eCommerce Site Search: The definitive guide to boost your sales

Buscador Interno para eCommerce

>>> Boost Conversions with an advanced site search <<<

How much do you spend per year on SEO, advertising or generating content? Surely a lot. You just want a lot of potential customers to come to your store.

But what happens when in spite of spending so much money they are just that, POTENTIAL customers?

If users land on your e-commerce and they get lost or do not find what they’re looking for in 2 clicks… they give up.

You’ve lost them, as well as the money you have invested in getting them to come to you.

That’s why we at Doofinder have created this guide about how to use a Site search engine to get all those potential customers buying from your online store and not from the competitors.

Although it may not seem like it now, the use of a good internal search engine for your e-commerce is one of the main levers to boost the conversion of your business.

Let’s see how.


The default Site search engine of any e-commerce is very limited.

Try to look for products without the exact name, with spelling mistakes, by synonyms… On many occasions the results will not be relevant (if they are shown at all), obtaining hundreds of results will be slow and in general the user experience, negative…

The result? One less customer. When we talk about a search engine, we mean a professional search engine. So, let’s ask again. “Is it worth using an ADVANCED… search engine? The answer is “yes”. Because a smart Site search is the closest thing to having an assistant in your store. 

  • It answers questions.
  • It offers alternatives if a product is out of stock or if there are no results for any particular search.
  • It informs about offers.
  • It shows first those articles that you are most interested in selling.
  • It knows the customer, so it can directly offer results of interest.

But let’s look at it in figures*.

lupa buscador

An average of 15% of visitors to an e-commerce site use the internal search engine to find a particular product or category.  In some cases, this figure is close to 30% – 40%.

aumenta la conversion con tu buscador

Among the websites that have implemented the Doofinder search engine, the conversion has increased between 10% and 20%.

* This data comes from the performance statistics of customers who have used Doofinder. 

Without an advanced search engine you run the risk that many of your potential customers will leave your website because they were unable to find the product they wanted.


And keep in mind the following, these users have a conversion potential 4 times higher than other visits to your online store.

That hurts. 🙁

But instead of worrying about what you might lose, let’s think about what you might gain. Let’s make a case.

Let’s assume that your e-commerce generates a gross monthly income of € 10,000 with these figures:

  • Monthly visits: 20,000.
  • Average conversion: 1% (200 monthly sales).
  • Average checkout purchase: €50

If you maintain that volume of monthly visits, but get the conversion up to 20%, we’d be talking about 240 sales a month.

That’s a €2,000 increase in your gross monthly income.

But there’s more.

When visitors search for something and then buy, they usually spend more money. In the case of our customers, we have seen their average checkout rise by about 10% when they implement the search engine.

And all of that without spending more money to get new customers.

It sounds good, doesn’t it? 😉

According to a study by BigCommerce, 34% of site search engines do not meet user expectations, because…

Entender las búsquedas de tus clientes

It is not able to understand terms with typing errors (for example, if instead of “Coat”, a user searches for “Cota”). 70% do not have the capacity to work with synonyms. .

Mobile search constitutes between 45% and 65% of the visits of an e-commerce, but most of the basic search engines do not have a responsive design.


>>> e-Commerce Site Search feature that you don’t expect <<<

Funcionalidades del buscador para ecommerce

A tool that does understand and serve your customers

Surely now you’re thinking something like: “it all sounds very nice, but I don’t believe that a search engine can be that good”.

Of course, it’s just a secondary tool for you, right? 😉

Relax, because right now we are going to explain why we say that with an advanced search engine for e-commerce you will increase your sales.

Take note


1. It is fast like Google

La velocidad del buscador de google

Your customers have very little patience.

If after one or two searches they still haven’t found the product they want, they will leave without saying goodbye. You may think that’s not a big deal and your search engine works just as well as all your competitors’ online stores.

Sure, but that’s not the problem.

You’re competing with Google. 😉

We are so well accustomed to Google that we expect the same from any search engine.

