A good digital experience is more crucial now than it ever was. So how can retailers make sure their on-site search experience is as seamless, effective and easy to use as possible?
Search box placement and functionality
There’s more to search box and site search functionality than you may think. Even something as basic as search box placement can make a big difference to usability, and a few seemingly minor additions to functionality can vastly improve the overall experience of searching.
1. Make the search box easy to spot
The prominence of the search box on the page can influence the user’s decision to make use of it to find products – and determine how easily they can find it if they’re looking.
Therefore, if site search is important to your site and you want shoppers to use it, the prominence and visibility of the search field should reflect this.
Some retail websites, intentionally or unintentionally, sideline the search bar in their site design, effectively absorbing it into the background or crowding it out visually with distracting page artefacts and making it difficult to spot.
Take Boohoo, for example, whose business model and site design are much more oriented around customers browsing the site for products than searching for a specific item. There is a search icon in the header, but you practically need a magnifying glass to spot it:
2. Keep the search box placement consistent
While this might seem like a basic tip and one that most ecommerce retailers have mastered, it’s still worth bearing in mind: when you design your pages, make sure that your search box is located in the same place each time, so that customers know where to find it.
The components of a good digital experience are now more important than ever, and have a major role to play in ensuring that customers who visit your site are united with the products they’re looking for as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
On-site search is a big factor in the customer journey of those consumers who either know exactly what they’re looking for and have come to your site to find it, or who have some idea of what they’re looking to buy but may need some help narrowing it down.
A good site search experience will help them to find that product/those products and maybe several others that they either didn’t know they wanted or hadn’t thought to look for. But a poor site search experience will leave them frustrated, and result in them deciding to shop elsewhere for the product or at best, feeling less inclined to buy anything additional or shop via your website in the future.