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Optimizing Your Site for Shoppers

5 Ways to Make Buying Easier


On March 22nd at 12 pm EST/9 am PST, Searchspring hosted a 1-hour live webinar with an expert panel from CQL and Searchspring to discuss 5 ways to make buying easier by optimizing your site for shoppers. 

A seamless and personalized shopping experience not only improves customer satisfaction, but also drives conversions, increases brand loyalty, and boosts sales. Customers have more options than ever so, it’s important to differentiate yourself by providing an easy and memorable experience. By investing in the optimization of your site, you can set yourself apart from the competition and achieve long-term success for your business.

By viewing this webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Enhance site navigation for a seamless user experience
  • Personalize product recommendations and marketing campaigns
  • Streamline the checkout process and offer multiple payment options
  • Leverage customer feedback and data analytics to continuously improve the shopper experience.
  • Identify a follow-up marketing strategy that works for your company

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to gain valuable insights from industry experts and take your Ecommerce game to the next level. Watch it now!


Hey, everyone, welcome to the webinar Today. It is at the top of the hour here. I’m gonna give it a few more minutes, We’ve got people still actively joining, so I think we’ll shoot to start about three after. Thanks.


Thanks for joining, everybody. We’re gonna give it a few more minutes. We still have people actively joining, so we’ll start about three after the hour. Thanks.


OK, Good day everybody, welcome to the webinar, thanks for joining us today.


Today’s webinar is titled, Optimizing Your Site for Shoppers, Five Ways to Make Buying Easier, So we’ve got five very specific things to talk about today.


My name is Jason Ferrara, I’m the chief marketing officer, that Searchspring, and there’ll be your host for the webinar.


We’ve got some great guests today, but just before we get to the guests, giving a little bit of insight on searchspring in our focus is really about driving the ultimate shopper experience.


Why is that important? or why is the shopper experience important?


You know, because we know what it’s like to be a shopper and not find what we want.


We hate that experience. We leave a website. We’re all online, shoppers. Everyone on this call, and we we understand that.


from a personal level, Searchspring is really focused on giving merchants’ control through site search, product merchandising, and personalization.


That control helps to get the right product to the right person at the right time.


And that’s what the ultimate shopping experiences.


And that’s where our focus is, so that when we shoppers’ go to a site, we find what we want, We get the right product in front of us at the right time.


So let’s get on to our presenters.


Like I said, we’ve got a couple of great panelists and presenters today.


I will, I’ll turn on my camera as I ask them to turn on theirs, either so, good to see you, Sue Hunter, and then we’ve got Colleen Schneider. Good to see you.


So, why don’t we have the two of you introduce yourselves, way more, way more exciting, when you introduce yourself and what I do So, so, take it away. Sure, sure, Hi everyone, I’m glad to be here, and thank you, Jason for having me. My name is Sue Hunter and I lead the Strategy practice for you are for CQL.


CQL is an e-commerce agency that provides strategy, design, and technology services to direct to consumer as well as B2B brands.


My primary focus is around e-commerce consulting and e-commerce strategy for some of our larger crop clients who are often looking for changes in technologies, redesigns of their sites and optimization of their different in existing programs.


So oftentimes, I’m guiding clients on best practices, helping them to understand, know what’s coming, what’s new, what are best practices.


In my day-to-day role, I often do a lot of site audits and analytics reviews and partner with UX and design to make design choices that drive conversion. So the topics of this particular webinar are really near and dear to my heart, and I’m really excited to dig in with you all.


Great. Thanks.


And, yeah, I think it’s, it’s always fun when, when we’re, we’re panelists on a webinar, but we also realize we have this day job, right? That drives a certain amount of, of interested information, so please feel free to share. I know we talked a little bit about that before the before the webinar as well. So thanks to really happy to have you here.


Colleen, how about you introduce yourself, please?


Thanks, Jason. Hi, everyone. I’m Colleen Schneider. I’m a customer success team lead here at Searchspring. I’ve been with the company for about three years, and work with all sorts of e-commerce customers of ours to help drive that ultimate shopper experience. Right, to evaluate the site, talk about merchandising to talk about site search performance. How to apply personalization to the page, and really, how to get the most out of the folks. Coming to your websites, to make sure that we’re staying on target, and we’re helping them find exactly what they’re looking for, and, as quickly as we possibly can, because ultimately, that drive conversions, right? So, I am really excited to be part of this presentation today, and hope that you get something out of it.


Great. Thanks very much.


And fun fact for, for people in the audience, Colleen, and I are both located in San Antonio: right now, in different buildings. So, if we looked at it, we could conceivably wave to each other. That’s how, that’s how close we are to each other at the moment, but not in the same room, which is also strange, as I think about it. But, anyway, thank you fully. I really appreciate it. I also want to introduce our producer behind the scenes, Anthony Krajec


Anthony, thank you very much. I’m, I mentioned Anthony because in the listening audience, you may hear me, ask him a question or ask him to do something.


Don’t want you to think that, I’m totally crazy because there is somebody named Anthony there, who you can’t see. So, Anthony, Thank you very much. So, let’s look at our agenda for today.


So, it’s pretty simple, three item agenda. We’re gonna do some poll questions as we normally do.


