at Navy Pier are reason enough to visit Chicago, but the industry’s largest eCommerce event, the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), didn’t fail to equip and inspire as it held its 14th annual event in the city last month.
The EasyAsk team had a great time attending discussions, presentations, and networking sessions, as well as running a booth in the exhibit hall. We were able to impress visitors with solutions to the challenge that emerged over the 4 days: how to maximize mobile shoppers. Read More
Typeahead… autocomplete… incremental search: many attempts have been made in recent years to speed up shopper’s searches. At EasyAsk, we offer ‘Search As You Type’, or SAYT (pronounced Say-it), because it means a whole lot more than just a list of suggested searches. It means many possibilities for getting the right products in front of your customers.
SAYT progressively searches for and filters through text. As a user types a query, suggestions, products, categories, and attributes are found and presented with each keystroke. This allows a user to stop short of typing the entire word or phrase and find what they were looking for quicker. Read More
Q: A Search box is a search box . . . right? How much difference can it make?
A: All the difference.
This might just be the single most important component in a successful eCommerce strategy and the key to driving significantly more revenue.
It is essential to get the usability of the search box within eCommerce sites right. Up to 30% of visitors will use the site search tool and these will be highly motivated shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for. Shoppers who use the search box will buy more: