Most ecommerce retailers are now aware that shopping basket abandonment presents a major challenge for their online businesses.

Retail Online Integration says cart abandonment on average is estimated at 65%, which can increase substantially for mobile ecommerce sites.

The report goes on to say as detrimental as basket abandonment is, site abandonment presents an even greater threat to ecommerce retailers ability to convert visitors into satisfied customers. This can often happen because of slow site speed, poor navigation structure and the inability to locate the product or service they are looking for quickly.

This is where the online search facility can make an enormous difference to reducing overall site abandonment. Often a website’s search facility gets overlooked as an opportunity area to improve online sales. However, it’s one of the very important user experience areas that if refined, has the ability to grow conversion rates significantly.

Firstly, ensuring your search facility is positioned prominently, stands out and is easy to find is key. Businesses can do this by colour differentiation and preferably ensuring the search bar is available as a full view, rather than a click to open.

The text inside the search box helps people know what is expected; Enter your Product Name, Product Code or Enter Keyword are the usual suspects. Making the clickable button to action the search abundantly clear. Eg: SEARCH NOW> or GO >> are good examples.

To enhance Magento’s standard search facility, here at Williams Commerce, we are using the Sphinx module to gain stunning search results and improve the user experience. Check out how this works on Type in a keyword and a useful dropdown with images and prices appears dynamically on the most relevant products matching the keyword entered.

Visitors can then simply click on their chosen product in the dropdown to go directly to the product page or alternatively select See all search results which directs to the full search results page, which then importantly allows you to sort by relevance, price, name.

To enhance users experience to filter the search even further, offering other attributes on this Sort By dropdown; like new in stock items, best sellers and clearance lines can pay real dividends.

Heard of Semantic–based Search?
Having a search facility that caters to generating highly relevant results for long tail keywords (not just the product name) can mean the difference between a conversion or abandonment.

This is known as Semantic-based Search. So what is it exactly? Visitors can use their own unique search queries to locate products deep in the website and the search facility will return highly relevant results.

For example – shoppers may type in something very specific such as mens zebra print denim shorts size large. This shopper is in buy mode and if they can get the correct results returned quickly, they are highly likely to convert. On average semantic search experiences only 2% abandonment versus 40% reported by websites that have a text-based search bar. (Source: Retail Online Integration)

Other great features of the advanced search module include;
· Greatly improved search quality.
· Supports synonyms
· Search by category name, product tags, product SKUs,
· Correction of typing errors
· Search auto-complete and suggestion.
· Singular/Plural search
· Pushes out of stock search to the end
· Super fast search and high indexing speed
· Available for multi-language.

In order to avoid missed opportunities for transactions, implementing a streamlined, simple and intelligent search bar will help you improve user experience, reduce site abandonment and grow your online conversion rate. Happy days!

We can help you implement a cost effective, advanced search experience on your Magento community website to help you grow your online sales.

Give the Williams Commerce team a call today on 0116 326 1116 or email us at to learn more. We’d love to hear from you.