An Interview with Antanas Bakšys: Exploring MarTech with the Head of Search at Nosto

The Importance of Onsite Search for Ecommerce Businesses

In today’s world of online shopping, a seamless and efficient search experience is crucial for the success of ecommerce businesses. Antanas Bakšys, Head of Search at Nosto, explains why onsite search has become increasingly important for ecommerce brands.

According to research conducted by SearchNode, 69% of consumers go straight to the search bar when they visit online retail sites. However, a staggering 80% of them have left a site due to a poor onsite search experience. This directly impacts revenue for retailers, as around 39% of all bouncing traffic is attributed to poorly performing search or an inability to find relevant products.

The modern consumer expects a seamless and accurate search experience when shopping online. Yet, the majority of them are not receiving it. As competition in the ecommerce market increases and the economic outlook remains uncertain, providing a superior shopping experience becomes business-critical. Ecommerce brands simply cannot afford to lose potential customers due to subpar search performance.

Additionally, consumer behavior is evolving. With rising living costs, 68% of shoppers want to compare products from different online stores. A good ecommerce search solution makes this process easier. As a result, search has moved higher up on the agenda for ecommerce brands, signaling a need for improvement.

Despite recognizing the importance of a positive onsite search experience, ecommerce brands still struggle with implementing effective search solutions. The technology has not evolved adequately to meet the complex demands of modern sites and changing customer behaviors. Manual work and effort are required to manage search effectively, which poses challenges that often go unsolved.

Furthermore, many ecommerce brands have focused their time and resources on other areas, such as improving the user interface of their sites. While they acknowledge the existence of search-related issues, finding a solution within existing technologies has proven difficult.

SearchNode, now a part of Nosto, has invested heavily in addressing these pain points faced by ecommerce brands. The combination of search’s increasing importance, the limitations of current solutions, and today’s economic pressures have prompted Nosto to prioritize search improvement.

So, what exactly drives customers away when onsite search falls short? According to consumer feedback, the number one frustrational issue is irrelevant search results. A staggering 69% of consumers often encounter irrelevant outcomes, while real-world testing reveals that 81% of brand websites provide irrelevant results for two-word search queries. Achieving relevancy is challenging due to the sheer volume of data and complexity of queries that retailers need to manage.

Modern searches are becoming more specific, with consumers including additional details to find exactly what they are looking for. For example, a customer may search for a “blue striped shirt with button cuffs” instead of simply searching for “shirt.” Shoppers naturally expect relevant results, but they are frequently disappointed.

Furthermore, companies must better understand the intent behind search terms. Consumers often mistype their queries or use different forms of a term. Internet search engines like Google and Bing can handle these behaviors, and customers expect onsite search to do the same.

Another set of frustrations arises from wasting customers’ time. Difficulty setting filters to narrow down search results and discovering that a product is out of stock after clicking on a seemingly relevant result are common sources of friction in the customer journey. Slow loading speeds also drive customers away.

The disconnection between what ecommerce sites provide and what customers expect is evident. Brands may believe they are delivering a satisfactory experience, but consumers disagree. Search solutions often prevent merchants from meeting customer needs and fail to bridge the gap between expectations and reality.

To improve search for ecommerce sites, the focus should be on establishing the right foundations. Relevancy is key, and this requires embracing AI and natural language processing technology to create more accurate search results. Unlike previous systems that relied heavily on manual intervention, these solutions automatically learn from customer behavior, relieving ecommerce teams of excessive workload.

Listening closely to customers is also vital. Conducting mystery shopper research on your site to evaluate its real-world performance allows you to identify gaps between your perception and shoppers’ experiences. Additionally, tracking relevant metrics and continuously learning from the results is necessary for ongoing improvement. Unfortunately, the majority of websites do not track crucial metrics that could enhance performance and sales.

When it comes to search results, customers expect accuracy and relevancy as a minimum requirement. However, their expectations extend beyond that. Personalization plays a significant role in the overall shopping experience, including search. Shoppers anticipate that their onsite behavior data will be used to provide personalized search results and enhance their overall onsite experience.

In conclusion, onsite search is a crucial aspect of ecommerce businesses. Brands must prioritize improving search solutions to meet customer expectations and boost revenue. By embracing AI and natural language processing technology, understanding customer intent, and continuously monitoring performance metrics, ecommerce brands can deliver a superior search experience that satisfies customers and maximizes sales.

Editor Notes:
In today’s competitive ecommerce landscape, providing a seamless search experience for customers is crucial for the success of online businesses. Antanas Bakšys, Head of Search at Nosto, emphasizes the importance of enhancing onsite search and highlights the common pain points faced by ecommerce brands. With a focus on achieving relevancy, leveraging AI technology, and understanding customer intent, ecommerce brands can close the gap between customer expectations and their search offerings. By implementing the right solutions and continuously learning from customer behavior, brands can optimize their onsite search and increase revenue in this ever-changing ecommerce market. Keep up to date with the latest news in AI and technology by visiting the GPT News Room.

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