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Brave New World: How E-Commerce Stores Benefit From Enhanced Product Discovery


Executive Summary

Plummeting bounce rates, boosted conversion, devastatingly effective marketing campaigns… If this reads like a fantasy e-commerce wishlist, it’s time to get up to speed on the latest developments in product discovery. 

This article will walk you through three of the main ways better product discovery could be helping your store smash KPIs, while delighting your customers.

Ready to improve KPIs across the board? Product discovery could be the answer…

As we head into the final quarter of 2020, you’ll be setting your sights on next year’s budgets. This means making some informed decisions about where to invest in your tech stack.

Getting more sales across the line is a top priority. Brands are increasingly looking at ways of enhancing their site’s capacity for product discovery (the process of customers finding the perfect product for purchase) to meet this goal.

Upping your on-site search game is a fast track to better product discovery. But if it isn’t an area that you’ve previously allocated resources to, you’re not alone. Studies suggest that only 7% of companies feel certain they are efficiently leveraging insight from site search across the rest of their business.

As a feature that around 30% of your audience will interact with (and that can generate 14% of total sales), the opportunity of an optimized on-site search solution is vast. Go beyond the basic native functionality of your e-commerce platform and you start to see some eye-opening improvements.

This article will explore three of the main reasons that on-site search should form an essential component of your 2021 e-commerce stack.

 1.No More Up and Down: Banish Your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a commonly tracked metric that most e-commerce teams would love to see lowered. But keeping your customers engaged and on the path to successful conversion is a game of two halves.

First, inspire them to take an intentional search-led journey. The very act of searching signals a 200% increase in their likelihood of making a purchase. With the opportunity to show trending products and searches, as well as personalized recommendations, all within a visually appealing instant search overlay… when it comes to product discovery, it’s hard to beat.

Second, ensure that journey’s experience delivers on all counts. A fruitless, frustrating search is a one-way ticket to speedy site abandonment — a lost sale that should have been all but guaranteed!

When it comes to boosting the number of search-led sessions on your store, if you build it, they will come. Offering an accurate, high-performance site search that delivers superlative customer experience encourages people to return and enjoy it time again and time again.

A clear, high contrast search bar, pre-filled with encouraging copy and clearly signaling its purpose with the universal magnifying glass icon will do wonders for your search rates. But even more important than this is the performance of your site search itself — it’s crucial that it delivers dependable results for the impact of this increased interaction to be felt.

Klevu helps merchants both increase the number of search-led sessions, and decrease the bounce rate of their store through improved, accurate, intelligent results.

Benuta experienced a 170% increase in search led sessions after installing Klevu. And Mövenpick Wein saw them rise by a similarly impressive 204%. When it comes to bounce rate, Klevu customer DOMU Brands now enjoy a 185% lower statistic. SkinnyDip London’s bounce rate plummeted by five times that of the previous year.

2. Jackpot: Optimize Search Results for Product Discovery

So you’ve successfully encouraged greater interaction with on-site search. Customers are interacting with your search bar and landing on results pages offering a range of products they can begin to sift through to hone in on their perfect purchase.

A really important statistic to pay attention to at this stage of the buyer journey? Search exit rate. 

If you’re seeing high abandonment from your results pages, your customers simply aren’t finding what they were looking for. As a result, they’re giving up on your store. Not the sign of a store optimized for product discovery! With so many e-commerce options available, tolerance for disappointment here is very low.

To avoid high search exit rates and encourage better product discovery, follow a few best practices. To begin with, your search results pages should look appealing and familiar. They need to achieve a harmonious balance with the rest of your store’s theme. This stage in the buyer journey should feel like a truly seamless, sequential step. 

You should also deploy savvy merchandising so that products are arranged in the optimal order for discovery and conversion. A huge range of factors can influence the ideal order of your results. The most effective path to success is to lean on the power of AI to automatically interpret interaction with your store, and apply rules accordingly.

Klevu’s self-learning search offers an end to manual merchandising, as our powerful algorithm interprets and reorders your store automatically.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your results are quick and easy to filter through, by displaying only those attributes that are relevant to the products shown. This sidesteps an off-putting mass of irrelevant filters (and a lot of needless scrolling).

By displaying only the most relevant attributes, the path to product discovery is quick and clear. Which solution gets you here? Dynamic filtering as offered (and perfected) by Klevu.

3.Well Informed: Stay One Step Ahead of the Competition

In product discovery, half the battle is making sure the right product ranges and brands are populating your store to be discovered.

You can achieve this in two ways — use diligent research to inform your overall buying strategy, and drive the right kind of traffic towards your store.

Happily, on-site search delivers on both counts. By digging into your search data, you get a unique insight into the products your customers are actively interested in discovering.

Trending search terms give a clear indication of purchase intent, but don’t forget to look too at the search terms that are commonly input but bring back zero results. Whether a particular brand or a product type that you don’t currently stock, it’s a great indication that demand exists, and your audience expects you to be selling these items.

As well as giving you a solid overview of what your customers are looking to buy, your site search data also tells you the phrasing and language that they’re using in their attempt to locate it.

This information is gold for honing your SEO strategy and targeted PPC campaigns. By using the terminology that your customers are inclined to use in their product discovery quest, you can make sure the words you choose to deploy closely correlate.

This helps join the dots for better product discovery. And it starts before customers have even landed on your store. You’re driving targeted traffic, courted with terminology that you know will appeal and will lead to accurate search results within your store.

Make 2021 the Year You Perfect Product Discovery…

Getting folk to visit your store is great, but if customers fail to find the products that really resonate with them, it’s a wasted opportunity. Optimizing your store for superlative product discovery means more opportunities, fuller carts, and better customer experience. And, of course, higher conversion rates.

SkinnyDip London have enjoyed a 6% increase in conversion rate since starting with Klevu. 

Benuta’s is up by an impressive 18%. During February and March 2020, they saw that the 8% of their customers who undertook search-led journeys accounted for 27% of their total revenue. This is a fantastic testament to the power of effective product discovery.

On-site search helps in every aspect of improving your product discovery — from encouraging targeted, search-led buyer journeys, enabling efficient exploration via filters, and making sure the right products are stocking your virtual shelves in the first place.

If you’re looking to refine your e-commerce stack with some specialist help in this area, Klevu is ready to assist.

Ready to supercharge your customer experience through sophisticated on-site search? Book your demo today.

Special thanks to our friends at Klevu for their insights on this topic.
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