Over the last decade, search technology in ecommerce has barely evolved. Compare your search experience on Google with the results you get from your favourite retailers, and you’ll know what I mean.
Despite the shifts in customer expectations and the strategic focus on creating a customer centric experience, today’s Search has failed to deliver an experience that considers the customer context and behavioral affinities in addition to the content in which an individual is searching.
Personalization is often synonymized with relevance, and relevance is delivered effectively when there is an understanding of the context of a situation.
More than a quarter century after the introduction of Archie, considered by historians the first web search engine, search is still an integral component of the digital user experience. Search boxes — models of design simplicity comprising nothing more than a text input field and submit button (and, sometimes, a magnifying glass icon for flair) — are fixtures of virtually every content-rich website, enabling consumers to pinpoint anything and everything they’re seeking in a matter of keystrokes.
Search tools are especially critical to shopper satisfaction, according to a new study conducted by omnichannel personalization services provider RichRelevance. Among the roughly 1,000 U.S. online consumers surveyed last month, 83% said the search box is “important” or “extremely important” to them when shopping on a retailer’s web or mobile site, and 76% said they “always” or “often” use the search box when visiting a merchant site.
According to the study and report of more than 1,000 American shoppers by RichRelevance, while site search is critically important to shoppers, the study suggests that many retailers have not evolved site search to meet the demands of an omnichannel world. Frustrated web and mobile shoppers are likely to go elsewhere when retailers don’t get it right.
Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance, says that “… site search is tremendously important to shoppers, but under-delivers when it comes to all the channels where consumers shop today… there have not been major advances in site search in a decade… “