By Kemberly Gong
Site Search is an incredibly important part of an eCommerce site because search directs customers quickly to what they want. Just as adding salt to a recipe adds flavor, including an advanced site search to your eCommerce site enriches the shopping experience. Spice up your online shopping site by maximizing the impact of your search results pages by using merchandising features. These features, such as banners and tuning rules, which promote or demote the display rank of products, help show the items that customers want, and add messaging that creates a unified landing page.
Banners shown at the top of a search results page can add informative messaging or a call-to-action for customers. These are perfect for advertising sales, brand name information or other promotions that define the particular group of products shown. Banners can be used on a macro scale to emphasize site-wide promotions, such as a large holiday sale or Free Shipping for orders of a certain value. They can also be used on a micro scale to emphasize different brands or offers that relate to only a specific set of products.
For example, when someone searches “North Face” on Sports Unlimited’s page, this banner is displayed to showcase The North Face brand. Additionally, every link for “Men’s”, “Women’s” and “Kids’” apparel is also clickable and would direct customers to a specific page for those products.
Footwear Etc. displays this Sale banner when customers search a variety of different keywords, to direct them to sale items. Instead of being displayed only when certain keywords are searched, this one displays at all times to alert customers to the site-wide sale.
Tuning is another form of online merchandising that pushes products up or down in the search results rank. Merchandisers may want to promote certain products because they are new, have better margins or coincide with a promotional event like a sale or seasonal promotion. Conversely, merchandisers can demote or completely hide other products if they are out-of-stock or seasonal products that they do not want customers to see.
Using a combination of banners and tuning creates consistency in product offering, messaging and design to create search pages that make your customers’ shopping experiences easier and more informed.
Kemberly Gong is a Contributing Editor to the SLI Systems blog. SLI Systems is the leading SaaS provider of Site Search and Navigation solutions for IR 500 clients. To learn more about SLI Systems’ solutions for eCommerce, visit www.sli-systems.com.