Optimizing eCommerce On Site Search Solutions


Ever thought of how easy or difficult it is to find exactly what you are looking for while shopping online ?
Try typing one word in the site search engine box on Amazon.com, Cotton for example, and see what happens in this eCommerce store .

Site Search

Amazon’s on site search is one of the best eCommerce site search engines out there.


As soon as you typed “cotton,” the site’s search engine understood your input, automatically completed your search, and gave you suggestions in different categories .


This is exactly what you want your online site’s search engine to be doing.

Did you know

  • that visitors who search your site are your most important prospects who are very likely to convert, as they are motivated to buy and know exactly what they are looking for?
  • that conversion rate of sessions with site search is usually 2-4 times higher?
  • that big eCommerce stores put their on site search optimization on top of their eCommerce strategies ?

So, where is the problem?

The problem is that many eCommerce search engines offered by shopping cart platforms are not up to consumer expectations.

What makes it even worse is that people normally use their daily natural language and vocabulary when they search, which makes it harder for a mediocre search engine to process and return satisfying results.

But don’t worry. We got you covered.

Follow these solutions below to optimize your eCommerce on site search to increase revenue and win user’s satisfaction.

1- Integrate word synonyms in site search

In the below search, a user might use a variety of words (or synonyms) to search for their next PJs.

eCommerce search engine

The site includes as much synonyms for the word “sleep wear” as it can to help on site search engine return accurate and relevant results, and thus avoid users’ bouncing away or exiting the store.

You can either

  1. program synonyms from your shopping cart dashboard automatically.
  2. or add the relevant keywords to all products manually, which is time consuming but it’s worth the effort.

Smart tip: Natural language processing (NLP) can help. NLP makes your site search engine able to provide the same results for synonymous terms. Take as an example a user searching for a “hoodie” vs. another looking for a “sweatshirt.” Your site should pull up the same results for both. NLP helps users find what they are looking for, even though they use different terms.

2- Change how the “ Search Space ” looks

Specially from a mobile phone, users might find it difficult to see the search space on your eCommerce store and use it.

We suggest you

  1. add bold borders to the search space to make it more visible.
  2. enhance the “search button” by using colors and making it clickable.
  3. have a large, prominent search box .

Tell us, which interface do you prefer and your eyes get faster?


Or Noon’s?

eCommerce on site search

Bear in mind that your goal is to make an incredible difference in the user’s shopping and search experience.

3- Automate your site search data processing

Another solution to optimize your eCommerce on site search is to automate processes, without any need for human touch, to work nonstop with any product.

We typed the word “tie” into souq.com’s search box. The search results were as follows:

Search engine

Results came back with irrelevant products to what the user has in mind, only because the word “tie” is used in the titles of other products.

A good eCommerce search engine should be able to distinguish between an attribute and a product.

When the products’ data is indexed without advanced processing, the store’s users will suffer from a bad search experience.

Here is another example for a bad search experience as a result of data being just indexed with the search engine without being well processed and prepared.

An on site search on noon.com typing “tablet 164 ram for student” returned no results.

eCommerce site search

This is exactly how people use their normal way of talking when they search. Not all users are well educated about what they are buying to use correct description for search.

After removing the words “for student,” the site search understands and processes the input resulting in many relevant products.

Search box

Online users are not that patient, nor are they persistent!

That’s why you want your on site search to be able to handle long and complex search queries and be smart enough to juggle multiple specifications from different data fields easily.

4- Add autocomplete and auto-suggest features

With hundreds or even thousands of products on an online store , it’s best to anticipate the users’ query before they finish typing. Autocomplete saves time and auto-suggest gets the visitor to the right product faster.

Take eBay’s search engine for instance, type “evening d” and see if it automatically completes your keywords or it doesn’t.

eBay Search box

Now type the same keywords on Amazon’s.

Amazon’s search engine here not only autocompletes your search query but also auto-suggests various products for you to choose from.


That’s exactly what you want for your eCommerce on site search .

Once the target keyword(s) are autocompleted, the system should then recommend products accordingly.

This leads to a very high conversion rate, as you’ve just matched the user’s query in seconds, rather than forcing them to scroll through countless results.

5- Enable a robust spell-check

We tested two big sites for the ability of their search engine to accommodate typos and still return some relevant results to a user’s search query despite the wrong wording.

We searched for “Ramadan boks” with an intended typo.

Amazon’s smart eCommerce site search showed results for “Ramadan books” which could be very relevant to the meaning in the user’s mind.


On the other hand, Jumia’s engine got no results, not even suggestions.

eCommerce search

By enabling a robust spell-check on your online store , your site search engine can correct the user as they type to maximize the chances that they’ll get the result they want; hence, you get a higher conversion rate.

In a nutshell, a smart, advanced, and fast eCommerce on site search engine can make hell of a difference to the performance of your eCommerce store . A good search experience drives traffic and increases sales drastically.

With a few handy solutions, you can easily optimize your eCommerce store on site search.

Stay tuned for more solutions and tricks from ExpandCart’s marketing experts to help you in your success journey.


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