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The Current State of Ecommerce Search Our attention was recently directed to an excellent and informative benchmark article, from the Baynard Institute, that emphasizes how important algorithms and interfaces are to the customer. When e-commerce search works, it’s fast, convenient and efficient. That is why so many users prefer searching over clicking categories. Unfortunately, our study of 50 benchmark e-commerce search finds that search often doesn’t work very well. On-site search is a key component of almost any ecommerce website.

Benchmarking the search experience of the 50 topgrossing US e-commerce websites reveals a surprisingly grim state of affairs. Here’s some of the most interesting statistics: • 16% of e-commerce websites do not support searching by product name or model number. • 70% require users to search by the exact jargon for the product type that the website uses. • 60% of e-commerce websites are not supported by searches with symbols and abbreviations. • Autocomplete suggestions are found on 82% of ecommerce websites. • Only 34% allow users to easily iterate on their query by prefilling it in the search field on the results page.

• Only 40% of websites have faceted search, despite it being essential to ecommerce search. • While an e-commerce website eases navigation by offering two types of breadcrumbs, 92% of the top50 websites display only one breadcrumb type or none at all.

1. 34% Do Not Support Users’ Searches by Product Name Users would conclude that a website that displays no results for a query so specific means that the company doesn’t carry the product.

2. 70% Require Searches In The Website’s Jargon To fully support product type queries, the search engine’s logic must go beyond the exact titles and descriptions of products, and look to the categories that products are placed in. Users have to use the website’s exact jargon for their product type queries on 70% of websites. 3. 60% Don’t Support Searches With Symbols And Abbreviations Some products have specifications that are vital to the user’s purchasing decision. If all abbreviations, symbols and full spellings are not mapped to each other, many users will miss out.

4. Auto-Suggestions Found On 82% of Websites

Auto-suggestion is a convention of e-commerce search. Among websites that do have autosuggest, 36% of them have implementations with severe usability problems. 5. Only 34% Prefill The User’s Query On The Results Page Only 34% of e-commerce websites allow users to easily iterate on their query by prefilling the query in the search field on the results page. 6. Only 40% Have Faceted Search Filtering and sorting are vital ways that users find the right product among the results. In both cases, being able to modify search results by filtering and sorting is a powerful and important tool. The quality of the filtering and sorting features and their design often means the difference between success and failure. 7. 92% Have Only One Breadcrumb Type or No Breadcrumbs At All e-commerce websites need two different types of breadcrumb links — namely, hierarchical and history-based breadcrumbs. Yet, 92% of the 50 top-grossing ecommerce websites display only one breadcrumb type (72%) or no breadcrumbs at all (20%). Without breadcrumbs on the product page, users will find it difficult to efficiently browse a collection of products, because they have no way to go one level up in the hierarchy to the product category or to return to the search results page.

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Infinity April 2016  

The latest edition of ‘Infinity’ our specialist digital and ecommerce and all aspects of digital commerce. Infinity is designed for both mul...

Infinity April 2016  

The latest edition of ‘Infinity’ our specialist digital and ecommerce and all aspects of digital commerce. Infinity is designed for both mul...

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