  • How long does your search engine take to respond?
  • Does it always show customers options?
  • Does it understand your customers, no matter how they write?
  • Is the search experience generally satisfactory?

Be careful, because if it’s not like that… customers will go to another store where they are faster and better served.

2. New Business opportunities – eCommerce Site Search Rules

Have you ever considered including a new product in your catalogue, but you are afraid of making a mistake?

It’s normal, investing is always a risk, and no one is sure if it will go well.

Or can a person be sure?

Imagine if you could know…

… what are the top 100 products users are looking for in your e-commerce.
… what are the most common searches in your store.
… to be able to see the internal searches of your store in real time.
… with what searches get you more conversions.
… what products they are looking for that you do not have.
… what searches offer less relevant results.
… what searches have more conversion.

Think of the deductions you could make with that data.

What are the top 100 products users are looking for in your e-commerce?

  • They could be on the home page for more visualization.
  • Make packs with them to improve the average checkout (up-selling).
  • Redefine your cross-selling strategy 

What products are they looking for that you don’t have?

Imagine that one of these searches is repeated very often.

For instance, say you have an e-commerce of refurbished mobiles and there are many users looking for tablets.

Maybe you hadn’t thought about it until then, but putting second-hand tablets in your catalogue might be a good idea.

Of course, you know you’re going to have plenty of interested people.

And on the contrary, you could suggest related products that could be interesting for this type of search, for example show the smartphones with the biggest screens

But now you’re going to say, “yes, all right, but where do I get all this information from?

A tool like Doofinder has a control panel that shows you all this information in a very friendly way.

An advanced search engine is like having a marketing consultant that runs a market research for you. And watch out, a study about your real customers.

Not only could you open new product lines with less risk, but it also allows you to increase sales and the average checkout.

3. Don’t lose sales beacause you don’t have stock

vende todo tu stock

A site search engine can be your best marketing consultant, but also a hyper-efficient manager of your stock.

Just remember that with it you can know:

  • Best-selling products.
  • When products are sold.
  • What products are in greatest demand.

For example, let’s make a case.

You have a store that sells cosmetic products, and one of your distributors is doing a very powerful marketing campaign.

However, thanks to the search engine registration you see that more and more users are looking for that brand.

The next step is clear, isn’t it?

Run and place a good purchase order, you’ll need it soon. 😉

The other option you would have, in the short term, is to make a selection of alternative products or brands to display in the online store, this is much better than showing 0 results.

And the best part, it will take 5 minutes to set it up, and without having to touch a single line of code on your website.

4. Improve your SEO Positioning

What does a site search engine have to do with the SEO of your website?

Much more than you can imagine.

When we talk about SEO, you surely think of keywords and visits, but there is another very important factor you may be forgetting about: the bounce rate.

The bounce rate measures the percentage of visits that come to your website from Google and leave without having browsed it or taken any action.

This is a very important metric to consider, because a high bounce rate tells Google that your website is not providing useful results for the user.

And you know what usually makes a customer bounce off your site?

A giant menu full of categories and subcategories that looks more like a huge encyclopedia than anything else. That’s why you need an advanced search engine. We told you before, customers are not patient, and when they want something, they want it now. If not, they leave and your bounce rate goes up. 🙁

By contrast, when you install a search engine like Doofinder:

The bounce rate on our users’ internal searches has dropped by about 90%.

In other words, 90% more users found what they wanted the first time around.

In addition, the data provided by the search engine can help you generate high-conversion content, as it will give you ideas for creating high-conversion long tail content.


Funcionalidad de inteligencia artificial ecommerce

An advanced search engine incorporates technology that helps you show more relevant results.

Thanks to this technology and the NLP (natural language processing), it can adapt the results displayed according to the specific search made by the user.

This is because the search engine is able to understand in a much more exact way what the customer wants, so it can also offer related suggestions

We refer to the autocomplete function of the search engine: those search suggestions that appear magically as soon as you enter a few letters.

