July 6, 2020

How Auto-Fill Increases Your Website Conversions

When it comes to the website search customer experience, it’s all in the little things. If site search becomes tedious and search results are not relevant, the website visitor leaves having had an unsatisfactory user experience.  That’s why auto-fill capability in search results is important. It provides your customers and prospects an easy-to-use experience when searching for a topic or a product. As discussed in previous blogs, anything that makes the customer experience better is going to ensure repeat visits, foster loyalty, and ultimately, increase revenue.

What is Auto-Fill?

To be precise, auto-fill, or autocomplete, is a feature in website search that prefills the search query field as the user begins to type. This feature allows users to easily iterate on their queries in the search field on the results page.  Surprisingly, according to Baymard Research, 66% of websites do not have auto-fill. Let’s look at the benefits of auto-fill and how it can be properly deployed.

Tuning Control with Autocomplete

Information is Key, Results Matter

When customers land on your website, the information needs to be compelling enough to retain their attention. Many customers already know exactly what they are looking for and that data needs to be readily available to them--otherwise they will leave your site, ultimately purchasing from your competition.   When it comes to search, auto-fill is an important feature for your clients. According to Google, users complete forms up to 30% faster when using auto-fill. This ultimately results in faster conversions for your offering.

Less Equals More Conversions

When customers are on your site, the less information you ask of them and the less they have to enter, the more inclined they are to complete forms. More forms mean more engagement with your sales team, leading to faster conversions, which is the goal for most, if not all, ecommerce sites. As a result, your website can be your best salesperson and your digital brand evangelist, by accelerating actions that drive business.

Functionality for Fewer Abandoned Forms

Delivering comprehensive, meaningful auto-fill functionality on your forms is relatively straightforward when following autocomplete best practices and attribute standards. In web browsers, the management of data handling and auto-fill are managed natively and built into the code. But in website search browsers, this is not as straightforward. Search engines require an intelligent backend as delivered in the solution. For example, when entering credit card data, the scanning feature on mobile phones is a subset of the web browser auto-fill feature but on search, this is enhanced by the search engine for proper entry results.

Navigating to the Autocomplete Home Page

In ecommerce, checkout workflow completion is critical to the overall selling of your offering. The conversion rates on mobile websites are   66% lower compared to that of desktop websites. Why? Most ecommerce sites fail to optimize for mobile devices. Part of the problem, according to this report, is because often the mobile app does not provide the correct auto-fill results. The customer expectations from traditional search do not carry over to the ecommerce experience. This is a missed opportunity and a failure in the overall search/ecommerce solution.

The good news is that this statistic indicates a significant opportunity to improve conversion rates on the mobile web, especially when the search results are properly achieved. Omnichannel search (encompassing the web, mobile, tablet, etc.) integrated with the commerce systems provides a frictionless purchasing experience for the user.

Auto-Fill Advantages: Data Security, Geolocation, and AI

Data used by auto-fill is often the information provided by the programmer, business line, or end-user. It is imperative to ensure this data is secure when it comes to data sovereignty and for regulations and other security requirements. Auto-fill provides functionality for a quick login, eliminating the need to fill in form data every time a frequent user returns to your site and saving time. However, this information needs to be secure. Search data configuration ensures secure data while improving the overall customer experience by optimizing the responses and data entered into a site.

Another advantage of auto-fill? It can be especially helpful for users who might not remember their postcodes or geolocation data because the validation tools fill in those fields automatically. Search features like geolocation can be helpful both for ecommerce and other sites that require a location.

Search engines that use pre-fill to allow users to select the most popular searches and shoppers who use internal search are six times more likely to convert. However, the quality of search results affects a searcher’s ability to find what they want, so unless the pre-fill does a great job of finding results, it most likely will have minimal effect on search. This means the artificial intelligence and machine learning of the search engine must dynamically react (learn) from the behaviors of the customers’ input.

The HawkSearch enhanced on-site search experience delivers the auto-fill advantages previously described—and more.  Data normalization, recommendations, variant logic, SEO influencing, reporting, filters, and facets are just a few ways to drive conversion results for your ecommerce, distributor, or retail site.

Learn more by viewing our demo or contact sales@hawksearch.com.  


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