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Advanced search in your webshop is important

Monday, April 1st, 2013 by Servage

Effective product search is a big issue on big e-commerce websites – especially for the first time visitors, thus helping visitors to get whatever they want easily and quickly – which is converting visitors into shoppers, and finally into customers. Creating better and suitable architecture for search and enhancing searching by latest available advanced search technologies is the desirable approach.

Once upon a time e-commerce websites were full of splashing graphics and flashy images, banners, headers, etc. with the advent of technologies cool appearance with great features and functionality becomes the norm. Most of the small and medium businesses believe that placing good product images with attractive descriptions and easy navigation are enough factors to win the customers.

Need of Search Feature

When we think about the modern visitors and their behavior on the e-commerce shopping sites we will have some different inferences because first of all modern visitors have plenty of choices to select the e-commerce website from the SERP so they generally open few selected tabs in their browsers and start exploring one-by-one. Thus they have little time to spend on your website. Of course overall look & feel of your website is essential for them to stay for more than a few seconds, but their ultimate target is to find the right product within shortest possible timespan.

Classic Parameter Search

Therefore, you need to have advanced search feature on your e-commerce store front. Good advanced search should not be placed at a neglected corner but must be highlighted properly, albeit with conventional look and form so it won’t intimidate visitors to use them. Traditional approach is parameter search where you will find some text boxes and operators and sometime drop-down menus.

Advanced Faceted Search

In this classic approach your UX designer will provide his inputs by suggesting some ways, like use of simple fields which need only essential inputs. You can depict some snippets of the user interface applying responsive disclosure where once a visitor sets a parameter it would be guided further showing next filters and this is good thing for the first time visitors – but repeat visitors may not like this, because they might prefer a faster, thus more time-efficient method.

Therefore, faceted search is now more popular where a visitor input texts for the desired product, and will encounter a result page where the visitor can select specific option by the drill-down menu where he can select a single choice or use a checkbox marking to go for multiple options. This approach is really advanced, and most suitable for novice as well as experienced visitors. This is very fast and easy method so it is highly advisable for small to medium business with higher number of products.

Better UX

If your e-commerce website designers want to give excellent user experiences, they need to conduct initial UX research with some real users, so they can understand the actual needs of the users and their behaviors on the site. Also remember to take care of properly guiding the visitors with smart and gentle descriptions, and make search easy as well as safe – so visitors never feel any threats loosing the search results in case of undoing any step. It is true that you can’t satisfy every need, but analyzing search query logs which will give you some clues to identify important features for creating additional features.

References & more reading

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