Few things like zero search results can make customers leave your e-Commerce store. But we’ve devised a battle plan to help combat those dreaded empty pages.

As a browsing customer, the worst thing to encounter is a complete lack of results when searching for an item - more so if you are searching with the intention to buy.

So, to prevent your search function from actually ruining a conversion, there are few key features that your webshop simply can't live without.

1. Live Search Function

Google’s Autocomplete is a feature that many of us use on a daily basis, perhaps without even realising how it has affected our browsing efficiency for the better.

Forward-Thinking e-Commerce sites around the world are beginning to use a similar live search function on their own webshops, tapping into consumers’ comfort zones and mirroring the search processes which we are all familiar with.

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We generally type at a slower speed than we read, so if you can bring real-time product matches to a customer’s partial search query then this can provide a great, and lasting, first impression of your Brand.

2. Long-Tail Searchability

The vast majority of customers will use a variety of phrases when searching for products on your website. Quite often, there won’t be a specific item in mind when they are searching; it’s more common for consumers to have an idea of what they are looking for, and to take inspiration as they browse.

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With this in mind, you need to ensure that you have the chance to present all potential matches to the browsing customer to avoid missing the chance of converting a sale.

By using long-tail search functionality on-site, you will be able to bring a selection of closely matching products to your customer, which increases the likelihood that you will fire their imagination and create a sales opportunity.

3. Spell Check Ability

Mobile devices are taking over the e-Commerce world, with a staggering 45% of all e-Commerce traffic in UK coming from smartphones or tablet devices.

With such a high volume of customers browsing on the go, it is crucial that you optimise your webshop so that potential buyers can find their products every time, despite the distractions of the modern daily grind.

Automatic spell checkers are vital to a well performing e-Commerce site, and it is always a good idea to make corrections, or suggest closely matching products, without the user becoming aware that they have made a typo.

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4. Product Variations

Optimising a webshop for live search, long-tail search, and spell check will stand you in great stead for the opportunity to display your products to browsing customers.

But we also need to consider what the outcome will be if you only stock one product which matches their search criteria. To avoid a lack of search results, try drawing all variations of colour, style and design to bring a wide range of suitable products to the shopper’s attention.

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Automating this process will provide all products that the customer needs to see, while requiring minimal maintenance from your part, and more importantly give a strong sense of satisfaction, which you can be sure your customer will take away with them.

So why not try a new approach to traditional search functionality, and start to bring more fantastic products to your customer’s attention without falling into the trap of the dreaded zero search results.

For more input on how to get the most out of your onsite search function, check out our Learning Universe with tips, tricks and tutorials.