Part 2: Practical tips for growing your eCommerce conversion rates

As I blogged earlier, I’m on an exciting journey to help brands and retailers realize their potential of increasing eCommerce conversion rates through a five-part series of blog posts. If you didn’t have a chance to read the first part, be sure to read it (Part 1: Practical tips for growing your eCommerce conversion rates). Today, I’m sharing two more important tips to dramatically improve conversion rates and help your company grow revenue and become more profitable.

Tip # 4 – Boost product discovery with intuitive search and natural language queries

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Simply put, enhancing product discovery on your site drastically improves your customers’ online shopping experience. The reason is simple—when customers find the products they are interested in or that may be closer to their purchase intent, they are more inclined to add to cart and eventually convert. Per a study, 10% of visits are from shoppers engaging with site search, and those visits yield 25% of revenue.

Shoppers can enhance their site search in two ways: the first is to engage via preview search, which is a faster, visual, and an interactive way to showcase targeted products right from the first click in the search box. As shoppers type in their search keywords or keyphrases, they see both visual and textual product suggestions that improve shopper engagement. As shoppers continue to interact, the search engine continuously re-ranks results, thereby providing personalized, relevant product and category images and suggestions that engage at a more personalized level.

The second way is to supercharge the full page search experience to provide individualized product results in more detail. In this type of search experience, the shopper can take advantage of several facets/filters to get to the right category or product intuitively and see product cards with chosen attributes. These facets are generated dynamically based on shopper preferences and product attributes of the search results.

Site Search Example for Blog

Regardless of the method chosen, the search results should continually improve with every shopper interaction. In other words, the search results will dynamically change, or pivot, based on factors like individual visitor profile, demographics, recent visits, session intent, propensity to buy, and more. Search can also become more powerful with Natural Language Processing (NLP) support because it switches the focus from keywords to actual meaning, allowing humans to be humans while AI / ML performs the work of accurate, intent-based interpretation. NLP strikes the critical balance of delivering a variety of highly on-target search results without inundating shoppers with results they’re not looking for. The NLP search capability you select should recognize deep retail use cases to deliver valuable functionality, such as identifying and separating an item (e.g. shirt) from attribute (e.g. white), recognizing color palettes or sizes, finding products on sale or clearance, or filtering products within a price limit or range.

Tip # 5 – Engage via hyper-personalized product recommendations

Moving on, your eCommerce website’s conversion improvements can be even greater when you combine search with personalized product recommendations. Shoppers that use search and then click a recommendation will convert 3.7 times more often than those who only search! In a related study, shoppers that clicked on recommendations are 4.5x more likely to add items to cart, and 4.5x more likely to complete their purchase.

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Shoppers that click recommendations tend to stick around longer than other visitors to eCommerce sites, spending an impressive 12.9 minutes on a site on average vs. 2.9 minutes for those who didn’t click recommendations. Thus, providing hyper-personalized product recommendations are a key mile marker on your path to improving conversion rates.

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To maximize product discovery and conversion for new and repeating customers, you should place targeted product recommendations on all relevant pages that contribute to the customer’s shopping journey. These pages should include the home page, product detail page, product category page, add-to-basket page and even the no search results page. These individualized recommendations should be delivered through easy-to-configure personalization rules, so every visitor sees products that are prioritized based on propensity to buy and their real-time purchase intent. This level of individualization can be achieved with unprecedented ease by tapping into the latest crowd-learning and cohort-based AI algorithms.

When you choose not to modify the AI approach, make sure you are able to choose from a library of recommendation recipes and are able to build your own recipe as needed. Some examples types of recommendation options include: visually similar products (based on image recognition), people who bought this item also bought, co-viewed items, now trending, recently viewed, or complete the look (for apparel or fashion). Experimenting with placements of different recommendation recipe types and watching their performance will certainly boost your conversion rates.

Summing it up

Today, we covered the following key insights to accelerate progress in your eCommerce personalization journey:

  • Adding a personalized search experience converts shoppers into buyers by connecting them with the products that they either want to buy or will consider buying.

  • Personalized search comes in two flavors: visual preview search and full page search. Both are extremely powerful, but together, they are a force to reckon with.

  • To make the discovery experience intuitive, your search should cater to retail, context-aware natural language processing queries.

  • Combining personalized search with tailored product recommendations delivers even higher conversion results than each can deliver separately.

  • Shoppers that click on recommendations are more likely to add items to cart and even complete their purchases.

  • Make sure your personalization solution either lets you define your own recommendation panel or provides a rich library of pre-built recommendations panels.

In my next blog post, I will continue this discussion by sharing more practical tips for increasing your online conversions. However, if you’d rather not wait, you can download the Real-time Personalization Guidebook – 10 Tips for Improving Conversions today. Also, if you haven’t explored the power of Reflektion’s next-generation customer engagement platform yet, I highly encourage you to contact one of our personalization experts today via reflektion.com/demo. Stay tuned with us!

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Gaurav Verma
Gaurav Verma

Gaurav Verma is the Head of Product Marketing at Reflektion, where he is focused on evangelizing AI-powered real-time personalization to retail e-commerce audiences. On a personal level, Gaurav enjoys playing the harmonium, a classical musical instrument (origins: France), and has a growing Youtube channel for music enthusiasts.