The poll questions are really, for you and the audience to give us your feedback, Give us your opinion and insights, that helps us on the panel, understand a little bit more about who you are and what you’re thinking in terms of shopper experience, insight, optimization. As well as, it helps director conversations. So we’ll do some polls. Will talk about making, buying easier on a website. That’s our main section or main conversation today. And then we’ll take some Q&A.


So I do want to mention for sure, you don’t have to hold your questions till the end. So in goto Webinar there is a question panel on the side.


Feel free to put your question in there. I will ask it inline. If it’s like in the moment, we need to ask and answer the question.


Some, I may wait till the end to ask and answer. But please don’t hold off on your questions just because you can’t ask it out loud.


Please put them in the question queue, and then we’ll get to them.


So, that’s the housekeeping and the introductions and all that. Let’s get on to our first poll question. So, Anthony, jump that forward. There we go.


What is your current conversion rate on your site? What’s the current site conversion rate?


So rate under 1%, are between 1 and 2, or between 2 and 3, or three. And greater. Go ahead and give it a little little update there. You can see the poll come up.


Pull in progress, Although, don’t see anyone.


Logging the answer yet, See, perhaps we don’t have great enough conversion rate on there.


Could possibly be, maybe if you have a conversion rate, drop it in the questions. Were the chat, might be able to do that?


I’m not sure, Anthony, if it’s, if it’s a technical issue that we’re dealing with.


There we go, I just couldn’t see it. Very good. Excellent. All right, so here we’ve got 18% under 1%. We’ve got 25% just under 2 34, Graham has written this down and 22. OK, here’s what we’re gonna do, we’ll go onto the next poll, and then Sue and Colleen, I will ask you some thoughts and feedback on these, on these poll items. All right, so let’s scan for any, let’s go to the second poll question.


And that second poll question is excluding conversion rate. Which metric matters the most to you? Is that the bounce rate exit?


Click through.


Average session duration, or average page depth.


It should be coming up for you and showing you an opportunity to vote here.


This is usually about the amount of time there. we go, amount of time that it takes, We have results.


Results, panel there. There we go, Haha.


Wow. Overwhelming, Overwhelming.


So, OK, so let’s get much easier, That doesn’t. So let’s, let’s talk about that before we go back to what the conversion rate is. Let’s talk about which metric matters the most.


I mean, 100% of the people on this call click through rate, so, Colleen, you, you, that made you say, wow right away, maybe you get 100% of anything and it’s always kind of number. So it is really cool to see that customer feedback, just the click through rate, is the next metric that matters most to everyone on the call. Super interesting. I say that a lot of times, we look at these holistically, right. If we’re doing the right things, bounces low. People are spending longer on the site, they’re looking at more products. You know, that you’re stickier, right? But it is interesting to know that click through rate, and I do agree.


I think that that is, is an important metric to be looking at to say, are these results resonating, right with the shopper’s?


I know that a lot of times, I’ll, in addition to conversion rate, look at bounce rate as an indicator of maybe an opportunity for merchandising. Hey, folks are searching for this a lot. They’re not seeing what they’re looking for. A, because conversions are down in comparison to your other top you’d searches.


But people are also bouncing as soon as they get here and that’s something that that is indicative of. What do we need to do to re-order the items on the page so that folks find what they’re looking for quicker, so that we can increase conversions at the end of the day?




But, yeah, That’s the only thing I would add to that one. Super interesting. Do you have anything? Yeah. Yeah, really strong response to the 100%, actually, that, I think that is the right answer, which is why everybody clicked on it.


But, I’ll give you, I’ll say one caveat on click through rate. Is a number that can be manipulated and click through rate is only the best answer. If we’re driving quality traffic to the site.


There are ways to get high click through rates, but that doesn’t translate necessarily into conversion and it can even hurt the conversion on the site if if the traffic isn’t good quality.


So, yes, I agree, but there’s some nuance there.


Yeah, And, Sue, what’s the metric of good quality?


I think it is conversion rate, So there’s a few, there are a few other metrics that I like to use that help me determine quality traffic.


one of them, I think, for me, the top metric, is a metric in Google Analytics, that you can see called the Product View Rate.


We want that as high as possible, because that’s where the Add To Cart button is. So I look to see, you know, as a high portion of a site’s traffic actually viewing products.


Did they actually get to a product, and trying to drive that, that number up.


And then the Add To Cart rate.


So the Add to Cart rate really measures how effective that product information is, and if the add to Cart rate isn’t high, then we need to look about, look at how that product information is presented on the product detail on the product listings. So to me, those are some quality metrics that I also like to look into in conjunction with that click through rate.


Yeah, great, thank you. And so conversion rate is your, is your other, is your other metrics.


So looking at our poll, Current conversion rates are between two and 3%.


That’s where we had Most most people, Up to two and above three, are about equal, right, So, so so what do you, what do you see as it? Is there?


Are these numbers, do these numbers like sound like the rest of the industry?


The conversion rates? and I guess then the second question there is, is that the best practice?


What should be the best practice number that I should be Pegi, Yeah, so I think 3% as a really good target, um, but I will say, different verticals have different conversion rates. So what you see and apparel is going to be different than medical equipment.


