14 Essential Search Engine Features to Add to Your Website

Did you know that if you add certain features to your online store’s search engine, you can actually decrease the number of people who leave your site without buying anything? It’s true! 

You can also increase the chances of visitors buying something and even spending more time on your site.

Think about it: when you visit an online store, the first thing you usually do is search for the product or category that you’re interested in. 

But if the search results take too long or don’t show what you’re looking for, you’re likely to give up and leave the site.

To prevent this, we’ve compiled a list of 14 essential search engine features that you should consider implementing in your online store. 

Let’s start with the basics…

✅ 1. Search Bar Visibility

Have you ever tried to find an online store’s search bar, only to feel like you’re playing a game of hide and seek? 

We’ve all been there, and it’s not a fun experience.

That’s why it’s important to prioritize the placement of your search engine, especially on your home page. 

By making your search bar prominent and easy to access, you’ll make your customer’s shopping experience much smoother and more enjoyable.

Take a look at Country Life Natural Foods, for example.

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Whether you’re browsing on your computer or phone, their search bar is front and center at the top of the page.

✅ 2. Search Suggestions

Just like with Google and Amazon’s search engines, users can start typing into an online store’s search bar and immediately see a list of suggested items. 

And if you’re lucky, the exact thing you’re looking for might be right there on that list!

Google takes it a step further by basing its suggestions on the most recent relevant searches made for the term you’ve typed in. 

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And for an eCommerce site, incorporating a similar suggestion search engine feature can be a huge help for customers who are trying to find a specific product quickly and efficiently.

Your eCommerce website should strive to provide the same convenience and efficiency as top search engines like Google and Amazon. 

One way to do this is by implementing a suggestion feature that pops up as soon as a user starts typing in your search bar. Does your search bar offer suggestions?

Take Mr. Toys Toyworld website, for example. If you start typing in any term, such as “cards,” you’ll see a list of search suggestions in blue below the search bar. 

This search engine feature can be incredibly helpful for customers who may not know exactly what they’re looking for, or who want to quickly narrow down their search results.

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There are two possible reasons why Mr. Toys Toy World’s website might display certain search suggestions when a user starts typing in the search bar. 

It could be because those are the most commonly searched terms related to cards, or it could be a strategic decision made by the website to showcase and boost sales of specific products.

Regardless of the reason, the search suggestion search engine feature is a valuable tool that can guide potential customers toward purchasing the products that are most important to your business. 

✅ 3. “No Results” Page Management

Did you know that on average, about 15% of all online store searches result in a “no results” page

This can be frustrating for customers who are trying to find a specific product or item on your website. 

But why does it happen?

👉 The Product Isn’t In Stock

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If a customer searches for a product that you don’t currently have in stock, it’s important to still show the product in the search results as well as similar options to keep them engaged and interested in your website.

One effective strategy is to add an “out of stock” sign on your product cards. This lets the customer know that the specific product they’re looking for is out of stock, but you normally sell that product in your store. Can you optimize your product cards?

This can help prevent frustration and disappointment, while also increasing the chances that the customer will continue browsing and make a purchase.

By being transparent about product availability and providing alternative options, you can improve the customer experience and increase the likelihood of a sale.

👉 There’s a Typo in the Search Query

Typos are common when typing on the internet, especially on mobile devices. To ensure a positive user experience, it’s important for your site search to recognize these errors and return relevant results.

For example, if a user types “sneekers” instead of “sneakers”, your search engine should still display relevant results for the intended search term. This is a common search engine feature in modern search engines like Google and Amazon, and it’s important for eCommerce websites to offer the same level of functionality.

Unfortunately, not all websites have implemented this search engine feature yet. For example, if you search for “nike sneekers” on the DSW website, you may receive search results that aren’t relevant. This can be frustrating for users and may result in lost sales.

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Many search engines lack the ability to recognize synonyms and variations in search terms, which can result in frustration for users who expect to see similar results for related search terms.

