A company’s website is a critical factor in differentiating from the competition. Your site is a window into the style, personality and mission of your company and the experience visitors have is a big part of that messaging. But is every feature of your site conveying your message as well as you’d like?

Of all the traffic to your website, 43% will begin their journey by using the search bar. Keep in mind these three questions to make sure visitor encounters with your search function helps provide an excellent experience.

      1. Are you meeting your visitors’ expectations?
        Ecommerce is by no means new and your visitors have come to expect a good search experience. If a query returns a large number of results, your visitors will want to refine and filter those results as needed. One of the easiest ways to drive potential customers from a website is to make it difficult for them to find the items that they want. This is one reason that a powerful and intuitive site search solution can have a dramatic effect on conversion rates and visitor experience.
      2. Is their experience intuitive?
        If a visitor switches from browsing via your category navigation to searching for a specific term or vice-versa, the transition from one shopping method to the other needs to be a smooth one.  Any time wasted by a visitor trying to figure out how to find what they need can be very frustrating for them and can uninspire buying decisions.  A cohesive, intuitive experience across all shopping avenues will keep visitor attention where you want it—on buying your products.
      3. Is your site recommending the right products or the right related products?
        While 61% of B2C customers and 94% of B2B customers research online before making a purchase, 84% of Americans still admit to making impulse purchases. Recommending products is an excellent way to quench your visitors’ desire to buy items on impulse and upsell to them. Sites that offer useful and relevant product recommendations are rewarded with higher conversion rates and an increase in average order value.

The search bar is only a small part of the overall page design, but it plays an enormously important role in determining visitor perceptions of your site.  Be sure to utilize the search functionality so that your visitor experiences are extremely satisfactory. This alone will make you stand out from the competition.