And so, really, what the most valuable is to understand what is the typical conversion for a vertical, and where do you compare. And that. Because I have some clients who have 4 or 5, 6%, and would see 3% is not great, but they’re in high converting industries.


I had one client who sells pontoon boats, they will never get to even one person.


And so, really, just understanding, sort of, who is in your space, and where do you fall within that, is, is really a way to benchmark against others. And I would say, a lot of times, whoever is, you know, some of the partners who are supporting your website, they might have those metrics.


So, know, when I work with Salesforce, they know exactly how shoes, and apparel, and clothing and pet food. And they know exactly how the market is performing for different verticals. And they have really good benchmarks.


So lean into some of those partner networks to understand, you know, where your brand sits amongst others like you.


Yeah, yeah, very good, good, good point about different verticals. You’re right.


I mean, I know boats and apparel are two completely different ends of the ends of the e-commerce spectrum.


But, a great example in terms, yeah, if my expectation is, you know, 6% conversion for boats, know that the seas are rising faster than we think, right, because we’re not all buying votes, that rate itself. Yeah. Yeah. Very good.


Alright, excellent.


I still, I tended to do a little blog post right up, and I’m very excited about writing up the fact that we had 100% on one, on one metric. Because you’re recalling that now, that never happens and never, ever.


Let’s go. All right, so, great.


So, I want to take those two concepts, and then I wanna move them over into the, the bulk of our discussion here, the five ways to make buying easier.


So, you know, the reality is, for people in the listening audience, these are the five key elements that that we’ve chosen to talk about. There. may be a sixth, or you may replace one with a different one in your, in your particular world. But when we look at these, we’re talking about enhancing site navigation for a seamless user, experience, personalizing, product, recommendations, and marketing campaigns, streamlining checkout process. We’re looking at leveraging customer feedback and data analytics, And then identifying a follow-up marketing strategy, right? That’s all.


That’s all incredibly important, because what you do now, and then what you do later, we have to, we have to be able to follow.


So those are the five that we want to talk about today.


We’ll probably leave this, leave this page up during our conversation.


So why don’t we get started with enhancing site navigation for a seamless user experience, site navigation, Sort of a big thing to unpack and probably seen lets user experiences too.


So, Sue, why don’t we start with you, and talk a little bit about your focus on site navigation, and sort of in your role, in the strategic role. What that means for your clients? Yeah.


So I work on a lot of website redesign optimizations, and usually the first thing we look at is site navigation.


And it kind of falls into sort of a spectrum of elements.


So we’ve got the top header of your website, and then, within there, there’s sort of the menus that display as users are navigating.


Um, the footer is also site navigation. And a lot of times, people don’t pay enough attention to what’s going on in the footer and how valuable real estate that is.


And then the other piece that sometimes gets missed meshed, the homepage can actually have some navigational elements on it itself.


So when you think about site navigation, it’s the header, the menus, the footer of the home page.


So those are kind of the elements that we typically look at.


And we make very careful design choices around these elements, because they directly affect bounce rate, click through rates, product view rates, like everything, is impacted by the navigation.


I would say a lot of times, with the global header, specifically, less, is more.


We need to be really targeted on what goes in the header.


The more that we jam in there, the last effective it can be, and the harder it is on, like, the cognitive load of a user who comes to the site to interpret everything that can be going on in the header.


Sometimes. So, losses more, be very careful about every single thing that goes in the handler header.


So things that we like to do to optimize headers’s use of icons, icons, make the headers, very easy to scan and navigate.


Also, thoughts are very important.


So the weights of fonts, the size of thoughts, the colors of bonds, are ways to tell people what to do on site within the menus themselves.


A lot of times, what we’re looking at is, how can we make the menu structure better or more easy to scan and click through?


So for example, and in a header menu, now we would like to separate featured collections from a list of categories. So now, for an apparel Brands.


No feature collections might be no new arrivals, sale, best sellers, collaborations, seasonal topics.


And then, that’s different than the category list, which might be tops, and bottoms, and those types of categories. So keeping those things separate often helps a user with … with using those Matthews and navigating to where they need to go.


The search bar is also really important.


And so I have a nice little, a tip part of the way that I think about the search bar is the more skews that are on a site or the more products a site has, the more prominent search bar needs to be.


Because when you start hitting 10000, 50,000, 100,000 SKUs, that search bar gets used more and more and more. The more products are on a site.


And so, generally speaking, I don’t necessarily like to just leave the search as just an icon because of how valuable a feature it is.


But not a lot of people really understand that.


And it has a huge impact on conversion rates.


Like to jump in. That was my number one thing to talk about. You’re on this topic. So nail on the head with that one And I’ve actually had a lot of customers.


I mean, it’s our recommendation, right?


That the search bar is front and center, that it’s kind of open embossed like a look here, use this, make it really attractive to the buyer to use, or the shopper to use, because we know that people that use the search bar converted a higher rate.


And so making that accessible to the shop, or not something that you have to actually click on an open, but, Hey, we want you to use this so that you’re actually able, more easily, able to find what you’re looking for.


Entice them to use it, right? Because that really kicks off a whole different experience. That really helps them convert quicker.


And so, yeah, I would say that’s also true for, for desktop, but also mobile, because so much traffic is coming through mobile.


