On site search is a key part of behavioural analysis for any site owner. It’s key in providing valuable insight. Correctly configured, both Magento and Google Analytics can record customer searches. This data can be used to increase sales and provide a better user experience all round.

What People Search For

Learning what people search for can give valuable insight into:

  1. What your customers want.
  2. What your customers call the product they want.
  3. How many people use search, and why.

Searcher Types

We believe there are 3 core search types and therefore different ways to deal with improving the customer journey:-

  1. Default tendency – some customers just use search as their first port of call. Whether its ‘dresses’, ‘mens jeans’ etc, they are searching for something which is probably already well served and sign-posted via the main website navigation.
  2. Product Codes – many websites have product codes, MPNs, barcodes or a unique code which the user might come to the site with. Especially with fast moving goods the EAN is a great way to get fast product price comparisons across channels and find the best deal.
  3. Can’t find in navigation – you know what you want, you cant find an obvious place in the navigation, the navigation is poor, the website is cluttered and you can’t be bothered to try and seek it out. These are the customers we can really tap into and convert an otherwise lost customer to a long-term customer.

Default Tendency

Some customers who use search as their first action when visiting a site. This can be annoying for you, because they are bypassing your site layout, and asking a question without looking. Are you prepared for this?

Look at the list of search terms, where a search term is broad, make sure that you redirect that term to hit a relevant category landing page.

Product Codes

Some customers, particularly tradespeople, may search by product codes. Other users may have simply researched the product and are seeking just that, they may search in this way because they are being single minded and efficient.

Segment these users. Later you could email them, ask them to complete a questionnaire and offer a discount for completing it. this will help you to learn why they search this way.

Can’t Find in Navigation

If people can’t find what they are looking for quickly, there could be an issue with your navigation menu.  Ask yourself:

  1. Are the products in the correct categories?
  2. Is the navigation clear and simple?

Are the products in the correct Categories?
We often see products that are not even in a category, or they have been placed in the wrong category by accident.  It’s worth checking the search terms, and making sure that they are in the correct category.

Is the navigation clear and simple?
Make sure that your navigation is simple to understand. Less, is often more. You want your navigation to be clear and obvious.  Try to avoid duplication as this leads to confusion.

When customers are led to a search results page, this will likely lack the rich merchandising which would often clinch a sale, therefore where possible, redirect broader search terms to the relevant category landing page, this will improve conversions without fail.