If You Don’t Know How Your Customers Shop, They May not Find Your Products
We know that if shoppers can’t quickly find what they are looking for on your website, you may as well not offer it, because they will often just give up looking for it, or worse – they will go elsewhere. Giving your customers more options may help them find your products faster.
Web store searches are usually designed by product hierarchy, which is a popular setup. Items are grouped into levels that open as you click to drill-down further. The problem with this is that it’s like going from one room to the next – you usually have to backtrack to enter different rooms. With searches that are designed by product hierarchy, a shopper must keep returning to the “front door” to start looking for the next product.
Your shoppers can find items faster if you provide them with the ability to combine any different criteria, in whatever combinations they choose (even including that hierarchy). This concept is called “Facet Filtering.”
Facet Filtering helps customers fine-tune their search results as they search. Shoppers can make additional selections within current search results based on their individual interests, eliminating the need to sift through too many results all at once. It provides a lot of power for minimal setup.
An example of a search facet can be anything such as color group, size, manufacturer, price range, or whether or not a special feature is included.
Different Facet Types may be used: Single Select, Single Select/Collapse, and Multi-Select. When Single Select is used, facets appear on the website as links. Only a single facet may be selected per category. When Single Select/Collapse is used, facets appear on the website as links. Only a single facet (subcategory) may be selected per category. When a selection is made, the facet list collapses to only show the selected facet. With Multi-Select, facets appear on the website as checkboxes. Multiple facets may be selected for each category.
Rather than limiting your customers, give them as many ways to shop as possible and let them decide. Then check your analytics – use your InOrder reports and Google Analytics – to learn how your customers shop. InOrder’s superb flexibility allows modifications on the fly, so you can set up products to match how shoppers are searching for them.
Our most notable feedback from merchants using InOrder’s Facet Filtering on their website? Customers frequently searching for products starting with unexpected facets, such as Manufacturer rather than starting with a basic product category. As it turns out, customers often have their own plan they want to follow, and will be more likely to buy what they need on your website if it is flexible enough to let them follow that initial plan.
Finally, accommodating customers’ plans to find their first item will shorten their initial “Add to Cart” times. But customers also can get frustrated if their direct path to the next item they need requires “starting over.” Can they easily edit existing facet filters after placing an item in their cart? If they spent several minutes building a filtered list and now they need three more items from that list, can they add them all or do they need to rebuild the list three more times? Better yet, can they tweak the existing list if needed, without restarting it from the beginning? Check your analytics here as well, to confirm there are no patterns of extra steps they had to take to get to the next item, vs. steps they took on their own due to actual browsing.
With this approach, your abandon rates will be lower than ever, but more importantly, your eCommerce revenue will be better than ever.