E-commerce Link : 'Tis the Season to Buy
Five best practices for the holidaysNovember 2008 By Ken Burke
By implementing the following five proven tactics, you will be able to turn browsers into buyers, increase the amount shoppers spend and convert first-time shoppers into long-term, brand-loyal customers.
1. Improve Internal Site Search Performance
According to the MarketLive Performance Index (Vol. 5, 2008), the single most effective tool on your site is the search box. In fact, the percentage
of visits using site search is close to 40 percent. And even more impressive, site search contributes almost 40 percent to overall site revenue.
The best way to improve internal site search performance is to apply the Goldilocks Principle. If your site search results are too "hot," they provide too many search results, and visitors become confused and frustrated. If they are too "cold," there are few or even zero results, and searchers are likely to leave. The goal then is to set your results to a number that is "just right"—with the ability to sort or filter the results based on relevant product attributes.
Here are some pointers to get your internal site search just right:
- Review the performance of your top 50 internal site searches at least weekly.
- Utilize product keywords to maximize product exposure and gain consistency of result sets for the most common issues:
» Misspellings and variations—Do shoppers see the same set of results for singular vs. plural?
» SKU or merchandising attributes—Do shoppers get relevant results when they search on a specific SKU level or merchandising attribute, like "sale," "red curtain" or "size 8 jeans"?
» Shopper vs. merchant terminology—Will a shopper looking for "coffee machine" find a full set of results when you, as the merchant, use the term "coffee maker"?
The inability to touch, try on and physically view products is a major barrier to e-commerce. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa, 81 percent of shoppers seek robust product descriptions, and 70 percent look for advanced imaging features. Yet 50 percent of shoppers stated product photos and descriptions didn't provide enough information to buy online.