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When you think about your eCommerce store, search probably isn’t one of the first things tht comes to mind.

Most people only associate eCommerce search with the small box placed at the top of the page, but it’s a lot more than that.

So, what is the search function?

Search is that little box at the top of the page, but it’s also a complex engine that deciphers every-day language and translates it to match your naming convention for products in your inventory. It’s the display and ranking of results after someone executes a query, and it’s additional product and keyword recommendations for queries regardless of whether results are shown. On top of all that, a good search function collects data and creates analytics reports that you can use to make business decisions. Imagine getting concrete data about which of your products are becoming more popular, what customers wished you carried, and the language your customers use (so you can precisely target PPC campaigns). Well, your search data can tell you all this and more.

Why is eCommerce search important?

People who use the eCommerce search function know what they want to buy. They go to a specific store to buy a specific product and use the search to find it. In other words, they have a strong intent to purchase, so they’re one of the most important visitors on your website. They don’t come to look around, they come to buy. In order for your store to serve them, you have to make it easy to find products. And the best way to do that? With the search function. People aren’t patient and don’t want to use a menu structure to sort through categories only to find thousands of products they still need to sift through, they want specific results after a few keystrokes. Visitors should be able to use your site like Google: search, find specific products and then purchase, all within a few minutes.

Did you know?

Search users convert 4-6 times better than the average webpage visitor and yet can’t find what they’re looking for 30% of the time because of confusing site layout and poorly optimized eCommerce search engines. Search users, on average, make up 50% of a web shops total revenue. So we aren’t exaggerating when we say eCommerce search is an important part of your webshop. By funneling customers who come to your site to make a purchase directly to the products they’re looking for, you increase your site’s conversion rate and decrease the time a customer spends on their path-to-purchase. Simply by optimizing your eCommerce search to provide a better user experience and direct customers to the products they came specifically to buy, you can boost sales and encourage these happy customers to come back. If you want to optimize your site, but aren’t sure where to start, check out our articles on optimizing your search box, SERP, and mobile site.