Minimizing Pogo-Sticking

When a user clicks through from the search results page to a product description page, moves back to the results page, then clicks the next product, and then repeats this process multiple times, they are “pogosticking”. This frustrating experience for customers is usually caused by not revealing enough product information or critical details in the list of results. Pogosticking is a real problem because it is both distracting and fatiguing. Shoppers have a very limited tolerance for pogosticking, especially when combined with slow page loads.

Search Results Page Improvements

The search engine results page is another great opportunity to optimize your search performance from both a usability and a revenue standpoint. A well-designed search results page can help move potential customers towards a successful search and a sale. Generally speaking, you want to maintain a consistent look-and-feel between your search results page and your catalog browsing pages. In fact, browsing and searching are complementary actions and should work together to guide the shopper to interesting, relevant and desirable products.

Search Box Persistence

Search Box Persistence E-commerce shoppers hate retyping their searches just as much as the rest of us. It’s a major complaint when a search box forgets the text already entered. When a user submits a search, their original query should persist in the search box on the search results page. You can see an example of this on almost any high profile e-commerce site. For example, if you search for “blender” on wayfair.

Don't Rely on Google for Site Search

Is it easier for your customers to find your products on Google than on your own site search? If the answer is “Yes”, you may want to think about how much control you’re giving up. It’s easy to look at Google and think, “My customers can find my products using Google.” But take a look at top ecommerce sites like Norstrom, Wayfair or NewEgg. They all invest heavily in their on-site search.

Learning from No Results Pages

I talked earlier about how to optimize site search for times when no results match a shopper’s search terms. Returning no results is a problem for your store because if shoppers can’t find it, they can’t buy it. But, fixing the “no results” page is one of the easiest site search optimizations you can do and it’s often one of the first I recommend.

Ecommerce Search No Results Tips

It’s often the case that shoppers will perform a search that returns no results. This is especially true for site search that hasn’t been configured properly (as with the default configurations of many ecommerce software platforms). Most online shoppers assume that “no results” means “no products” and that’s often just not true.

The Types of Ecommerce Shoppers

They say every snowflake is unique. While this is an appealing idea, it isn’t entirely true. It turns out that even snowflakes can be grouped into similar types of crystalline structures. Scientists figured out there are actually 35 kinds of snowflakes.

When it comes to online shoppers, the math is even easier. While the diversity of the Internet can seem overwhelming, there are ways to simplify it. When thinking of site search as a marketing channel, it’s important to understand the different kinds of shoppers who come to your online store to find products.

A Lost Opportunity

The default search experience on most retailer sites has significant room for improvement. SEO and SEM are seen as essential investments for successful retailers, but what happens after shoppers find your site is equally important.

Why Ecommerce Site Search Matters

Imagine one day you decide to go to the mall to buy a gift for your spouse. You’ve heard about a new store that has great selections of household goods including new “smart home” devices. You walk in the door and the place is amazing. There are dozens of showrooms and literally thousands of products ranging from toasters that talk to your smart phone to fancy sofas and dining room sets.

The experience is at once beautiful and overwhelming. Where do you start? Should you check out the espresso makers that promise the perfect machiatto? Or head to bedding to see about that hypo-allergenic pillow? Which way to those new smart thermostats? Oh, and by the way, where is the bathroom?