Posted by Peter Curran
While sales are the obvious ultimate goal of ecommerce websites, the buyer’s journey through checkout is a lot more complex than just hitting the “purchase” button. First, a buyer has to land on your website. While that seems simple enough, getting a visitor to your site organically, via paid search, through an email campaign, or through referral traffic is a labor-intensive process for your digital marketing team, and a costly one. The acquisition cost of a single site visit for ecommerce companies can range greatly, from a few cents to over $100.
Once a visitor has landed on your website, first impression is huge. In fact, 57% of site visitors will abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. 55% of site visitors will exit a website within fifteen seconds of landing on it due to poor design, too much copy, insincere sounding copy, or irrelevance to what they were seeking. (Hubspot) Mobile responsiveness is also more important than ever in ecommerce. Whereas online shoppers were previously leery of making purchases directly on their smart phones, mobile purchases are becoming increasingly more widespread. In fact, during the 2016 Holiday season, 49% of ecommerce site visits were from mobile devices and 39% of shoppers made a mobile purchase. (Deloitte)
If your website has fared the visitor’s first impression guillotine, user experience is going to be the name of the game. You need to keep your customers engaged by properly listing sales, making your website easily navigable, and showcasing your prices. A well laid out, intuitive ecommerce site also benefits from impulse purchases from 20% of shoppers during the holiday season. (Deloitte)
Site search is also crucial for your bottom line. Over 30% of visitors will use your site search functionality to search for products, and their purchase intent is higher. In fact, users of ecommerce search tools convert 5-6x more frequently than non-searchers. (Baymard Institute) Since having an optimized and properly tuned site search can lead to increased conversions, we review a case study from one of our large ecommerce customers and tell you that we raised their total ecommerce conversions by 0.2% sitewide through onsite search optimization along, this number seems outrageously small.
However, let’s review what a small conversion rate improvement can actually mean for a large retailer. In 2017, Kohl’s is on track to have 32 million site visitors per month (Statista), or 384 million site visitors for the year. If you assume a typical conversion rate of 2% for an ecommerce retailer, and a $50 average purchase, Kohls.com is generating a revenue of $384 million per year in 2017. With a seemingly miniscule conversion improvement of 0.2%, an additional 15,000 additional conversions will occur. At $50 per conversion, this search tuning could net Kohls.com an additional $768,000.
Think of onsite search as continuously compounding interest. This type of optimization can be optimized again and again to best meet your consumer’s language use and behaviors, meaning you are always moving forward and gaining returns on your investment. The only question to ask yourself is what you’re waiting for.
Want to learn more about how site search can affect your bottom line? Check out our ebook, “Hunting for Relevancy: How e-commerce site search can help or hurt your business.”