This time of year is inevitably one when ecommerce sites like yours will be flooded with traffic from those looking to purchase Christmas gifts – and do you know what feature will particularly help them to narrow down the options your store offers, thereby taking them one step closer to converting?
Yep, that’s right; a ‘site search’ function. Indeed, even if you have such a facility on your site already, there’s always scope to improve it – especially if a large proportion of your visitors are discovering your site via their smartphones.
Mobile site search isn’t quite the same as desktop site search
Now, it’s important to appreciate that getting your mobile site search right doesn’t involve simply doing all of the things you would do to improve your desktop site search, merely on a smaller screen.
After all, there are certain issues applicable to mobile site search that don’t apply, as strongly or at all, to desktop site search – particularly given the frequently ‘on the go’ nature of the mobile experience.
On a desktop site, for instance, it’s likely that any site-search feature will include a visible, open search box, like the one that greets you whenever you load up Google. But on the much smaller screen of a mobile, this may be an ill-advised use of limited space, thereby making it wiser for you to simply include a search icon – usually a magnifying glass – for the visitor to tap.
Another thing that’s really important with mobile site search is to ensure everything loads nice and quickly. Many of your smartphone-wielding visitors may be using the often iffy Wi-Fi connections in public places like bus and railway stations, so it’s a good idea to optimise the images that appear in mobile search on your site to be as lightweight as possible.
What other steps might you take to optimise site-search results?
There’s a lot more than the above that you can do to make the mobile site-search experience on your site feel as effortless and convenient as it should be.
The search results page should certainly be one key focus for optimisation, given how slow and cumbersome these can often be on mobile. Good tips here include restricting search results to 20 items at a time to shorten loading times, while also enabling endless scrolling.
The latter means that instead of the shopper needing to load a new results page once they’ve reached the end of those aforementioned 20 items, a further 20 items will automatically appear as they scroll down.
Oh, and you might want to eliminate relatively superfluous information, like ratings, from your mobile search results as well. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to just stick to absolutely essential information here, such as the product name and price – again, in the name of bolstering usability and loading speeds.
There’s so much more that we could do for your site experience
As mobile continues to play an ever-more fundamental role in how prospective customers engage with ecommerce brands like yours online, it’s never been more crucial to refine every last detail of the experience your site gives to smartphone and tablet users.