We’ve seen many Shopify stores lose customers to empty search results pages. So we found out some ways to turn those results into sales and reduce drop-offs.
The last few decades have witnessed a boom in the growth of e-commerce sites offering a hoard of online shopping options for shoppers to choose from in virtually every industry. With shoppers increasingly preferring convenience over a visit to the brick and mortar stores, and eCommerce sites constantly improving their online shopping experience, buying online has become common among millions of people worldwide. One of the key factors of this online experience being the site search.
Recent statistics on e-commerce user behaviour suggest that nearly 43% of users start their shopping journey with a site search and immediately drop off if they can’t find what they’re looking for. This makes the search functionality on your Shopify store, not just the most commonly used feature, but also the one to impact your on-site conversions and sales.
According to CXL, site searchers account for 14% of all revenue and an advanced search functionality can increase your conversion rates by 43%.
So how can you optimize your site’s search results to do more than just return a particular result? Here’s how you can make search more engaging and reduce the chances of drop-offs, leading to more conversions and sales:
Ways to reduce drop-offs from an empty search results page
1. Show customers ‘did you mean’ search results with a typo tolerance
A lot of online shoppers often misspell their search queries. Some may not even know what they’re exactly looking for and may enter various long-tail search keywords to get results. Spelling mistakes can often happen, especially when using mobile search.
27% of e-commerce sites are ill-equipped to handle misspellings of even one character in the product name. In such cases, websites often return a “No Results” page. On e-commerce sites, occasional misspellings should not prevent customers from finding the products they seek.
Sites need an in-built autocorrect to detect typos and display the right results in spite of them. Use of typo correction to capture search intent can help in removing friction from the search experience. One solution here is to offer them ‘did you mean’ search results.
Guide the shopper in their journey with autosuggest. Autocompletion or search suggestion based on the few characters that the user has entered in their search fields can tremendously enhance user experience.
Studies suggest that search autocomplete can even help boost conversions by 24%. Auto-suggest helps shoppers make faster searches, thereby reducing their effort in the process. Sites offering product suggestions around the information that a user types help speed up the search process, avoid misspellings, help out an unsure shopper, and display relevant results for their query.
Want your Shopify store search widget to be able to handle typos? Get Searchly today.
2. Enable a smarter search engine on your Shopify store to handle synonyms
Built-in functionality for recognizing keyword synonyms can ensure sites don’t lose visitors to uncommon keywords.
70% of eCommerce search implementations are unable to return relevant results for product-type synonyms, requiring users to search using the exact same jargon as the site.
It’s also a good idea to create custom result pages for common misspellings. Shopify stores can create custom pages using page builders to showcase a curated set of products, collections and redirects. So, for instance, if a user misspells corduroy as ‘corderoy,’ the search can redirect to a curated list of “corduroy pants” results.
Another way to get the most out of “no results” pages, is by using a profit-driven approach. You can experiment with displaying an assortment of high margin products on search result pages, or even smart upsells.
Shopify search apps like Searchly learns common keywords used by shoppers, picks up typos, and shows relevant search results that match what shoppers intended to look for. Research keyword usage trends on your Shopify store and set up commonly used synonyms within Searchly. This way, shoppers will still be able to discover relevant search results even when using uncommon keywords.
Want your Shopify store’s smart search widget to handle synonyms? Install Searchly today.
3. Introduce customers to engaging content related to their search
Often, consumers search for a product that may not be available in your store. Most e-commerce sites display a “No Results Page”, that is a dead-end for users. When shoppers encounter an empty search results page, chances are they’ll drop off unless you find another way to engage them and redirect their attention to other offerings.
In such cases, show content results on empty search pages to reduce drop-offs.
Set up recommendations and suggest content on your empty search results page to better engage your store visitors and keep them interested. Customize your recommendations and even display personalized suggestions to increase chances of click-throughs and possible sales.
A research done by Hubspot shows that consumers spend 50% of their time on the web engaging with custom content that’s tailored to them. Showing relevant content rather than a ‘no results’ page can also help retain shoppers on the website and get them interested in browsing other pages.
Let’s say someone searches for a product like ‘tealight candles in blue.’ If you don’t have the product, instead of showing them ‘No Results for tealight candles in blue,’ display one of the blogs you may have written on ‘how to choose the right candle.’
You can also provide category suggestions close to a user’s search. Depending on the variety of products available in the store, help the user navigate towards browsing popular categories related to their search. For example, a store specializing in home decor might have success displaying content on their top-selling categories.
Nykaa, one of India’s top online shopping beauty stores, displays blogs on various product recommendations in between search results.
Most Shopify stores use blogging to announce product updates, discounts, and seasonal deals. Sharing rich content within your niche with your customers is a great way to engage them and increase brand loyalty. If done right, blogging can help you bring additional traffic to your site and increase conversions.
But more importantly, in this case, it can help you keep your visitors engaged even when they don’t find the exact product.
Want to show related products and content for the search results on your store? Get Searchly for your Shopify store today.
4. Display ‘similar products’ or ‘more from’
Another way to engage the online shopper is to connect visitors to more of your products through the “similar products” or “more from” function when something they’re searching for isn’t available on your store.
You can opt to show similar product categories or use comparison functions to display “people who bought this item also searched for” options to the shopper.
The related search function on the “no results” page should be created to not end a buyer’s journey then and there but encourage them to keep browsing for products that are likely to pique their interest and keep them shopping for longer. Displaying related or similar products, though they may not be a perfect match, may help shoppers broaden their search or point to a direction of accessories that may go with their search.
For example, if a shopper is looking for turtle neck sweaters, you can show them a high-neck sweater collection instead. Or if you’re selling laptops, increase chances of sales by suggesting related accessories: laptop bags, accessories, etc. Third-party solutions employing machine learning algorithms are used to make this work.
Recognizing customer intent and simplifying how shoppers find products and navigate through the end of their buyer’s journey with minimum friction will ensure that shoppers come back for repeat purchases and turn into loyal customers. Again, as a Shopify store, this is easy for you to do with an app like Searchly. Its advanced search algorithm lets you tap into the power of personalized product recommendations to display related products.
5. Ask your customers what they’re looking for
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
– Bill Gates
If a shopper cannot find a particular product, use this opportunity to talk to them and get to know their preferences. Trigger a live chat to help customers with their queries. A live chat is an incredibly convenient solution for both the customer and the organization. With instant access to assistance, a customer is less likely to drop off from an empty search result page.
Integrating a Shopify live chat in your e-commerce business will increase eCommerce sales if used in a proper way.
Live chats help advance customer purchases and increase their time spent on the e-commerce site. At the same time, 38% of customers found themselves making a purchase after live chat sessions, 42% of customers preferred live chat as their support method.
Integrating a live chat into your shopper’s journey will help you in 2 ways:
- It’ll give you the opportunity to recommend other products related to their search queries
- It will help you understand consumer demand over time and help you build a better product assortment in your online store
Do you need to leverage empty search results pages?
The short answer is YES.
Empty search result pages are inevitable: an online store may not have everything a customer may be looking for. Online stores often come across many different types of queries. Shopify stores need to simplify the buying process and make it as effortless, quick, and convenient as possible.
It’s okay to say that you may not have everything a consumer is looking for. But never lose an opportunity to capture their purchase intent. The tips mentioned above for reducing drop-offs on your empty search result pages could give you a strong start. However, we recommend that you always keep experimenting with the strategies you use.
The more you experiment, the more you will learn about your shoppers and be able to drive more sales out of “no results” pages.
Ready to reduce drop-offs from your empty search results pages?