An efficient search feature is paramount to an enjoyable online shopping experience. Whether consumers are “digital window shopping” or looking for a specific product, they want to get quick and easy access to whatever content they’re seeking.
For Gallery Furniture, the search function is a “huge part” of the sales process, said Kimberly Friddle, e-Commerce Director for the retailer. With approximately 15% of site visitors using the site search engine each month, it is the second most popular feature for users starting on the homepage.
To guide consumers on the path to purchase, Gallery Furniture partnered with Nextopia, an e-Commerce site search, navigation and merchandising solution provider. Using the site search solution, Gallery Furniture has been able to direct users to the content and information that meets their needs.
Since implementing the search tool, Gallery Furniture has seen search function use double, as well as an improvement in overall customer satisfaction.
“Our phone sales representatives have noted a marked reduction in customers requiring assistance in finding a product on the site,” Friddle said. “We are able to lead customers to the products that best fit their needs, and our conversion rates have improved by 35%.”
Understanding What Customers Want
Creating a fast and efficient experience is “absolutely critical,” according to Friddle. This especially is true if a customer is searching on the web site to find a specific piece of furniture. “We have to show them that we have what they’re looking for in an efficient way — or they’ll quickly move on to their next choice.”
Friddle shared one example: “If someone is looking for a brown leather reclining sectional, we need to be sure we neatly present them with products that very tightly match that description, not a hodge-podge of sectionals/brown furniture/leather furniture/recliners.”
Nextopia also offers a detailed view of the search results being delivered to shoppers, Friddle said. “We can see if and when people are not finding what they need, which has helped us reduce the number of customers exiting upon search completion.”
If a customer spells a word incorrectly or uses different phrases, Gallery Furniture can create “synonyms” to ensure customers receive comparable results. The retailer also can deliver alternative products if a specific piece has been discontinued.