One of the many things often neglected in building a good web site is a good search engine.
When people (customers, prospects, reporters, etc) come to your web site and can’t find what they are looking for, they are going to use your search engine to find that item (if they have not already gone to your competitor).
A good search engine will let your customers (and prospective customers) easily find what they are looking for and take action on your web site.
For example, recently Yahoo launched a new eCommerce search engine for its hosted ecommerce web sites. According to Yahoo, pilot stores have seen Search Conversion increase by as much as 40% and Search influenced orders increase by up to 50% using the new Yahoo search engine.
Yahoo’s new search function has the following features:
- New ranking function based on 1) the novel cross-domain transfer learning, 2) past sales for merchants and 3) merchant inputs like promotions or paid listings
- Configurable search page so that merchants can create their own unique search experience – set fonts, colors, search refiners, number of results per page, grid view vs. list view, etc.
- “Add to cart” directly from the search page
- Sort results by relevance, pricing low to high and high to low
- Hosted on iframe so that merchants get the latest search experience with limited coding, ye t have flexibility to control the experience outside the iframe
- Fully-automated and simple process for a partner to go live – all tracking codes generated automatically and no manual handholding necessary
- Scalable back-end that supports both Y! Shopping taxonomy and merchant’s own taxonomy
- Monetization through search ads as an option