How to turn the internal search engine of your shop into your No. 1 sales weapon

Don’t know what an internal search engine is or perhaps you don’t think it’s useful?

In this post, we won’t only tell you why it’s so important, but we’ll also show you 5 practical tricks to boost your sales using it.

Get ready, today at Doofinder we are going to increase your sales.

What is an e-commerce search engine?

Imagine that you enter a clothes shop. You are in a hurry, but since the t-shirt in the window caught your attention you end up going in.

However, it’s not going to be easy. The shop is super crowded because they have sales going on. Asking a shop assistant is impossible, they are all too busy.

So, you jump in on your own and try to find it.

After 10 minutes you leave the shop. But, instead of getting the t-shirt, you simply got fed up. It was impossible to find anything since everything was a huge mess.

As you can see, not only did the client not buy anything, but he also left angrily because of the waste of time. The experience was awful and this client probably won’t ever come again.

Although we have used a physical shop for our little example story, the same thing can and does happen in an online shops.

Do you know what the main difference is between them?

In an online shop, the client won’t even spend those 10 minutes looking for anything. After a minute (if anything) he will leave (and will even abandon the shopping cart) and will end up buying whatever he couldn’t find in your shop from a competitor.

However, if you had had an internal search engine, it would have prevented that situation because it would have helped the client find the product he was looking for quickly.

A search engine is like having a shop assistant who finds what you want in just a split second. And this will make that client leave with the t-shirt next time.

Advantages of having a search engine in your online shop

Do you think that setting one up is a mere decoration tool and that it won’t be useful? We have already explained that this tool can be the difference between selling a product or not.

But that is not the only advantage. There are many more.

1. User experience

This is what we tried to show with our example. When you enter an online shop to buy something, but everything is a mess, in addition to leaving without making a purchase, it’s possible that you won’t come again.

The feeling or perception that we get when interacting with a website is what’s called user experience, and it’s one of the most important factors when talking about gaining clients’ loyalty.

In order to offer a good experience to the users, you be careful with such details as:

Having an internal search engine will help you improve the user experience because you will be saving them time and making it easier to surf your website.

2. SEO

Can having a search engine can help us improve our positioning? Of course.

When we told you about what a rebound percentage is, we explained that, for web positioning, Google values the time users spend on a site and whether they visit other websites.

If you add the search engine, you will improve the navigation in general, which will make the person visit more sections of your e-commerce (so the rebound percentage will decrease).

3. Customer support

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that good customer service means constantly being on-call. Perhaps for an offline shop, but nowadays there are lots of automatic tools (for example, email marketing combined with autoresponse).

When adding a search engine to your e-commerce, you are helping clients help themselves. They find the products they want without having to use the chat or emailing us to ask their questions, so the search engine kind of becomes the shop assistant we were talking about before.

4. Cross-sales

The main advantage of adding a search engine is to increase your sales by helping clients find what they want in less time. Everything clear so far.

But, there’s something else.

The search engine also helps you find those related products that are easily forgotten and to increase the average checkout price.

Do you want to know other strategies to increase cross-sales? Don’t leave without reading this post.

4 tricks to make your search engine boost your sales

Just by adding it to your home page your sales will increase. But, if you also use some tricks, you can turn this tool into a real sales machine.

Almost without thinking, you will have a salesman selling your products 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

1. Make it visible

This seems like a pretty obvious point, but it can be a real problem. In many shops, the search engine is nothing more than a small magnifying glass icon or it’s in a place where it can barely be seen. In other cases, it is even hidden in a drop-down menu.

If your clients can’t find the search engine or if it’s difficult to find, they won’t use it. You will be in the same position as when we started.

Where to place the search engine?

  •  Home page: the easier you make it for the client, the better. And this means reducing the number of clicks as much as possible. Integrate it in your home page so they don’t waste time looking for it.
  • Sidebar: search engines are normally placed in the upper-right corner of the shop. We are all used to looking for them there, so this should be your first option.
  • Error 404 page: there’s a broken link and your client reaches a point he shouldn’t have reached. How to solve this? Besides apologizing (you can offer him a lead magnet or a discount), add the search engine so he can go back to wherever he wants to.

However, the ideal situation is to carry out A/B tests and to add colormaps so you can verify what the best place is. It is also interesting to highlight it with a different colour so it’s different from the main color.

Extra trick: add a small sentence or word to your search bar to help clients understand what a search engine is. For example, add “Find your product here” or just “Search”.

2. Make it easy

Many clients don’t know what they want or they don’t know how to describe it. That’s why you should always choose a search engine with the autocomplete function.

What is that?

You will know immediately after seeing the next picture.

Just like Google does, your search engine should suggest options to help the clients choose what they need.

This is really helpful when you are writing the name of a brand, but you can’t quite remember the model. With this autocomplete function, you’ll see all the existing models and you will be able to find the one that you want.

And, if they show you a small preview of the product, even better.

Regarding this, it is also very useful for it to show you synonyms according to what the clients wrote. There are so many international words nowadays that this will be very helpful for those who get lost with so many techy names.

3. Show specific promotions

Imagine entering a sports shop and writing “running shoes”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if when seeing the options below, you could also see that there’s a special offer for a specific type of running shoes?

Yep, exactly those products that you haven’t been able to sell and need to get rid of 😉

4. Optimize the results

As we saw before, your clients may not know what they want or how to use the appropriate words. That’s why it’s very important (and useful) to optimize the results you are showing.

Let’s explain this.

The search engine must have a statistics section where you can monitor the search terms that people use. This information is gold since it will allow you to offer the products you want to show depending on what they write.

Let’s see some examples.

  • No stock: you have a bestseller, but for some reason you are out of stock. In this case, you have to modify the results so that when people look for those kinds of products, the search engine shows the products that are actually available.
  • Profit margin: just like it does with SEO, the products shown first are the ones that will probably be sold first. Why don’t you list the most profitable ones first?
  • Offers: you can show those products that aren’t being sold well that are losing value first.

As you can see, besides selling more, you can sell what you want.

And you? Have you already installed your sales booster?

Adding an internal search engine to your e-commerce will speed up your sales and will improve the user experience considerably. And that doesn’t even include the fact that you can sell precisely the products that you want to sell.

If you don’t know which one to use, you can try Doofinder for free for 30 days.

In addition to all the functions that we’ve described in this post, it has others such as geolocalized searches and filters.