Sometimes you start seeing that search icon, like get tucked away and harder to find, and it’s not as easily available.


And so, it’s, it’s good to keep an eye on the mobile aspect of it, as well, because, you know, Every us, and the folks on this call who are, you know, building sites and marketing programs, are working on laptops and desktops. And we don’t always come back to the mobile experience.


It’s just, a lot of times, that’s where 80% of brand traffic is coming from these days, so mobile, just pay attention to search prominence on Mobile as well.


Well, I’ll jump into my day job Quickly and talk about that because we Do spend so much time on the desktop experience of our site and and Just it probably in the past year. It’s like first thing We do is look at all.


Know, as, as, as a company that sells B2B, most of our traffic comes through on desktop and mobile, But there’s a fair amount of it that does and can you know even even just what an e-mail looks like, right?


Because I’m I’m not always at my computer when I’m reading my e-mail, And I imagine that that’s something You communicate to your your clients all the time, which is, you know they’re they’re probably consuming the push marketing on their phone Even if they aren’t going to the site on their phone, right? Because they’re out, and about looking at their e-mails, or text messages, or whatever the case may be.


Yeah. And so I think a lot of shoppers specifically, are used to getting e-mail, right?


That’s that’s been the the main workhorse of marketing for a long time, but now we’ve got SMS messages growing. and the open rates on those are really great. And so those are straight from the phone right into a mobile experience. So, you know, prioritizing mobile navigation usability is really, really important.


And one thing that I will see that I want to make sure I can express to this group, as there are a lot of these little overlays in mobile. Your chat button, your rewards program, your accessibility icon. Those things start getting in the way for a mobile user.


And that’s where I see some usability issues come into play, is run, you’re on mobile, and you’ve got these third party widgets that are like, permanently. They’re always on.


That doesn’t have to be so those things can be suppressed. and they can’t. There are configurations either through those tools or through your, your development team or partner.


Get those things out of the way in the right places because they can actually stop people right in their tracks or progressing through the site and that’s very unfortunate.


Hey, we had a question come in that I want to address now because we were talking about about search and its prominence and navigation. The question is, Why are users who use search bars more likely to convert? So, what is it about? What is it about those users that that makes them sort of special? We should say more.


They came with an intent. They came knowing there was something that they wanted to find.


So that is a very valuable user to a site.


That’s why we see them convert because there’s either a category or a product. They’re there to do business.


Their mindset is much more goal, goal oriented.


Then someone who maybe saw, you know, social posts, we don’t typically see social posts.


That might convert as high as, you know, someone who came directly to your site to do a search or saw something and came back, and they’re looking for it again.


So the intent that that user comes into the site, is pretty direct, directly related to shopping.


Colleen, anything to add to that?


Yeah, I would say, and then you’re able to capitalize on that intention, right? You’re able to feed them a really curated experience, whether it be, OK, they’ve type something in the search bar, and I pressed enter, or they haven’t pressed enter yet, and they’re seeing a snapshot of items within the autocomplete. And right there, they see something super relevant, and they’re able to click on a product and go directly to a PDP, Bypassing the listing page and the searching process altogether. That can be really beneficial to increasing conversions as well as, OK. They pressed enter, They landed on the listing page.


You’re actually able to put some logic into play that says, like, I want to make sure that I am always showing products that are in stock, not on sale and my best sellers or in stock, not on sale, and my newest products, depending on the type of traffic that’s coming to your site, right? So you can cater to that in your merchandising and the product ordering on the page. It can be reflective of that. So it is truly indicative of what that shoppers looking for. and so versus them just coming in perusing, they have an intention and they’re being fed some really solid, solid curated list of results that resonates with what they were looking for.


So, yeah, I would say those two things go hand in hand there.


Yeah. Excellent.


Well, let’s let’s move on to the second bullet point because I think we’re starting to get into a little bit of that, that territory here when we talk about curating, you know, content and things for, for shoppers. So this is about personalizing product recommendations and marketing campaigns.


Coleen, why don’t you start just, Again, I’ll explain what that means. You know, let’s, let’s, let’s talk about what all that means. Personalizing. product recommendation, That’s a big bucket, right? I think we could be specifically talking about personalization on the site and the data science behind that. As well as, like I mentioned, just a moment ago, what’s the type of traffic that is coming to your site? You have a lot of returning traffic, because those folks generally want to see what’s new. They likely already have your best selling items, and so, we should be promoting items that are new to the site, so that, they’re getting them the, always, the newest content, right? Or do you have a lot of new traffic on your site, and they’re not familiar with your site? And in that regard, they’re looking for your best sellers.


And so, you can really easily merchandized items on the page so that it caters to the type of shopper that’s coming to your site and that can be very powerful in terms of personalization.


Outside of that. Oh, go ahead.


Sorry, I want to, I want to do real quick. So don’t get too far away from the comment. How do I know if I’ve got returning Shoppers? Or if I’ve got first time shoppers?


You can generally pull that from Google Analytics.


Yeah, so it tells me where that traffic is coming from mm grid, OK.


Excellent. Go, so go ahead. Sorry, calling it jumped up. And then I would say the other thing is just how are people interacting with your site and then implementing some sort of personalization service that works to promote certain items. So if you’re looking at a brand quite frequently on the site, that that would automatically be promoted within the search or category listing results, to align with what that shoppers and looking for.


