Boosting Product Findability on Digital Storefronts
Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to get their hands on a particular product; they want it fast — and without hassle.
The growth of any e-commerce site is anchored on its findability factor. When a strong on-site search mechanism is in place, a digital store is most likely to generate higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. But intuitive browsing is just the start — from enhancing internal search functions to introducing recirculation schemes, there are many techniques to consider.
One of the first ways to enhance the product findability of an e-commerce store is by strengthening its internal search capabilities. An easy-to-use on-site navigation reduces the number of pain points that customers might encounter when looking for a product. This can be accomplished by making search systems prominent and accessible on the homepage and other web pages. Adopting an assistive search function also makes it easier for customers to dig through a wide inventory. For instance, integrating autocomplete features helps users generate more precise recommendations and minimizes their search time in the process.
Moreover, a well-structured main navigation and dropdown menu also support internal searching. Most of today’s e-commerce sites make use of mega menus because of the increased functionality and convenience they bring to digital shoppers. However, some mega menus tend to be too overwhelming and can add friction to the process of product discovery. Bombarding users with too many choices often leads to cognitive overload, which only depresses site conversions. To avoid driving away potential customers, it’s important to make mega menus digestible through strategic planning and formatting techniques.
Apart from strengthening navigational tools in your digital store, introducing recirculation schemes within an e-commerce site is a critical component of product findability. This can be achieved by incorporating recommendation systems into the site. For example, suggesting related items on product pages can aid in quick browsing. Recommended products can also be integrated into the on-site search results pages. E-commerce merchants can even introduce related products for searches with no matches to drive audience recirculation within the site. This is quite similar to the Featured Products category of some online stores. Introducing a separate section opens more opportunities for online businesses to generate more conversions while increasing customer satisfaction. Many online merchants also add a touch of personalization into their recommendations to score more successful transactions.
But keep in mind that findability is not only limited to the content types and creative components of an e-commerce store. Performance also matters, particularly on mobile devices. Since mobile e-commerce sales have now eclipsed desktop sales, more and more online stores are optimizing for mobile. Their goal is to make browsing and buying products on mobile devices better than browsing and buying products on other platforms. Making sure your site is suited for mobile users makes product exploration a more hassle-free experience, which can encourage more traffic and conversions for your business.