Imagine you walk into a new store for the first time. Odds are, you would like to browse and investigate before turning to a sales associate for assistance. Translate this experience to online shopping: you arrive at the homepage, browse different categories and pages, but where do you turn for further assistance? Search filters can help visitors effectively navigate your site.
Shoppers who use website search filters are more likely to purchase than those who do not. According to Edecase, Engagement rates for product filters on its retailer client's websites are, on average, 40% higher for first-time visitors than for returning shoppers. In addition, Edgecase also notes that repeat shoppers who use filters tend to convert 52% more often, on average.
While highlighting a sitewide offer or incentive for first time customers is attractive, it is equally important to make your site easy to navigate so potential customers can find what they are looking for and utilize these deals. As we all know, catering to the customer's wants is of the utmost importance. Because of this, retailers are turning to creative ways to stand out from competitors and deliver a winning experience. Certain navigation tactics include utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to get the right products in front of customers. AI is a variety of computer science that deals with the simulation of intelligent behavior using computers. Machine learning is a specific type of AI that enables computers to learn when they are exposed to new data rather than being programmed.
While AI means are at the early-adopter end of the spectrum, an easy step towards improving navigation is to allow your customers to filter results by color, style, price and more. This helps to get the right products in front of them, and the likelihood of conversion is increased. In addition, you'll want to cater to both new visitors, helping them effectively shop your site. For new visitors, you may want to include a 'Most Popular', 'Recommended' or 'Best Seller' filter. If you have both brick & mortar and online presence, consider offering an online exclusive option. It is also beneficial to break items into gift categories and further segment by both price and 'gifts for'.
By enabling shoppers to get results as broad – or narrow – as they wish, you effectively cater to their individual shopping preferences. By easing the path to purchase and simplifying the path to purchase by offering search filters, you should see increased conversion rates for both first and repeat customers.