Great, OK. Thank you.


So, Sue, let’s let’s talk a little bit about how, you know, you, you are working with clients and you think about personalization on websites.


So, you know, we know what it is, but now, like, how do we, how do we get our arms around it? use it to our advantage.


Yeah. So we think of personalization. There are two different ways. one is how do we personalize the content?


And for e-commerce sites, there aren’t there isn’t usually a lot of content.


So our priority ends up being, how do we personalize product recommendations?


And product listings?


And I think, clean, kinda, hit on hitting on the nose.


Where if someone is on a site, and they start looking at things, the AI powered tools can actually take that into account while they’re browsing the site.


So the first thing I would say is personalization. That’s powered by AI is very powerful.


So an example of that, I remember when I was first being introduced to search spring, and one of your individuals who worked there showed me how he went to a rug site and he looked at a certain collection.


And then, as they were continuing their browse experience, on different product listing pages, that collection starts getting boosting in the results, because they showed an interest in it.


An affinity for it, and if you looked at certain colors colors of that, but also start being boosted.


And so as a user is on the site, they, the, the AI system behind search Spring specifically, is looking at what that user is doing and taking their behavior into account as they move through different product listings and product pages.


So on those product listings, the the AI personalization as is very powerful and then the other piece of it is around the recommendation carousels that we see throughout the site.


So if I’m looking at a particular product, you know, what are the recommendations that are being presented back? Are they relevant? The relevancy of recommendations is what matters the most?


And so there’s also an AI component with Search Spring to make sure that the relevancy of those recommendations is really boosted.


However, as you mentioned, way early on in this session, Jason, Search spring allows merchandisers to have control.


So even though there is AI, you can pair that with controls, that a merchant wants to leave certain products, or pin something, and then just let the AI takeover on the roster. So you can really finely tune those product recommendations. And we try to put them in a lot of places on the homepage, on the product page, on the cart.


I would say order confirmation pages. You can still recommend products for people who’ve purchased.


And we see a lot of uptick.


We see a lot of people who click through and browse those product recommendations, and the more that they’re relevant and personalized to who that user is higher, they perform. So you can see that data directly in searchspring, as well.


In terms of performance, really, it’s a lot of, sorry. There’s a lot of science behind if these types of recommendations are in these locations, on the page, in certain pages, and you spoke to it, right? A homepage based on sessions or Sessions widget, based on your homepage.


You’ve got some that live on the product detail page, right across sell a similar rack, and then a recently viewed so that they can use that for site navigation.


You’ve got them on your cart, your pop out cart, or zero results. Your 404 page, right? So, we’re all of these areas where they normally wouldn’t num pad recommendations. They have recommendations. And it’s a specifically tailored widget that speaks to what’s going to curate the best experience here. And we’ve seen folks see an uptick of 20% and bottom line revenue just by having the right recommendations and types of recommendations in the right spots on the website. So very, very powerful. And then, to your point, sir, yes.


Like, if you’re seeing that one isn’t necessarily performing just based off the AI alone, you’ve got different levers of control that you can pull to say, OK. Well, when somebody is looking your products within this category, I want to showcase items within this category and block items within this category, even down to the seed product level, not just the category level. So lots of different levers of control there, to just ensure that it’s performing optimally on site.


Yeah, and I think part of this, this one here, is like, how do you also use that in marketing campaigns?


So yes, our spring knows what all these different users are looking at, and it’s fairly good at keeping track of that information, which is great when a user is on the site, and then that information can actually be leveraged by e-mail programs, SMS programs.


So that can be used to re-engage shoppers who maybe didn’t purchase. So I see a lot of great metrics around re-engaging those shoppers. So the abandoned browse, what are they looking at? The abandoned carts, What did they buy?


Shoppers who haven’t come back in awhile, right?


We can use the recommendations from search spring to support win back campaigns, or if we have certain attributes that we know about a customer.


For example, maybe they’re in your rewards program, You know, there are personalized marketing communications, and touchpoints where we can use those, wrap those personalized recommendations to surface back to those shoppers if they haven’t really converted. And so, that’s a great way to get return visitors. You always want return visitors and keep them engaged with brand in a way that these personalized recommendations don’t have to only be on the site. They can actually start being leveraged by different marketing and marketing tools that brands are using today.


Yeah, thank you for that. It’s that, that carry on use of the data, I think is really important.


Right, It is not just necessarily in the moment, the shoppers on the site. There are things that happen while the person is off the site, that’s continuing to market to. That was an important part of that behavior.


one of the nice things about having Anthony behind the scenes is he’s back there troubleshooting and looking at questions and helping me and feeding me information.


Or one of the things he just said to me was that I think are 100% metric might be bogus metric and that at least several people reported saying they chose bounce rate, so we’re not 100%, I reacted temporary has put that all the way.


So, the suit why I want to tie these two things together right now, is you said, you know, people on the site who don’t buy, there’s a way to market to them afterward and then that could be related to this, to this bounce rate. Right. So that’s a metric that we should be we should care about as well and then realized that if we have, we gotta look where people are bouncing from. And how that might inform our campaigns for talk to that a little bit.


