E-commerce Link: Enhance Your On-site Search
Another example: A customer might be searching for “crimson cushions.” That precise term does not exist in your database, but your enhanced search feature recognizes “crimson” as a synonym for red and “cushion” as a synonym for pillow. The search tool produces a list of all pillows, cushions and pillow cases that have the word “red” in their descriptions or keywords.
Rank Results to Control Merchandising
These enhanced search technologies allow you, the marketer, to control search results in real time, based on how you want to sell to the customer. First of all, they can rank each product one at a time according to the importance you assign to each keyword for each product. Second, you can set rules that weight some parameters—for example “best sellers” or “sale”—more heavily than others to sort the list in different ways.
Depending on the extent of personalization techniques you use on your site, your weighting could be highly customized with different weighting schemes applied to different customer groups. Your on-site search could evolve very rapidly from a customer convenience feature to an active merchandising tool.
Results of Enhanced Search
The benefits of using advanced search technologies will vary according to the characteristics of each site. Studies show that for a fairly modest site with 250,000 visitors each month and an average transaction amount of $30, an incremental increase in search accuracy of only 25 percent can recapture approximately $3,000 per month in revenue currently lost through bad search results. This assumes that 50 percent of a site’s visitors use the search feature. Using the same numbers, a site that receives 10 million visitors per month could recover almost $120,000 per month. The percentage of lost revenue recaptured in both examples is approximately 61 percent. In many cases, advanced search can boost accuracy by more than 25 percent, increasing revenues far more than is illustrated in these examples.