As consumers increasingly expect direct answers — both from search engines and from your website — creating a robust first-party search experience is highly valuable. Customers who use site search are 1.8x more likely to convert than those who don’t. Additionally, studies have shown that the percentage of visitors who use site search account for 45% of e-commerce revenue.
In spite of those impressive numbers, too many businesses still don’t prioritise site search, seeing it as comparatively unimportant and therefore unworthy of real investment. Think again. Customers expect clear, direct answers from search experiences and falling short of those expectations with your site search can cost you.
The Cost of a “Search Last” Experience
Customers who begin a search on your website are telling you something important: they’re already aware of your brand and they’re looking for answers from you — indicating a higher intent to transact. It literally pays to make sure that these customers stay on your site, so your site search experience should be able to seamlessly funnel them from search to action — whether that’s making a call, booking an appointment or completing a purchase.
But if consumers can’t find the information they’re looking for on your site in 2–3 search attempts, they will leave your website. This means a high likelihood of them bouncing back to a search engine — where they might find incorrect information about your brand or choose to transact with a competitor instead. And those customers who do bounce back to search engines because of a poor experience? Research shows that 68% of them are likely to never return to your site again.
What’s more, 62% of consumers will switch to a different brand or decide not to purchase from your brand at all after a bad customer experience — and poor site search is a bad customer experience. If you’re not willing to invest in delivering a great customer experience, consumers will do business with someone who is.
50% of users go directly to a search bar as soon as they arrive at a website, but more than 34% of those valuable, high-intent searches currently end in failure. Are your customers’ searches among them?
Find out what steps you can take to deliver a standout search experience for your customers in our eBook Why Your Brand Needs to Be Answers-Ready.