For example, a search for “sneaker” should ideally return the same results as a search for “shoe” or “tennis shoe”, since all three terms refer to similar types of footwear. 

However, without a synonyms search engine feature activated, users may not see the results they expect.

By activating a synonyms search engine feature, you can ensure that users see relevant results for related search terms, improving their overall experience and increasing the chances of a successful sale.

✅ 4. Personalized Search Results

Are you interested in learning more about how to control the order in which your search results appear on your eCommerce website? 

It’s important to note that the first search results often receive the most clicks, so it’s crucial to prioritize your leading products.

One way to do this is by showing the products that are most beneficial for your sales first. 

Another option is to show the products with the most frequent sales. 

However, to make informed decisions about search result prioritization, you need to have access to statistics about your eCommerce searches.

  • Do you know what percentage of searches in your online shop result in no products found
  • Do you know which products are the most frequently searched for, clicked on, and sold through your site search? 
  • What is the conversion rate of your search engine?

Does your current search solution offer these stats?

All of this information is essential for you to set an effective digital strategy for your eCommerce. 

✅ 5. Product Card Personalization

Just like Google, it’s important to provide a preview of the content in your eCommerce search results before the user clicks on them. 

This can include a product image, a brief description, the price, and any other relevant information that will help the user determine if the product meets their needs. 

By providing this preview, you can increase the chances of the user clicking on the result and ultimately making a purchase.

👉 “Add to cart” button

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It’s a good idea to make the purchase process as smooth and as easy as possible for your customers. 

One way to do this is by offering a “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button directly in the search results, without having to leave the search page. 

This way, customers can quickly add products to their cart and continue browsing without any interruption. 

Amazon, for example, offers a “Buy Now with 1-Click” option for certain products. 

This search engine feature has been proven to increase conversion rates and encourage customers to purchase more products at once.

👉 Discounts and product evaluations

In the following example, you can see the product rating system displayed with stars, along with a discount coupon and the discounted price displayed prominently for the customer to see.

👉 Good quality pictures

It is important to display high-quality images on your eCommerce site. Avoid using pixelated or low-resolution images, as well as broken images. 

These can make your products look unappealing and unprofessional. 

Make sure your images are clear, well-lit, and showcase your products from different angles. 

If possible, provide zoom-in or 360-degree view options to give customers a better idea of the product they are interested in.

✅ 6. Mobile Optimization

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Web pages are becoming increasingly adapted to mobile devices, but few of them adapt their search engine for these devices. 

It’s important to have options such as product filters, quick loading times, search interface optimization, voice and image search, and search autocomplete.

There are many factors to take into account when offering a good search experience on your eCommerce website. 

An extra suggestion is to try Doofinder, which offers a mobile version of your site search with just one click and practically no extra configuration needed to have all the functions mentioned above. 

And you can try it for free for 30 days.

✅ 7. Visual Search

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Visual search is a new way of searching the internet, either on Google or online store search engines. 

This type of search engine feature involves uploading an image to your eCommerce search engine and receiving results that are visually similar to the uploaded image. 

✅ 8. Voice Search

More and more people are using home assistants like Alexa or Google Home for voice-based searches, to ask for information, and even to buy products online. 

In recent years, there have been significant changes in society’s purchasing habits, and voice-based search for online shopping is one of those changes.

👉 Mobile Voice Searches

It is becoming increasingly common for online stores to optimize their content for voice search, and in a few years, it will become a regular habit. Does your search engine have voice search?

To prepare for this shift, it is important to ensure that your product descriptions and characteristics are easily discoverable through both written and voice searches. 

This can be achieved by creating structured and useful content that satisfies the expectations of both types of searches.

✅ 9. Sales Banners

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One way to maximize the sales of certain brands or products is by offering discounts or promotions, such as during Black Friday or other holiday seasons. 

Another effective strategy is to insert sales banners in your site search to increase the visibility of certain brands or products and use them as a tool for searchandising.

This can help drive traffic to your site and increase sales. 

It is important to create compelling banners that are visually appealing and clearly communicate the value proposition of the product or brand. 