You may have seen them many times on Google, Amazon or YouTube.

In case you don’t know what we mean, check out this example from Big Basket.

But solutions like Doofinder go a step further, because they incorporate Artificial Intelligence solutions (Machine Learning) that offer totally personalized results adapted to the needs of each user.

This allows you to know what customers want, (almost) before they type it in the search box.

How is this possible?

This technology analyzes user behavior at a very high level.

It examines the browsing history, the sales, how the mouse works, and even the eye tracking, to offer better and more personalized suggestions..

We’ll explain it with an example:

On the one hand, there’s Sam, who has a wedding in a month and is looking for a suit. And on the other hand there’s Emma, who just joined the gym for boxing.

They both go into the same store.

👨🏽‍💼  Sam buys a jacket that combines perfectly with another pair of trousers he already has.

👱🏼‍♀️  Emma buys some boxing shorts.

Two days later, both of them receive their packages at home, and in both cases there is a 10% discount coupon.

The two of them go back into the store and look for gloves.

What happens then?

Doofinder’s artificial intelligence system analyzes Sam and Emma’s sales history, their browsing history and their latest searches, so:

  1. Sam is shown some very elegant leather gloves that match with the blazer he bought.
  2. Emma is shown a pair of boxing gloves in the same color as the shorts she bought.

“It seems like the search engine reads my mind” they both think as they push the buy button. 😉

But does a customer find this important?

You figure it out yourself:

It saves time: customers write a couple of words and… bingo! They have already found the product they wanted. And they didn’t even have to finish the search. Faster than that, impossible.

It offers new ideas: a user comes to your store looking for winter boots. But when entering the word “boots”, this person discovers there is a specific range for rainy days.. And that’s exactly what this customer was most concerned about.

But why confine yourself to show only category names? Why don’t you include specific products in the autocomplete results?

It has been shown that when these results are accompanied by a small image of the product, the conversion can be as much as three times higher.

Three times as many clicks just to get a picture in.

Not bad. 😉

6. Understand what your customers want (even if they misspell it)

Entiende a tus clientes

Your eCommerce Search might be a little bit exquisite.

If the search term your customer uses doesn’t match, letter by letter, with the name of the product, all they’ll see is the bloody “No Results” message.

Just imagine:

The customer writes ” Samsun movile”.
And your search engine says there’s nothing of it when you have 50,000 amazing smartphones of that brand ready to be sold.

This could drive anyone crazy, right?

That’s why we tell you that a search engine is the closest thing to having a real shop assistant in your online store.

And that’s because:

🅰️ It understands misspellings

It doesn’t matter if it is written:

Yanpol Gotie
Jan pol clasico

Your search engine will understand that you are looking for a Jean-Paul Gaultier perfume and will refer you in a second to the product sheet you want.

Because a smart search engine allows you to adapt your searches no matter how they are written.

🅱️ It recognizes synonyms

It gets complicated here.

We are no longer talking about a typo, but the customer is using a completely different term from how you have categorized it.

  • Headphones or headset.
  • Mobile or smartphone.
  • Refrigerator or fridge.

We could give you a thousand examples.

But what matters is that your potential customer who wants to buy a “fridge” will go to the competitors because you “only” sell refrigerators.

And watch out, because not only do you lose sales, but the user experience with your website in general gets worse.

Customers want you to make it easy for them, if you don’t understand what they’re asking for in the first place… too bad.


Only 30% of internal search engines are able to understand synonyms …and Doofinder is one of them.

7. It is adapted to any screen

Let’s start with an important piece of information.

Between 45% and 65% of e-commerce searches are performed with a mobile phone.

Of course, your store has a responsive version (and if not, you’re too late).


Have you ever noticed if your default search engine works well on a smartphone?

It’s quite possible that it doesn’t.

We’ll let you know what happens then:

  1. The search engine is too small.
  2. It’s not easy to write.


After two seconds the customer has thrown in the towel and left.

