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Internal site search is a core component of most e-commerce sites, but it's rarely optimised to its full extent.
Tools such as Fredhopper, Endeca and Adobe Omniture Merchandising can help enormously in this matter but there are certain generic tasks that anyone can perform to help optimise their internal search, no matter what tools you're using.
I'll concentrate on the retail sector, but these tips could be translated to other sectors too. Here are five tips to try:
The terms that customers type into your site search box represent a wealth of valuable data that can be used to learn about your users’ behaviour.
This data can be used to improve the site search functionality, to optimise results pages for common searches, improve merchandising and more.
I've been asking several e-commerce experts about how site search data can be used most effectively...
Last week, I looked at some best practices for site search, around positioning and function of search box, now it's time to look at site search results pages.
Once users have found the search box and entered their product query, the most important aspect is the speed and accuracy of the search results.
There is a lot that retailers can do on search results pages to enhance the user experience and make the route from search to purchase as smooth as possible.
Here are some examples, good and bad, from retailers, as well as some tips to improve the user experience...
An effective site search function on an e-commerce site has a number of potential benefits. Customers are accustomed to finding results quickly and (mainly) accurately from search engines, and will expect a similar experience on e-commerce sites.
On e-commerce sites, up to 30% of visitors will use the site search box, and each of these users is showing a possible intent to purchase by entering product names or codes.
Here are some tips and examples showing best practice in search box placement and design...
Drop-down menus are a valuable navigational tool for e-commerce and other sites. There are potential usability issues, but a well designed drop-down will help customers to navigate more quickly and effectively.
In this post, I'll look at some of the pros and cons of drop-downs, mega drop-downs, as well as some examples and best practices from a range of e-commerce sites.
Improving your site search and navigation can have a dramatic impact on sales. Not being able to find the product you want is one of the top - and sometimes overlooked - barriers to conversion.
In this article I've attempted to summarise what I see as the most important steps to improving the customer experience. While some require specific technology, many of these ideas can be implemented on any website.
In reality there are plenty of critical features about site search from the position of the search box itself to the way you guide the users actions from the search results page itself.
These five critical areas of site search ought to give you food for thought and, if implemented successfully, make a considerable difference to how your site search pages perform.
To a lot of people Information Architecture (IA) is some kind of remote construct with no apparent significance.
However, IA permeates every aspect of our lives, and for e-commerce sites, good information architecture is paramount to success.
If you are looking for ways to improve your business in 2011 without having to spend inordinate amounts of your budget you should review the fundamental areas of your online presence that can provide an exponential return.
Site search is a key way to improve online performance that is tangible and offers near immediate payback. After all, there’s no point driving visitors to your website to then offer them a poor user experience.
Here are five ideas to help you improve your site search...
Users have just a 50-50 chance of finding what they want from a website's site search function, which suggests that there is much room for improvement.
Econsultancy's Site Search Report, published in association with Funnelback, also finds that the majority (57%) of firms are planning to increase their investment in this area as they appreciate the value and benefits of effective site search.
The BBC yesterday launched a new political website, Democracy Live, which enables the public to keep up with TV coverage of political debates.
The site offers live and on demand coverage of the Commons, the House of Lords, the European Parliament, Scottish Assembly and more, so you can keep up with debates on a variety of issues that may effect you.
Sears, one of the largest e-tailers in the US, has just relaunched the websites for two of its online brands, Kmart.com and Sears.com, and has introduced an interesting new multi-search feature.
This means that shoppers at either of the relaunched websites can search on one site and receive product results across both of them. Sears has also added tabs at the top of each page that allow users to quickly access any of the company's six e-commerce sites.