Searchability in digital catalogues: The key to seamlessness

Posted in Electronic product catalogues.

In the digital era, online shopping and e-commerce has become the norm. Thus, it has become even more important for businesses to optimise the searchability of their digital catalogues. A well-organised and easily searchable digital catalogue ensures that the shopping experience of customers is smooth. People want to be able to quickly find the items they are looking for. The easier it is to do so, the more purchases a business may receive in comparison.

The importance of product discoverability

The success of any e-commerce venture vitally depends on product discoverability. When customers find it difficult to find the products they are looking for, frustration creeps in. That is when customers start to abandon their search, seeking a different e-commerce platform or giving up entirely. But when products are easily discoverable? Customers are more likely to explore the website and make purchases.

Therefore, investing in improving product discoverability on digital catalogues is an effective strategy for increasing revenue through providing a seamless shopping experience. So, let’s talk about how to go about doing that.

Organising and categorising products

From the highest level, an organised digital catalogue depends on categorisation. Even those categories require organisation if subcategories and supercategories come into play. Sit down and understand the target audience. The priorities of the target audience will inform logical categorisation. Introduce a hierarchy that funnels customers down the right path. Broader categories should lead into subcategories that eventually narrow down a customer’s search down to a few products. If done intuitively, customers should easily be able to find the relevant categories. Of course, some products may fall into two different categories. Organisation of products within categories should minimise this, but so will setting standards. Ensure consistency in product categorisations.

Finally, standardising product attributes is imperative. Size, colour, and brand name are such examples of standardised attributes. These attributes facilitate the filtering of results. Combined with categories, filtering by attribute should, if the product is sold, lead a customer to the sought after product. Descriptive and accurate descriptions and product names should be the final nail in the coffin. With these, customers should be able to search for their desired product easily, especially if they incorporate traits that customers are looking for.

Implementing effective search functionality

While product categories are useful, they are also quite manual. These are best used by customers for browsing when they have no particular product in mind. For more purposeful searching, robust search functionality is preferred for a seamless experience. It works even better when it is paired with product categories.

The search bar should be prominently visible on all webpages to ensure easy access for all customers. Autocomplete and suggestive search features can also help customers to find products on the site. They reduce the chance of misspelled queries and serve to guide customers. If a customer is looking to buy a banana loaf, helpful search features may suggest to look in the baked goods category and not the fruits category and incorporate that into the search.

Finally, search results should be intuitive and ordered based on user intent. Integrating search algorithms that consider factors such as relevancy, popularity, and customer reviews can aid the customer experience. Natural language processing may also help customers to search using everyday language, utilising synonyms that can also yield the intended search results.

Leveraging metadata and keywords

Metadata and keywords are perhaps the cornerstone of enhancing searchability. This is no different in digital catalogues. Metadata includes information such as product SKUs, type, prices, and availability. Accurate and detailed metadata allow search engines to understand the content of a webpage. This ensures that the products are shown on relevant search results.

Keywords also play an important role in search engine rankings. Analysing popular search terms and incorporating them into the product description, title, or metadata will ensure that more relevant products are shown at the top. Additionally, search engine optimisation enables search engines outside of the website to direct customers to the right products. Not only will the increased visibility increase traffic to the website, but accurate usage of keywords will also enable customers to find what they are looking for with ease.

Trends change over time and popular searches are replaced with others. Customer preferences change over time, so regularly monitoring and refining metadata and keywords strategies is integral. Previously, people may have not searched for sustainable options as much as they do now and that is an example of how customer preferences change. Over time, the necessary details required for a customer to make a purchasing decision changes, so it is important to include defining details as is necessary.