Now we repeat the data: between 45% and 65% of searches in e-commerce are performed with a mobile phone.

With your website’s default search engine you could be losing up to half of those customers.

Are you really willing to take that risk?

And it’s not about adapting in any way, Doofinder does it by offering a demanding search experience…Ah! and keep in mind the following.

Doofinder allows to use voice search on mobile devices

8. It even sells the products that are impossible to sell

All e-commerce has some ugly ducklings.

Those products that have been gathering dust in your warehouse for months and you can’t get rid of.

They can be:

  • Products of a lesser-known brand and most of your customers don’t know they exist, so they don’t even look for them.
  • Items from which more modern models have come out and the old ones don’t like anymore.
  • Or, simply, products that, for whatever reason, have not been so popular.

And what could be done?

Thanks to using a professional search engine you can:

In searches by product category (and not model), show among the first results those less known items. Or also, show a banner with an offer.

In searches by model, you can show the exact model before, but you can show an attractive offer for the previous model. You will surely make them reconsider their purchase.


You can also do this to highlight products that give you a higher profit margin. In conclusion, it’s all about using the search engine to help you sell what interests you most at any time.

As you can see, with a good site search you can modify the order of appearance of the products and decide which ones are shown first.

If you think about it, this is the strategy that has always been followed in physical stores: when you want to sell a particular product, you place it in a very visible place, such as the shop window or on the closest shelf to the door.

You just have to put a little bit of order in your shop window.

9. It informs everyone about your promotions

Surely you have more than one super distracted customer.

Even if you bother them with a lot of mails, even if you announce it in full color in your slider, it doesn’t matter: this customer never finds out about that great promotion you just launched.

But, of course, we never give up. 😉

One way to solve this is to show that promotion in the search results.

If it is a very powerful promotion you can show it in all the searches, but you also have the option to customize the offers shown according to their search.

This increases conversion and improves the user experience.

And do you know the best part?

The search engine tells you with which searches you have more conversions, so you can run different a/b tests to increase sales.

10. It understands voice search

“OK, Google. Where’s a pizzeria near me?”

Surely you’re familiar with this phrase, right?

You may even have said something similar to your mobile phone more than once.

Be careful, because this trend is here to stay (and it also directly affects SEO).

At the moment, most of us just do it to ask Google, Siri or Alexa where we can have dinner tonight, but voice shopping is going to be more and more common.

Look at this data:

estudio de voice search

It is estimated that, during 2020, up to 50% of mobile searches will be performed by voice.

estudio de voice search

According to the Voice Shopping Study 2019, about 20% of users of a smart speaker (such as Amazon Echo) have used it at some point to purchase..

We decided to get ahead, and that’s why we included voice search among Doofinder’s features.

This way it’s suitable even for those with lazy thumbs. 😉

11. Improve your eCommerce Site Search: Ready to go in 5 minutes

This is all very well, but what about the installation?

If you decide to start using an advanced search engine:

  • Are you gonna hang the “Maintenance” sign in your online store?
  • Or spend several weekends facing the PC to understand how it works?

Just because it has more features doesn’t mean it’s more complicated to install or use.

On the contrary: Doofinder has official plugins, addons and extensions for all major e-commerce platforms. Magento, Prestashop, Shopify, WooCommerce, here you can see the complete list. Do you have a customized platform? No problem, with a product feed and inserting a script will be enough.

And if you have any questions, our technical service colleagues (who are very nice), will have no problem helping you.


>>> Extra tricks to boost your store’s Conversion when using Site Search <<<


At Doofinder we have been analyzing how the internal search engine works and how customers use it for many years, so we are very clear about what works and what doesn’t.

Let’s give a boost to those sales.

1. Make it visible

For your online store’s search engine to unleash its full potential, customers have to be able to find it first.

No kidding, it’s not the first time we’ve seen it in a footer.

So, follow these tips:

1️⃣ Place it in a prominent area of the header

When you get to a website and wanna search for something, where do your eyes go? In all likelihood, to the top right corner of the page.