Yeah, I would say just as maybe rural love no bounce rate that’s under 50% like in the 40% is pretty normal for e-commerce.


Also, just knowing, it can vary by type of site too. So, did they land on a product page and bounce? Did they land on the homepage and about?


So, sometimes you have to think through, where do they actually enter the site to see, you know, if there’s a trend there, how can we lookout, you know, optimizing performance of specific kinds of pages or specific pages themselves?


Like, know in the in Kobe we had so many supply chain issues that know we would, we would see user land on a product that was out of stock.


And so there were so you know you’re leaving. So, or, there’s not necessarily a way to engage with, you know, for that product.


So, there’s, there’s that to take into account. So, bounce rate is something you kind of have to like, explore a little bit and dig into to, figure out, well, where exactly is the issue?


Yeah, it isn’t quite 100% of the answer is at 100% clear just by looking at the at the number. Right. There’s a lot of investigation needed, but it can be really insightful just to see sort of by page type, right?


My homepage is this, but my product listing pages are over here and that could be better, you know, my product detail pages are going this way and how do we make those pages effective?


So, you can kind of look at it by page type and then you might be able to find some, you know, insights by page type of why that might happen.


Great e-coli and we had a question come in that I think is good for for your new to to answer. Which is how do we get searchspring data connected with with our e-mail, you know, with their e-mail marketing program and things like that. So, how does that, How does that work? I mean, we don’t have to get it all. The technical specifics. And all that. But, you know, what’s that connection point there?


Yeah, absolutely. I think right now, we, we rely very heavily on Google Analytics. This is something that we’re building out on our end, e-mail, the connection with e-mail recommendations, The ability to put personalized recommendations in your e-mail marketing, is right now available to certain platforms. Right, and so, we’re building out the reporting for that.


And should, as we continue to support other e-commerce platforms outside of Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento users using Klaviyo, that reporting will get much more robust.


Got it. So there’s a I guess there’s a there’s a connection between what you said Klaviyo, so there’s a connection between Searchspring and Klaviyo that enables me to take.


Like she was saying, take those recommendations, put them in an e-mail. you follow people around as they’re as they’re, you know, living their life and keep them in the orbit of your e-commerce site.


Got it.


Great, Thank you. OK, so let’s move on to the third bullet point here, we’ve got streamline the checkout process and offer multiple payment options, so what do you know, what are the things that we’ve talked about a little bit, and I talk about with people all the time is, when I talk about search brigid, talking about shopper experience.


And that payment and checkout is absolutely part of the shopper experience, but it isn’t like Search.


Spring has a number of pieces of technology that are about checkout and payment.


The way I think about it is, you know, searchspring is really about the start of that experience. So it enables checkout and payment.


But a conversation about e-commerce has never really complete unless you talk about check out payment, right? I mean, how do I get the thing, I find, the thing that I gotta pay for the thing? And then it’s gotta get the nail on the head. Right. We don’t power the product detail page, but we can incorporate a couple of things on the search side that help you get there and get there quicker. And then I think Sue Kid can kinda chime in on like best practices. Once you get there, But for us, it’s like.


Let’s say you only have one product and they’re searching and there’s only one product associated Bypass the Listing page. Go directly to the product detail page, put that logic in play and we can help with that So that you’re eliminating a step, right? They don’t then have to go to the listing page, click on one product and get take into the product detail page. So, there’s different things that we can do to help streamline that process from a search perspective.


Also just within the auto complete, right, having the ability to click on products within the auto complete and also bypass the listing page.


And then just having an Add To Cart button on the Product icon on the listing page, right? So, if there are pages and pages of results, that each one of those has an easy toggle to.


Just reminding them, let’s go ahead and add this to your cart, so that this lives there as you continue shopping.


Yeah. So yeah, like the concept, the checkout just isn’t something that happens in a linear fashion when I hit the cart, Like the whole. The whole process is narrowing me down to that. Right. And so the information that I see. So how do you want to Yeah. I think that’s right. You know, think about the, like the full shopping experience and the shopping journey starts with discovering and browsing products.


And you can take clicks out of that process and get someone directly to a product detail page through a search redirect.


That’s a much better experience for our shopper. So minimizing the number of clicks to get to a product, and to add to cart is definitely a primary goal, prior to even getting to cart checkout.


So that’s really a very powerful feature that that surfing does offer and provide.


And Kinda when we sort of like the cart, sometimes you can bypass the car, go straight to checkout, but, You know, we do a lot to optimize cart and checkout as well, too.


Again, minimize clicks, minimize data, entry.


So, dependent, you know, a lot of e-commerce sites are platform oriented, so if you’re you’re on, like, a Shopify or e-commerce, you kind of getting cards, optimized checkout right then and there, but not everybody.


So, you know, if if a brand is on an older platform or a custom platform, Um, know, it might not be optimal. An optimized checkout, so some of the things that we look to do are, you know, reduce the field entry. So, no default, the billing address to the shipping address, and not make the user do double entry.


Now, providing tool tips on custom fields that might be required for checkout to help the user understand why they have to enter something.


A lot of, I see a lot around promotions, that impact conversion where, you know, if a brand has a very promotional site, they’re offering discounts and coupons and special codes and things. And making sure that that notion that I’m getting a discount carries over from the home page, and the announcement bars over into a product listing page, to that product detail, to that product car, to the checkout.