By using this strategy, you can create a sense of urgency and excitement among your customers, which can ultimately lead to increased sales and revenue for your business.

You can add site search features like banners to your search interface today with Doofinder, an advanced search and discovery solution.

 Request a free demo video now to explore all of Doofinder’s search and discovery features for your eCommerce site.

✅ 10. Artificial Intelligence

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A smart site search should be able to understand user intent and provide relevant results even for misspelled or incomplete queries. 

It should be able to learn from user behavior and adapt to changing trends and preferences. 

By analyzing search data, it can identify popular products, suggest related items, and personalize search results for each user. 

Additionally, a smart site search should be able to support multiple languages and understand synonyms and variations of product names.

👉 Natural Language Processing Technology

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Imagine having a search engine that not only understands what you are looking for but also knows that when you say “sneakers” you might also be interested in “running shoes” or “athletic footwear”. 

That’s the power of Natural Language Processing, which makes your site search almost like a conversation with your customers. 

It’s like having a knowledgeable sales assistant who can suggest the best results based on what the customer is really looking for, even if they don’t use the exact same words.

✅ 11. Faceted Navigation

Faceted Search is a pretty cool search engine feature that makes online shopping a lot easier for customers. 

It lets them use filters or facets, such as color, size, or price range, to quickly find the product they want. 

So instead of scrolling through pages and pages of search results, they can easily narrow down their search to a few products that meet their specific criteria. 

It’s like having a personal shopping assistant that helps you find what you’re looking for in no time!

✅ 12. Search Interface

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There are different types of search interfaces that online stores can use to help their customers find products easily. 

For example, some search UI designs showcase images of products, which is common in fashion websites. 

Other search interfaces, such as Doofinder’s “Live-Layer,” are ideal for online stores with a large product catalog, like electronics or perfumes and cosmetics sites. 

Meanwhile, some compact search layers prioritize text over images, which is often the case for bookstores. 

To learn more about the different types of search layers available, you can check out our list of search layers.

✅ 13. Product Recommendations

There are several effective ways to use product recommendations within your site search to boost conversion rates for your eCommerce.

👉 Social Proof

It’s hard to deny the power of bestseller status when it comes to books. 

Many people are more likely to read a book if it’s a bestseller, simply because they assume that if so many others are buying it, it must be worth reading. 

It’s a phenomenon that speaks to the importance of social proof and the influence of others’ opinions on our own behavior.

👉 Complementary or related products

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Upselling and cross-selling are effective strategies to increase sales in eCommerce. 

Upselling refers to recommending a better or more expensive product to the user than the one they were originally considering. 

For example, suggesting a higher-end smartphone to a customer looking at a budget model.

On the other hand, cross-selling involves recommending complementary or related products to the one the user is already interested in. 

For instance, suggesting a protective case or headphones when a customer is purchasing a new phone.

Can you facilitate cross-selling and upselling through your search tool?

Both strategies aim to increase the average order value and encourage customers to buy more from your online store. 

By providing relevant recommendations, you can offer a better shopping experience to your customers and increase your revenue.

✅ 14. Platform & Website Integration

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It’s important to ensure that the design of your site search aligns with the overall look and feel of your website. 

This means respecting your brand’s identity, colors, and essence so that the search engine doesn’t clash with your website’s design. 

To achieve this, you can adjust the CSS styles of your search engine and use your brand’s colors and font. 

By doing so, you can create a seamless and visually cohesive experience for your users, ensuring that your site search complements your online store’s design rather than detracting from it.

How to Implement These Search Engine Features into Your Website

Doofinder makes it easy to add all of the search engine features mentioned in this article to your site.

If you’re interested in trying out Doofinder, we offer a 30-day free trial so you can test out all the features and see how they work for your website.

In addition, if you want some guidance on how to best implement Doofinder on your eCommerce site, you can request a free demo with one of our eCommerce search specialists.

They can answer any questions you may have and show you how to get the most out of the tool.

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