11/10/20194 min

Why the search engine in your web shop is important

Most web shops have an internal search engine. A search engine is useful for your visitors, so they have the option of quickly finding the products they are looking for. If you don’t have a search engine in your web shop, it might be losing you customers.
Some customers can’t find what they are looking for, and some customers find navigating your web shop too difficult. In this blog post, you can find more information about web shop search engines, and why they are important.

What a good search engine should do, and how it should look

Developing and making the perfect search engine for your web shop can be time-consuming. This is due to the importance of ensuring that it is a help, rather than a hindrance, for your visitors.

You may want to put yourself in your customers’ shoes when it comes to figuring out how your search engine should look, and what it should be able to do. The greater your focus on your customers’ needs, the greater the chance that your search engine will actually fulfill those needs. In fact, for many customers, the web shop search engine is every bit as important as the shopping cart and payment options.
There are several critical factors when it comes to what the search engine should be able to do, and how it should look. These factors are:

  1. The search engine should be visible and easy to locate. Don’t you’re your search engine at the bottom of the page. It is definitely better to place it at the top or in the middle.
  2. Make it obvious that it is a search engine: Your search engine being obvious is important for sales.
  3. Optimize the search engine for spelling errors and synonyms: When your customers are looking for a product, they may not always have correct spelling or write the name of the product exactly. Therefore, the search engine should account for both spelling errors and synonyms. Otherwise, you may soon be losing customers, because your products won’t show up when your customers search for them.

Why it is important to have a search engine in your web shop?

It makes no difference, if you have a web shop that sells clothing, or if you have a web shop that sells toys. If you have a web shop filled with products, it is important that you add the internal search engine to your web shop.
But why is it so important? When some people find your web shop by using search engines like Google, they are typically searching for one or several specific products. If they can’t find the product after clicking directly onto your web shop, it is very likely that the customer will click back to Google in order to find another web shop.

You can avoid this with a search engine that ensures a fast and easy solution for visitors, so they can find the product.
With a search engine, you increase your chances of visitors actually staying with your web shop in order to find the product. Therefore, an internal search engine is a great option for hanging on to potential customers.

Advantages of having a search engine in your web shop

Most web shops understand the importance of having a search engine for customers to use when they are looking for a particular thing. This is because an internal search engine in your web shop provides several advantages.
To show you the importance of a search engine, we have identified the main reasons why it is a key element of your web shop.

1. Search engines improve the user experience

Studies show that only about 30% of visitors to a web shop spend time looking for a product in the various categories.
Instead, most visitors find the web shop’s internal search engine and enter the product they want. This gives them results related to their search – without spending time looking through categories and subcategories.
Owing to a search engine in your web shop, the number of visitors leaving your web shop is reduced, which in turn increases conversions. Customers find your products quickly, after which they can figure out whether or not they should purchase them. If a potential customer is unsure where to find what they are looking for after a few seconds, the person will leave your web shop. 

2. Search engines can increase the number of other sales

Sometimes a visitor is looking to buy a specific product that turns out to be sold out or not in stock. Without an internal search engine, there is little you can do for the customer, unless the person contacts your customer service. It’s not likely that this will happen, so the person will most likely find another.
But what if you do have a search engine? You can capture your visitor’s attention in a very specific way. By using a search engine, the customer is referred to related or supplemental products. For instance, a customer might be looking for shoes in a certain color that is sold out. Instead, the search engine will show several similar models, prompting the customer to take a closer look at your other products, which often leads to a sale.
It is not just useful when the product is not accessible, however, since it is also optimal for accessible products. For instance, a search engine may also show products related to the product the customer is looking for. These may be shoe cleaning products, shoelaces, etc. 

3. Search engines facilitate product searches

Some products are hard to spell. There are also products that are difficult to categorize. How can customers find these products? Here, a search engine can come in handy – especially a search engine that predicts what your visitor is shopping for.
A search engine like that helps with spelling errors, synonyms, etc., which keeps the customer from clicking out of your web shop due to a failure to receive search results.
A search engine without the ability to detect such things as spelling errors and synonyms is not useful, because only a small percentage of people enter the product name correctly.

4. Search engines provide valuable data for optimizing your web shop

A search engine can help optimize your web shop when it comes to researching search words. By using various analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, you can find all the search words visitors have used in the search engine.
You can use this to your advantage, because it is your customers telling you what they are looking for in your web shop.

Recommended search engines for PrestaShop

PrestaShop has it’s own native search engine – however, it only covers the basics, and therefore if you want a more intuitive search engine with good-looking product recommendations, you might want to take a look at Savvy Search Autocomplete.

Soon being of the top downloaded search engine for PrestaShop, Savvy Search provides an ultra fast search engine with advanced autocomplete features.

See an example of a shop where Savvy Search is implemented here on mettepshop.dk. You can also buy an additional module that integrates Savvy Search with Elastic Search. This makes Savvy one of the most powerful search modules.

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