The best 2 times to plant a tree was twenty years ago and this morning. While optimizing search may have been difficult twenty years ago, the basic message of the tree proverb still applies. Should you have done it already? Yes. Is it too late to start now? No, not at all.

43% of visitors use a search box immediately upon entering a website and those who do are twice as likely to convert. Put simply, site search is necessary—especially for ecommerce, where there may be many products to sift through and plenty of competitors.

So how can you be certain that you haven’t missed the boat? Take a look at these numbers:

  • 42% of companies don’t do any site search optimization. If a site search box is hard to find, hard to use, slow or returns irrelevant results, a visitor will leave quickly. Why would they waste their time when the other 58% of companies will make their search and buying process easier? The 42% could also see substantial issues with mobile search, where speed and ease-of-use are even more critical.
  • 70% of sites require that a visitor search for a product/topic by the exact description used by the seller. Synonyms, alternative spellings, long-tail conversational terms via voice search, newly-trending terms or common typos may return very poor results. This leads to problems as visitors fail to find wanted items and leave the site.
  • 60% of ecommerce sites don’t support searches that use abbreviations or characters that aren’t alpha-numerical. One of the benefits of modern site search is that it allows users to find what they are looking for on their own terms. Any website today that doesn’t cater to this visitor expectation will quickly lose buyers who do not return.
  • Nearly 66% of business buyers still want better search functionality. Even as B2B ecommerce evolves to include more powerful tools and functionality, buyers are still earning for more. B2B customers develop expectations from their B2C online experiences and want the same kind of encounters when buying from a B2B seller.

If you haven’t taken advantage of site search optimization yet, there’s good news – plenty of your competitors haven’t either. Place your company ahead of those pesky competitors by offering a better site search experience. Your visitors will thank you and so will your sales manager.

Happy tree planting!