A lot of times that promotion messaging can get a little bumpy and missed. And so, we see a lot of drop off when we’re not carrying over some of that promotion information over through the through the entire journey. And a lot of shoppers are very discount oriented. So that’s something that we also keep an eye out.


For older checkouts.


Sometimes I see too much navigation.


We don’t want to have site navigation. And the checkout flow.


We want to have the header logo, like the logo and maybe a look back. But minimizing opportunities to leave checkout is what we’re trying to encourage.


So, there’s some optimizations around what gets presented that’s not peer-to-peer checkout, that we often look at to ensure that we’re optimizing the checkout path.


Don’t derail. They’re already there. Yeah, just something I do in my day job to write, like, don’t want what I want and got them. Don’t give them, give them a hatch. To to to get out as best as possible. So, yeah, that’s that’s a really great point. Or, let’s let’s move on to the next bullet point, leverage customer feedback and data analytics.


So, Every single time we have a webinar, data analytics has a giant big spotlight, Schneider it on it for for a big part of the conversation.


It’s an important part of, I think, what we do in a big portant part of e-commerce, so let’s focus our, our conversation around the, the analytics.


And Sue, let’s start with you in terms of You’re working with your clients and and all these topics are coming, optimizing this and understanding this data and where the shoppers bailout, and how they buy discounts and, like, all these things.


Collecting data, right?


So what are we doing that, where some of those key analytics, what are the key reports, key thing, insights that we can glean from all the analytics that we’re collecting.


Yeah, I think the goal of an analytics program is really trying to like going back to the notion of quality, how do we send the highest quality traffic to our site and have the best performing sites? So when they get there, they’re more likely to convert.


Um, and there to this definitely a balancing act of getting data and gleaning insights so that we can optimize the site and optimize our marketing campaigns.


So first, I would say, like, you’ve got to start with insights, right?


You don’t know what to fix if you don’t know sort of where the issues are. And I like to start with a couple of key reports.


If you go to Google Analytics, and you look at the cost in a Google, each e-commerce analytics, just sort of the overview tab that kind of shows you number of transactions, average order value, and conversion rate. Where are we today? And do we like that?


And then, know, once you kind of have a benchmark at high level, I’ll look at a couple of the detail views.


There’s the shopping behavior report within Google Commerce, e-commerce reporting, where you can see now how many people did get to that product page and where are they falling out? And then there’s a checkout line where it kind of shows you. Did they get to this step, this step, this step, this step?


And you can start to see you can get those insights around. Where are people falling out of the process. And that helps to prioritize where the most impact might be for optimization.


So I’d say Google Analytics e-commerce reports but then also Google Analytics site search report can give you insights about how our site searchers converting.


And what are they doing on the site? Because they typically kind of are much higher. So that’s another one that I like to look at. And glean insights from what are they doing? What are they not doing?


Do we need to make new campaigns? Do we need to have new collections?


Do we need to work on improving the quality of a product listing page?


So within Google Analytics, those are what I like to see, from a marketing and merchandising perspective.


Then the, the reports directly and search screen can give a lot of insights on the performance of those campaigns, the product recommendations, and all the different places on them.


And the best way to optimize a site is to test.


So, Search Spring has an AB testing tool, so that is how you optimize, is test, and learn, test, and learn, test, and learn.


And then you’ll start seeing improvements, and that will funnel into your overall site analytics.


Great, thank you. Yeah, I love.


one of the things I love about these webinars is just really specific, Hey, go to go to Google Analytics, e-commerce Insights. And these are the things you need to look at. So It’s super helpful to to everybody on the call, I’m sure to. So Colleen, talk a little bit about the, the, the data analytics, the insights there.


Yeah, I mean, and it’s always beneficial when you can go from data instead of going from your gut. There’s a lot to be said about gut, but I mean, the proof is in the pudding Right. So it’s always good when we can look to certain reports within within searchspring in and identify key areas for optimization. And so we do have that API connection with Google Analytics. And so we’ve got a couple of reports that are available to our customers. one, being the Search Insights Report, secondary to data for integrated on your category pages, we can look at your Category Insights report.


And what we’re doing on those two reports is, let’s see, what search queries are people looking at? And what pages are people looking at the most? And of those you can kind of ascertain a benchmark of this is a high converting search. This is a low converting search. This is a high page value, or this is a low PH value for your top few searches and pages.


And then you benchmark, and anything that falls below that, let’s say it’s 2%, that’s what you focus on, for merchandising to say, like, people are actually searching for this quite a bit, but they’re not converting, as well as my other top searches. So, let’s look at the merchandising on that page. And what do I need to do to re-order the items on the page so that folks find what they’re looking for quicker? And a lot of times, folks don’t know right into that.


Sue had a great point there. We’ve got an AB tool.


So, a lot of times, we’ll say, is it better to go off of, you know, the rules set up within the global campaign? Or there are different set up booths roles you want to implement on this page or as a curated pinned experience better?


Or, do we want to turn on personalization for this search listing page, or turn off personalization for this search listing page? So then, we start to work through some merchandising related strategies that we can test.


