Personalization is often synonymized with relevance, and relevance is delivered effectively when there is an understanding of the context of a situation. At a very granular level, context as it is related to Commerce Search is derived from understanding who the user is, what the user is communicating, and in what channel the user is communicating their message.
More than a quarter century after the introduction of Archie, considered by historians the first web search engine, search is still an integral component of the digital user experience. Search boxes — models of design simplicity comprising nothing more than a text input field and submit button (and, sometimes, a magnifying glass icon for flair) — are fixtures of virtually every content-rich website, enabling consumers to pinpoint anything and everything they’re seeking in a matter of keystrokes.
Search tools are especially critical to shopper satisfaction, according to a new study conducted by omnichannel personalization services provider RichRelevance. Among the roughly 1,000 U.S. online consumers surveyed last month, 83% said the search box is “important” or “extremely important” to them when shopping on a retailer’s web or mobile site, and 76% said they “always” or “often” use the search box when visiting a merchant site.
According to the study and report of more than 1,000 American shoppers by RichRelevance, while site search is critically important to shoppers, the study suggests that many retailers have not evolved site search to meet the demands of an omnichannel world. Frustrated web and mobile shoppers are likely to go elsewhere when retailers don’t get it right.
Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance, says that “… site search is tremendously important to shoppers, but under-delivers when it comes to all the channels where consumers shop today… there have not been major advances in site search in a decade… “
Many eCommerce sites are actually deterring customers through poor experiences. RichRelevance has surveyed consumers about their attitudes to site search on retailers’ websites, finding that some retailers have room for improvement.
While Google and other major search engine providers have largely perfected the art of finding exactly what users are looking for in a matter of seconds, the experience of seeking out specific products on e-commerce sites themselves leaves a lot to be desired.