5 E-commerce Challenges That Can Be Addressed by Search Quality Analysis
Blog: MattsenKumar Blog
In countries like India and Brazil, 95% and 92% of search traffic respectively come from Google only. The popular search engine processes over 2 trillion searches every year and a huge percentage of its end with customers landing on e-commerce stores. While the conversion rate continues to be around 2-3% for e-commerce store but the potential of free marketing is immense.
Similarly, e-commerce platforms are equipped with search engines that rely on the repository of products for offering results. Based on keywords entered by customers, search engines rank products. Sometimes these products are relevant to queries entered by customers but sometimes challenges like slower product discovery and brand interference eat up space and impact the on-site customer experience.
Why On-site Search Matters?
E-commerce stores are a mirror image of brick and mortar stores on the web. Unlike physical stores, where we walk in and ask for desired products, on e-commerce platforms we are dependent upon search option for finding the required product. On-site search doubles as a tool to help e-commerce stores offer customers with a memorable experience.
Often e-commerce platforms enrich their search bar with auto-complete, auto-suggestion, and category wise features. Such a nuanced approach simplifies the process for customers and allows them to make a quick decision, which ultimately reflects on the stores’ balance sheet.
On-site search matters because people are now starting to prefer e-commerce stores over Google for discovering new products. A recent study reveals that over 72% of users prefer Amazon over search engines for finding new and relevant products. Also, some statistics that make on-site search important are
• 60% of users directly visit search tabs when shopping online
• 52% of everything on the web starts with a search
• E-commerce is overtaking Google for discovering new products
What is Search Quality Analysis? Why is it Required?
If you type a keyword in Google and Bing, you will see different results. All these search engines are built differently. They rely on multiple algorithms to produce the best result for you but it is the definition of “the best result” that varies from one search engine to another. While Google is known for relying on cookies for optimizing your search and ad experience another search engine Duck Duck Go never spies on you.
Just like varied search engines, e-commerce players also have a varied definition of efficient search results. For many online stores ranking bestselling products at the top is important while for some ranking the most relevant product is important.
Since all search engines are made differently, the on-site search is now a key differentiator and it plays a crucial role in shaping your customer’s on-site experience. A fast, efficient, and layered search engine can uplift customer experience and facilitate faster decision making.
Search Quality Analysis helps e-commerce players fine-tune their search results in relevance to the keywords searched by users. The fine-tuning takes place by registering the search queries entered by users within a stipulated period. The professionals see through the required tuning to make product discovery easier for customers.
Why Search Quality Analysis is Important?
Every Customer is Different: In a country like India, where there are over 21 registered languages and multiple regional languages, it is necessary for e-commerce players to fine their search results to suit the needs of a wide audience. For example, some people refer to “petrol” as “oil” while some people like to call it “gas”; such differences are at a mass level in countries with the wide diaspora. One example relevant to the e-commerce industry is smartwatches which are also known as a fitness band. While smartwatches are a category in themselves but people commonly refer to them as a fitness band, optimizing search results accordingly will ensure customers find desired products faster.
Making Search Engines Multi-dimensional: Search engines today support text, voice, and image searches. Customers today are relying on all these formats to making their lives easier. Optimizing on-site search engines makes sense because it ensures no matter whether customers search Reebok Flip Flop or Reebok Slippers, they are provided with relevant results. Such nuances are equally important when searching via text, image, or voice.
Other benefits of search quality analysis in a nutshell includes
• Understands the varied keywords entered by users
• Prepare for the other popular terms users might use for search
• Helps analyses semantics and foreign language searches
• Helps streamline catalog and product line
• Develop Auto-suggestion and auto-completion features
Five Challenges Search Query Analysis can Solve
1. Improves Product Discovery
Amazon is perhaps the most successful e-commerce player because it has aced everything right from customer acquisition, retention, product discovery to product recommendation. Amazon generates 29% of revenue by product recommendation and is also preferred by 72% of users for product discovery.
For an e-commerce player to offer product discovery as fast as Amazon leveraging search quality analysis is important. By leveraging search quality analysis for a million keywords, online stores can ensure that products start ranking for remotest keywords related to them.
Product discovery is a proven metric, there’s no doubt that faster product discovery helps customers make quick decisions leading to more sales. Faster product discovery helps customers save time, which enhances the customer experience as well.
2. Renders Product Not Found Problem Obsolete
Forums like Quora and Reddit are filled with questions “why Amazon Prime’s search engine sucks?” Amazon on one hand has aced the search engine game on its e-commerce platform but Amazon Prime is yet to get par with industry standards. Prime’s engine is so bad that it fails to rank movies that are available on its problem and a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs that their online store is also suffering from the same problem.
“Product Not Found” result occurs because search engines are not well-versed with all the keywords customers use for searching varied products. Traversing millions of keywords collected from search history of customers can help online stores improve overall search results and render the “Product Not Found” problem obsolete.
Related Article: The Anatomy of a Perfect E-commerce Product Page
3. Supports Multilanguage Search for Customers
The global Internet is divided into two language groups namely, British English and US English. Similarly, e-commerce stores like Amazon.com, which cater to people from around the world are required to train their search engines in a way that people from India, UK, and the US are provided with relevant results irrespective of the language they prefer.
For example, in some countries batteries used in clocks are called “batteries” while some communities refer to it as “cells”, same goes with mobile devices, in India, people predominantly refer to cell phones as “mobile phones” hence optimizing your search results is important.
An exquisite combination of search quality analysis and catalog quality check will help e-commerce stores accommodate all such keywords in their repository and catalogs to facilitate quality search results. By spreading keywords sporadically through catalogs will allow e-commerce stores to leverage attribute values for creating theme-based bucketing too.
4. Facilitates Voice Search Overcoming Challenge of Accents
Optimizing text searches in the contemporary world is not enough because Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are taking over the world one device at a time. Google reported 27% of all searches made were carried out through voice. Also, the increasing penetration of Alexa and Siri is changing the dynamics of the search.
By relying on professional search quality analysis services, e-commerce platforms can easily overcome voice search challenges related to accent. Since customers from around the world shop from online stores like Ali Express and Amazon.com, it is necessary to optimize search engines for varied accents and it can be achieved with professional search quality analysis services.
5. Helps Overcome Brand Interference Challenges
As mentioned earlier, people from different countries use varied keywords when looking for the same keyword. While some countries refer to mobile devices as cell, in countries like Bangladesh and India, the cell represents alkaline batteries, which are used in toys.
It often happens that people search for mobile devices but they are provided with results related to batteries. Such confusion not only pisses customers off but also reflects in increasing bounce rate.
By investing in search quality analysis, online stores with a heavy repository of keywords can easily align keywords to categories and improve search results. One of the simplest ways of getting rid of this problem is to connect the search engine to the existing repository of keywords and then prompting categories in the search bar itself.
When the search engine is well-versed with all the keywords in the database, it will easily identify and allow users to select categories and find the desired product quite easily.
Searches will continue to make an important part of the e-commerce ecosystem no matter how advanced the technology gets. Investing in search quality analysis will prepare online stores for future challenges and also solve existing challenges that are mentioned here.
One online store can cater to millions of people from around the world by leveraging professional search quality analysis services. It also removes roadblocks and paves the path to success with voice searches, which is undoubtedly the future of search.
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