Site Search

If your site has a search box and a user enters multiple search terms (one after another), it tells us two things: a.) they are motivated, b.) they are having a difficulty locating their target item.

When this happens you need to show them a really well-written message that suggests they speak with a product specialist. These people are frustrated, serious buyers.

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Site Search

If your site has a search box and a user enters multiple search terms (one after another), it tells us two things: a.) they are motivated, b.) they are having a difficulty locating their target item.

When this happens you need to show them a really well-written message that suggests they speak with a product specialist.

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This Is How an Email Address Is Captured …

I was on owletcare.com.  Then I moved my mouse to exit the site and saw this popup–

Owletcare.com_Popup1

This is a very clever strategy because while owletcare.com knows I’m not going to buy right now (I’m exiting in under 30 seconds) they want to at least get some demographic info about me.  And what’s even more clever is that they’ve shown a multiple choice question that’s very easy to answer, so most people will select an option (it’s pretty much impossible to not make a selection if you have a baby).  And once you’ve made the selection (I selected the 0-6 months option) they show a new screen–

Owletcare.com_Popup2

What’s really clever about the second screen is that it is related to the option I selected (0-6 months).  The copy reads, “Owlet is designed to fit most children up to 18 months old and give your Peace of Mind“.  The “Owlet is designed to fit most children up to 18 months … ” line matches my selection.  Also, the Peace of Mind messaging is smart because it’s the emotional need Owlet is looking to solve.  Obviously every parent wants peace of mind, who would say “no” to that??  And below that is the big ask: enter your email here.  Oh, and by the way, the appearance of a smiling baby isn’t an accident.

This is how great marketing is done.

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Increasing Site Search Usage

When I study Google Analytics data I often find that shoppers who use Site Search convert at a higher rate and generate better Average Order Values. If this is true for your site too consider doing what basspro.com does. When you land on their homepage the cursor starts blinking on Site Search box. This is subtle effect but it makes all the difference.  Check it out @ basspro.com.

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Site Search

Google Analytics has a report that shows conversion rate of people who use your site search box, and the percentage of site visitors that use it. If you notice that the conversion rate is really high (relative to site average) and utilization is really low then you could do what thefresh20.com does. They have a search graphic element anchored to the right hand side of browser …

Floating_Search

… that scrolls with you as you scroll the page (looks like its floating). On click a search box springs open—

Open_State

Nice design implementation that minimizes screen real-estate usage while making it super easy for shoppers to run a search query.

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Expanding Search Box

Allrecipes.com knows site visitors use Site Search extensively to hunt for recipes.  But allrecipes.com needs to use screen real-estate judiciously, thus search box can’t be too big.  How does one satisfy these two opposing realities?

Allrecipes has found a solution.  When a visitor clicks Site Search box they dynamically make it bigger—


Will this idea work on your site?  A/B test it.

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Return Policy

You may think your return policy page link is super visible.  But Google Analytics data will reveal a very small % of site visitors see your return policy content.  If this is true for your site I have a suggestion– edit Site Search settings  (from admin) so that when shoppers enter variations of the phrase “return policy” they are taken to your return policy page.  On Zappos.com searching for the term “return policy” …

Zappos_return_policy

… takes visitors to the correct page– http://www.zappos.com/general-questions#return

Does your site do this?

 

 

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Have a great Monday.

Rishi Rawat

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Helping Shoppers Search Quickly

Vistaprint.com sells 1000s of business cards (among other things).

I saw this ad …

Vistaprint

… so I clicked it.  That took me to this page– http://www.vistaprint.com/gallery/IAEAAAABAAAAAAA=/premium-business-cards.aspx

Screenshot–

Vistaprint_Search

What I love about this landing page is that it was designed for someone arriving from the ad.  Vistaprint.com realizes when shoppers are presented with 168 X 24 = 4,032 card designs (too many options) they use the search interface.  But instead of trying to make the search bar more visible through subtle tweaks vistaprint.com shows it as a popup, thus making it impossible to miss.  They realize faster visitors get to their desired design higher the likelihood they’ll convert.

Another nifty feature: Since I entered via ‘business cards’ ad vistprint.com knows that’s what I’m interested it.  Now when I type vistprint.com on my browser I’m redirected to their “business cards” section.  I can return to homepage by clicking Vistaprint logo on top left corner.

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Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

With on-site search etailers can measure result page effectiveness by observing Search Exits and Search Refinements.  However, the big limitation with analytics is that it only answers the “what is happening?” question.  To get to “why is this happening?” we need to make a small code tweak and display this below result page (borrowed from Amazon.com)-

NewEgg.com does this too…

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Capturing Intent

Like most e-tailers overstock.com suffers from the 3% conversion infection.  I don’t actually know their conversion rate but let’s just go with the industry standard here.

We know everything about the 3% that transacted but very little about the 97% that didn’t.  Yes, we could study their click trails but that’s indirect evidence.

Overstock’s solution- A big, prominent, inviting search box:

overstock.com serach box

Now I don’t have access to their metrics but am willing to bet an impressive number use the search box.  This might not improve conversion rates directly but now Overstock knows what a vast majority of visitors came looking for.  They’ve extracted intent.  Intent is not as valuable as a sale but definitely more valuable than $0.

Related articles: Discovering New Categories, What Do Customers Want?

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