In a recent Internet Retailing webinar, Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer at IMRG and Ed Hoffman, vice president at SLI Systems , considered how searchandising, a search data-centric way of executing online merchandising, could improve customers’ experience of visiting retail and brand websites through a number of customers. Here, we summarise the main points.
Andrew McClelland of IMRG
• Mobile commerce: triple-digit growth while desktop ecommerce flatlines
• Smartphones and tablets: how use differs; tablet as laptop replacement; smartphones as transactional medium.
• Understanding consumer behaviour in a multiscreen/cross-platform world. “The peak process times for desktops are at lunchtimes, when people are exploring the site, doing research, comparing brands. At commuter times it’s the mobile device, but peak conversion, late at night, is on tablets.”
“How you merchandise your products during that journey is paramount.”
• Loyalty codes and voucher codes are among the tools retailers can use to track visitors across channels.
• Different merchandising approaches on different channels – could be upselling/crosselling but not distracting as the customer gets closer to purchase; how time of day affects the shopping journey.
• Average conversion rates: illustrated through graphs. Enriching the customer experience maximises opportunities to sell.
Ed Hoffman, vice president, SLI Systems
• Ed Hoffman used a variety of customer website examples to illustrate different ways of using search and searchandising techniques on websites.
• Use of search on responsive design website. Example: US retailer King Arthur Flour. Filtered recipe search, with advice on different flours to use. Product search by factors including ratings and filters; ways of refining search.
• Ancipating the customer’s needs. Example: Boden search box as starting place for customer journeys. Search for queries on delivery, catalogue requests.
Aspinal of London: search that comes up with other relevant products to searches such as ‘gift box’.
• Visual merchandising. Example: Aspinal of London: alternative suggestions when search for something they no longer stock.
Example: Thompson & Morgan Use of graphical banner, flags up the TomTato hybrid when searchers look for tomatoes.
• Relevant search results. Example: Boden “If you are able to deliver a good clean relevant set of results, then you’ve created a layer of trust with the shopper and they are much more likely to engage with the site and spend additional time on the site.”
• Multi-device journey: as shoppers cross from device to device, they are more likely to use search as they get closer to the point of purchase.
• Use of analytics to see how important keyword search is as shoppers move towards conversion.
• Refining search. Example: Boden. enables search by very specific colour, how different age groups rated items
Example: Snow + Rock: ordering results through filters including a price slider, product type, brands. Search suggestions driven by visitor use/information within the site. Autocomplete suggestions, also delivers crossselling/related item suggestions. “People who interact with this rich autocomplete convert twice as often as those who do not, and they have significantly higher average order values.”
• Search results from navigation. Example:Thompson and Morgan: garden plant finder: adjusts by season, soil type, flower colour, spread, harvest period etc. “Quality searchandising can help to retain visitors, help to get them to the buy button and help them remain a loyal satisfied visitor for the years to come.”
• Question and answer session.
For more about this webinar, visit the SLI Systems webinar page.
For details of our other webinars, visit our webinars page.