Live from eTail 2003: Seeking Improved Search Capabilities

(Catalog Age) Seventy-seven percent of Web visitors use a site’s search functions, according to Andre Pino, senior vice president of marketing for iPhrase Technologies. But 75% of the time what the visitors want doesn’t appear within the first two pages of search results. Pino discussed these findings during a session on search functionality at eTail 2000 in Palm Springs.

To improve your site’s search function, Pino said, be sure it accounts for typos and misspellings. Also include descriptive terms from within the marketing copy–for instance, “300 count” and “Egyptian cotton” in addition to “sheets” and “bed linens.”

An effective search function should also provide follow-up queries to narrow down a broad range of results, Pino suggested. If the term “shirts” brings up hundreds of matches, for example, follow-up queries could ask for or suggest brands, colors or sizes.