That’s the most common position to place a search engine. Although another valid option, increasingly common among large e-commerce, is to put it in the center of the header.

2️⃣ Give it color.

Apart from being in a familiar place, it must stand out.

The search engine should be one of the first things your users see when they arrive at your website. So as to do this, you can use the colors of the button or the edge of the box. It also includes a call to action to encourage the user to use the search engine.

3️⃣ Place it on all your pages

Many e-commerce sites make the mistake of placing the search engine only on the home page. As if once the user has reached a product page, they no longer need it.

The search box must be on all pages of your website, including the 404 error page. 😉

4️⃣ Try, try and try

Just because your search engine works well with a predefined color or text doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

Try different colors for the search button, different sizes, place it in the center of the page or in the sidebar, and then measure the results to see which one generates more conversion.


See how Amazon , the largest store in the world, applies these points in its search engine (one of its most powerful sales tools)..

2. Remember Usability

Usabilidad web

Even the world’s most feature-rich search engine won’t do you any good if using it is a hassle. In order to get your conversions up, it’s important that you pay attention to usability.

At the very least, it should comply with these three points:

1️⃣ It is adapted to all devices:

if a responsive design is necessary throughout your website, with the search engine its importance is double. The box must be adapted to all screens so that smartphone users can use it comfortably.

2️⃣ It has a good size:

the small search bars are a nuisance. The characters get lost and it’s hard to tell if we’ve entered the search term correctly. The ideal space is around 30 characters.

3️⃣ It supports several types of input:

some users prefer to click the search button, while others are used to hitting “Enter”. It is best that the search can be done both ways.

As with design, you can try changing the size of the search engine or its appearance on different devices and measure which one works best.

3. Make it easy for your customers with search filters

Surely you’re proud of how big your online store’s product catalogue is. But do your customers see it the same way?

Think about it.

You arrive at a store looking for some simple jeans.

But when you ask a shop assistant, you are overwhelmed with an infinite number of models: straight, skinny, loose, with holes, without holes, darker, lighter… What madness!

Remember: more is not always better.

The most important thing is that, once they arrive at your store, customers are able to quickly find what they want.

And to do so, filters are very useful.

The idea is, for each product category, you use the filters that will help your users the most (the search engine register will show you).

For you to have an idea, you could include

  • Size.
  • Color.
  • Brand.
  • Price.

The list is as extensive as you can think of, and it will depend a lot on the products you sell.

The best part? With a professional search engine, these filters can be applied directly before customers search for products they want.

It couldn’t be more comfortable.

4. There’s always something to sell

The worst message that can always appear (both for a user and for you) is: “No results found”.

Sometimes you may not have the product the customer has been looking for.

But does that mean you’re not going to offer them anything?

Not at all.

You have to offer similar alternatives to what they were looking for.

Because if they wanted Adidas swimsuits but you’ve run out, they might be interested in buying a Reebok one, right?

Here’s an example of how filters work with Doofinder.

Ejemplo capa doofinder

5. Control data for your conversions to take off

Statistics that an advanced search engine like Doofinder can offer you are the basis for building your internal search strategy.

With Doofinder you will be able to see, among other data:

1️⃣ Most used search terms.

2️⃣ Number of searches

3️⃣ Volume of conversions.

4️⃣ Terms that are not providing adequate results.

With this data alone and what we have explained in this ebook, you already have a lot to do to increase sales. 😉

Do you wanna try a Site Search Engine that allows you to do everything we’ve explained?

  • And see how post-search conversion is increased by 400%.
  • And see how the average checkout is increased by 10%.
  • And see how the bounce rate of searches is decreased by around 90%.

Do you know what’s missing now?

You can use it to see with your own eyes how that data is real and how it will increase your invoicing thanks to using Doofinder.

That’s why we want you to try it for 30 days free of charge (we won’t ask you for your card details either).

If during this time your conversions haven’t improved, it’s okay. You keep the free version and that’s it.

Just try it.