How search affects sales in E-commerce

17 Sep 20205 min read

The center for Retail Research published a report which suggests that e-commerce is the fastest-growing retail market in Europe. With the Coronavirus pandemic keeping millions of local businesses in lockdown, the global E-commerce market is undoubtedly going to surpass 2 trillion dollars by the end of 2020.

Many successful and aspiring entrepreneurs regard E-commerce as one of the most accelerated and efficient systems for reaching successful outcomes online. And to become a successful E-commerce enterprise, business owners will need to do a lot more than just identifying a product niche, set up a website, or advertising to potential customers. Therefore, they will need to improve their search in e-commerce to provide "almost perfect" search queries for potential customers looking for a specific need.

With regards to a recent E-commerce search experience report by The Baymard Institute, you'd be surprised by the outcome. Out of the 50-e-commerce website evaluated, 34 percent of search queries on their website don't usually reveal useful results, and 70 percent of those search engines on those websites do not show relevant product similarities.

Search Query Support Among Top 50 US E-Commerce Sites (1).png

Whether you manage a small online store or a big E-commerce website, ensuring your e-commerce site search is consistently enhanced to provide frictionless user experience is vital for higher conversion.

All E-commerce website visitors are unique. Some visitors already know what they want to buy, while others look for entertainment - surfing through the latest trends, product images, description, or checking out the information. Nonetheless, no matter the site visitors, whether browsers or researchers, you can use them to your advantage with your federated search information.

It's important to know that every element on an E-commerce site has a role to play for the success of the site, the same way different shoppers rely on various aspects on the site to shape their user experience. Extensively, online customers can be separated into two transcendent sorts: researchers and browsers.

Researchers are goal-driven shoppers to purchase soon. They already have the idea of what they want but will probably be searching for the most suited option from their search in E-commerce sites.

Researchers may surf through your website multiple times, gathering information before they decide to make a purchase.

On the other hand, browsing shoppers visit an E-commerce site to see what is new, famous, and what's on sale.

They go to their favorite website or a new section to stay up on the latest trends, window-shop for future purchases, or to kill time. Whatever the case may be, having people spend time on your site can be intuitive for your brand. If they are the excellent user experience your site has to offer, they'll be more likely to revisit your site when they are ready to make a purchase. While they are busy getting entertained, you, the business owner has the opportunity to gather valuable information about your visitor, which can help you turn those browsers into buyers.

Another intense research from the Baymard Institute suggests that E-commerce site search is undoubtedly found to be the preferred product finding strategy by shoppers as they perceive it to be faster than category navigation. In this regard, Effective site search plays a direct, quantifiable role in increasing sales revenue, so working towards improving and optimizing your product inventory will directly affect the success of your search in e-commerce.

When on-site search is compared to other metrics, site search is usually ignored. Business owners prefer to pay attention to optimizing personalized emails or landing pages. In contrast, almost all product-focused buyers use on-site search to hasten their buying journey on an E-commerce website. And if your website happens to lack the efficiency and accuracy they want, they will look elsewhere.

Your on-site search plays the role of your sales team. Nonetheless, taking the necessary steps to improve your site search can lead to happier customers who eventually convert to real paying clients.

There are three primary ways shoppers can find products on an E-commerce site.


  • Category Browsing: occurs when shoppers surf through categories and narrow down to see the items they are searching for in the subcategories.
  • Keyword Search: happens when a potential shopper uses the on-site search bar to find products using closely related keywords. The keywords can be short tail or long-tail keywords; internal, competitive, and industry-specific.
  • Faceted Search occurs when shoppers refine their search by narrowing the results through search filters. For instance, it can be filtered into length, size, brand, or weight; this type of search filters can be searched on the Amazon website. It will be an excellent opportunity to integrate a solution that will help achieve your search goal - such as enterprise search, or database search engine into your faceted Search to produce more search relevant information to your site visitors.

Several factors contribute to whether shoppers can easily find products through on-site search. These factors make it easier to provide the nearest search queries to visitors, which include synonyms, predictive search, misspellings, and type-ahead. Big websites like Amazon have integrated enterprise search as a service software to ensure their on-site search is performing efficiently.

For instance, Amazon tries to find relevant, accessible, and informative content to provide to its customers. The website uses a sophisticated search algorithm that has one primary objective; bring shoppers closer to relevant products as fast as possible. Basically, the Amazon search algorithm works similarly to google search algorithm. It analyses merely search queries for relevant keywords and matches customers' needs with related products in that niche.

Aside from providing engaging value to its customers, Amazon has access to a considerable amount of data to use for search engine results. This benefit is linked to the fact that Amazon is a self-contained platform, gathering data from many sources and storing them within its big data infrastructures.

Amazon uses the A9 ranking algorithm, whose primary purpose is to deliver a spectacular customer experience, thereby leaving the customer hooked on the website. It achieves this by analyzing different pieces of information to determine the most accurate and valuable product to appear in the search queries. The algorithm usually considers the following criteria to rank the product according to search relevance. They include: keywords, customer reviews, performance history, delivery time, and, most importantly, sales conversion.


Whether you are a small or big E-commerce website, the importance of search in E-commerce cannot be overemphasized. Search is relevant and improving search leads to better conversions and engaging shopper experience.

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