I want to talk about a website feature that retailers often overlook. If you’re ignoring yours, it could be costing you big money. We’re looking at the site search feature this week. It greatly improves the user experience while increasing conversions and revenue. It even collects data about your users and where they’re coming from. Are you using a site search on your website?
I graphed out a search on Google Analytics that looked at all of Google versus those who used site search. Now, people used to think users only used site search when a site was so confusing they simply couldn’t find anything. That’s just not so. We now know those who use site search save time through being direct and saving time always means more sales.
If your user can use site search, they don’t have to scroll through menus. They can just type, or even talk into a device and it will immediately bring back results. It’s much faster than trying to navigate through a large menu, which so many retailers have, especially big-box retailers. In theory, large menus mean more sales, but they become more and more complex and harder to use over time, diminishing the user experience and driving customers elsewhere.
So we set up the search function for a client and found that, among users who used site search, revenue is up 109%. Better yet, on mobile, it’s up a whopping 164%! These are not small numbers, either. We’re talking an increase from $34k to $91k in just one year. And while this site had a slight drop overall in the conversion rate, it’s a tiny percentage of a point. The increase in plain numbers more than makes up for the smaller percentage of conversions.
Bottom line? If you’ve got a retail site, site search is king. If you don’t have it installed on your website, you’re leaving money on the table.