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The Power of Personalised Search for Consumer Electronics Retailers

When was the last time you searched for something online? Or, let me rephrase that; when was the last time you did not search online for something you were looking for?

Whether you’re seeking the meaning of life or just trying to find the best deal for the brand-new headphones you’re dying to buy, the ultimate desire is to find the exact thing you’re looking for – at least the best next thing possible. 

This is how Google works and why it is optimising its algorithm and features further and further to provide you with the most related answer. It is becoming almost the sole source of all kinds of knowledge on earth, and whether you admit it or not, it is ‘‘the one’’ that knows you best according to your search queries. 👀

This situation raises another question: What does “knowing your customer better” mean in eCommerce? 

It is personalisation. (If you want to know more about website personalisation, here is the list of 6 tips for starters)

At this point, please let me bring these two crucial topics together and explain the importance of personalised search in eCommerce, especially in the consumer electronics industry. 

According to a recent study, the consumer electronics eCommerce market size is expected to grow from $539.46 billion in 2022 to $614.98 billion in 2023. The driving factor behind this is more and more consumers prefer online shopping, creating a massive potential for brands. 

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t underestimate the power of personalised search, as heading to the search bar is a major act by visitors who land on your website. More importantly, don’t waste all your effort on acquisition because of a poor search experience. 
  • Personalised search helps retailers increase engagement, conversion rate and customer lifetime value by improving customer satisfaction.
  • Imagine personalised search as a 24/7 salesperson who knows each and every product in your store to the core and everyone who enters from your door individually – with great matchmaking capabilities.

First things first: On-site search is the solution to give your customers what they are looking for on your website. It depends on the keywords typed in the search bar and the products your online store offers.

And here is proof of its usefulness: According to research, 43% of website visitors go straight to the internal search bar when they first visit a site.

Therefore, personalised search is one of the most effective on-site personalisation tactics to recommend the right products to your visitors. It uses any available data, such as users’ online behaviour and purchase and search history, and tailors the results accordingly. 

For online shops, search personalisation is essential for increasing revenue in the long run. That’s because it has a huge potential to optimise the consumers’ shopping experience, which is now one of the key reasons why a random consumer becomes YOUR customer and continues to be one. In the language of eCommerce, we call them some really important metrics, such as conversion rate and retention, and their closest friends: engagement (as opposed to bounce rate, in a way) and customer lifetime value (LTV).

How Can Personalised Search Improve the Shopping Experience on a Consumer Electronics Website?

You can imagine personalised search as a salesperson who is really good at their job, let’s say at a consumer electronics store. Walk through with me. 

For first-time visitors, that experienced salesperson shows the right aisle according to the buyer’s intent. When they arrive in the right aisle, let’s say right by the vacuum cleaners, understanding the customer’s needs & interest gets more critical.

  • Is the consumer looking for any brand or a specific one and model, maybe a robot? 
  • Do they have a price range? 
  • Have you caught them glancing at something else when walking to the vacuum cleaners aisle? 
  • Do they need anything else?
  • Did they really intend to buy something in the first place? 
  • If not, how could you make them buy? Could showing them the best sellers or the sweetest deals work?
  • What will happen when they don’t find the product they are looking for at your store?

So many questions, right? And we haven’t even finished it yet. 

What about the shopping behaviour & purchase history of a customer who shopped from you before? Does your salesperson know the answers?

In addition to all the questions above, we now ask:

  • When was the last time they shopped?
  • What did they buy or even just browse?
  • Do they have anything left in the basket?
  • Do you have something on sale that you know they were interested in the last time they visited?
  • What are they looking for right now? 
  • Are they affected by what others buy?
  • Maybe they mispronounce Xiaomi. Does your salesperson understand them? 

This is the exact case when it comes to websites, but it is better to use personalised search. 

What are the Benefits of Personalised Search for a Consumer Electronics Website?

On-site personalisation for eCommerce businesses is a journey of discovery that goes both ways. The better the brands know their visitors, the richer the customer experience gets. And more and more personalised experience is provided to the customers, the more clicks on your website turn into purchases. 

Personalised search helps the shopping experience get better by:

1. Using data to make the customer journey meaningful for both the brand and the consumer with one-to-one targeting

2. Providing brands with the opportunity to promote the categories and products they have in their store properly and effectively with the right attributes

3. Providing consumers with the right products they love or need with personalised recommendations, filters and browsing history

4. Preventing misunderstandings with auto-correction

5. Creating engagement and value with personalised content such as buttons and banners

Feeling curious? Talk to an expert to learn more.

How Can You Implement Personalised Search on a Consumer Electronics Website?

Consumer electronics consists of so many different categories such as TV sets, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, wearables, VR headsets etc. The appliances & white goods category has many subcategories itself. Therefore, these websites should have an easy navigation process which includes personalised search.

Start with the Customers’ Behaviour & Search Data 

The search data on your website and your customers’ browsing and purchase history are great sources to build your search personalisation. You’ll get a great insight into what both visitors and customers want, what triggers them, or what breaks the deal in terms of poor search experience. This is not as complicated as you’d think, thanks to AI-powered personalisation solutions. 

In this case, the journey starts when a user clicks on the search bar. Before the user even starts typing, you can instantly show your search box that showcases personalised recommendations according to their history or most popular products/categories/brands if they are first-timers with a basic level of personalisation. You can also use real-time data to create dynamic personalisation, instantly enriching the experience starting from the first click by curating what you get from the visitor’s behaviour.

When they begin to type, capabilities such as auto-correction or search as you type get important to give the users what they are actually looking for. Don’t forget to optimise your search terms, as your customers might use different languages and phrases.

Personalise Search Results Pages

When the visitor reaches the result page, it is vital to provide them with filters and sorting options. Because as said earlier, the consumer electronics industry has many subcategories and brands. So your job is here to make life easier for your customers and help them decide and buy. 

You can also personalise the result page with banners and editorial content and use different page designs and listing types. A/B tests are also a great way to see these kinds of personalisation implementations.

UX always matters. Make sure your internal search bar is easy to find. And, of course, whether it is your search box or result page, bear in mind that it is essential to be straightforward and to the point with eye-friendly visuals.

Read More: How to Optimise UX for Search

Wrapping Up

A website’s search function equals having an inside search engine. So let me take you where we started: Google. And what matters & works for Google, the world’s biggest search engine,  will matter & work for personalised on-site search, too. 

Let’s recap:

  • Provide relevant search results (keywords & result page)
  • Suggest related items and other options (product recommendation)
  • Bearresults as it knows where you were before and where you are right now (personalisation)
  • Show the most relevant results even if they are misspelt (auto-correction)
  • Showcase what others look for most (popular products/categories/brands)
  • Ensure they keep on clicking in the journey until they end up where you want them to be (customer journey & conversion)
  • Avoid creating dead-ends (zero results & 404 error pages)
  • Optimise UX to boost CTR

In other words, know your visitors & customers, be their ‘‘the one’’ if they land on your website as if you read their mind and don’t forget to personalise.

Further Reading: Create Converting Product Pages for Consumer Electronics

Well-prepared product pages enable customers to browse the website for longer periods and eventually make faster, less hesitant purchases. Learn how to create the best product pages for consumer electronics stores.

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