And then it’s a simple experiments report that we look to to say, which one of those curated experiences converted the greatest, and that is why we should showcase in terms of merchandising on the page. So, isolating from the Search Insider, the Category Insights report, and then using the tool to truly understand, what’s the best merchandized experience on this page as it relates to conversions?


Yeah. I’m, I’m a very visual person, and I would say, you know, Search Tree does a really good job of helping to visualize some of the data, as well.


So, outside of Ann, I would advocate to use multiple tools and getting gaining insights from analytics.


Sometimes, we also will drop heat maps, to track user behavior, to create visualizations, click maps, scroll maps, you know, heat maps. And so I think all sources need to be considered to have a really holistic view.


And I’m not, I’m not here to plug anything, but I’d say Microsoft Clarity is free.


So if anybody needs visualizations of their site, that is a no-brainer that can be put on anytime, fairly easily tag. That’s a great suggestion, So. Thanks. Yeah, good, good. way to get insights when maybe tables of data are harder to interpret, or you need to sort of triangulate different sources as well. And not rely.


No, just solely on 1, 1 source of data.


Yeah. And it is those things lead into our last bullet, probably, which is identify a follow up marketing strategy that works, right? So, so we started this very high level navigation conversation, but we end up in this, this place, where we talk about data, that probably is where we can then begin. And calling. You had mentioned this a little bit. You know?


Like, what’s our merchandising strategy?


Well, that is also partly what is our marketing strategy, so that the data, the analytics that we’re collecting, the insights that we’re getting, also help help build that out. Colleen, you want to do anything there?


Yeah, I mean, you know, in terms of marketing strategy, you want it to all aligned, but I think if we’re looking at, you know, the analytics point feeding into the marketing strategy, A lot of times, I’ll have folks look at the zero results report. What are people searching for, right, that they’re not getting any product for? And that can be super insightful feedback, because maybe you don’t carry it today. Maybe you don’t carry bags on the site, but people are searching for bags a lot, and maybe that’s something you want to add to your catalog in the future, and then that would spin off a new marketing strategy, saying like, Hey, we’ve heard you. It’s coming, Like, we’ve got a new vendor, we’re really excited about it.


And then you’re giving them funnels with which to circle back, it’ll be here in March, or it will be here in April. and we’re so excited to share this new product with you.


And so, a lot of what I do, working with my customers is around this zero Results report as well. Like, let’s say, you just don’t carry that product. You carry something similar. You don’t carry that brand, ikaria similar brand experience. And so now, you can create these merchandising campaigns, setups and banner content that lets them know, Hey, we understand you searched for this, and we don’t carry this, Exactly.


Check out these similar products in the meantime, you’re still giving them a chance to convert, and you’re letting them know your searches and broken, right. Like, yeah, we understand you. We didn’t just send you to another product with no context at all. And so that changes the user experience, and really feeds into kind of a really stellar marketing strategy as well, making sure that all parties are aligned on that front.


Yeah, I would say that Zeros, search results is something that needs to be looked at all the time and, and manage. So when I’ve looked at that recently for a client, it sort of gave us these 2, 2 paths.


one is we need to create collections and category pages for all the ones that we’re missing that felt like gaps.


It’s good for SEO. It’s good for marketing campaigns. It could be part of the navigation or not. So we’re missing some collections.


The second one is: We’re missing some synonyms. And the example I loved was: People were searching for jumper.


And, you know, this brand, we’re selling pullovers, and it’s the same, right? And so if you just create a synonym for this one thing, there’s no results goes away.


And now you’ve served off that that user, that shopper with some relevant products.


And, yes, and we also see people searching for foot or related. You mentioned the footer in terms of site navigation earlier. Like, people are looking for contact us, or they’re looking for careers, or whatever it may be. And that’s a simple redirect, right? Like let’s get them to the exact page that they’re looking for where they’re going to have where They’re not just going to get this era result. Like let’s get to the landing page of choice even if they’re searching for like new and that’s best served to go to your new arrivals page already curated. It’s high converting like, let’s send them where they need to go. So, yeah, merchandising campaign, synonym, redirect. These are three ways that you can prevent a zero result from occurring on the site. Improve that user experience, And, hopefully, most of those situations, positively impact conversions.




We got, we got two minutes left. I feel the need to wrap up a little bit.


I mean, first of all, I want to thank the thank the audience for participating all the way through. Great, great. You know people still here listening eagerly, and that’s fantastic, great questions that have come through. Thank you so much.


We started talking about homepage navigation, ended up talking about marketing strategies and a bunch of stuff in between, in terms of data and personalization.




As as e-commerce managers, as business owners, there is a lot to consume. A lot to learn, a lot to understand. So, soon, Coleen, thank you for lending your expertise, because the specific things are really important takeaways. And the more, the more high level, strategic things are great for further research, so I really appreciate your time.


Thanks, everybody, for being, on this webinar today, and I look forward to seeing everybody seeing, of course, you know, it’s a relative term, but seeing everybody at subsequent webinars, we’ve got one every month.


You can check them out, register on the search free website, feel free to interact with us on social ask questions, those sorts of things.


Sue? Thank you so much. Colleen, thank you so much everybody who’s been here for today as a, as an attendee. Thank you.