Personalized Search: 3 Main Benefits for eCommerce Merchants
Updated July 24, 2023.
Meet the Expert:
- Ashlee Colliver is an eCommerce expert with over 20 years' experience. Currently, she's the digital growth expert at Shero Commerce.
What Is Personalized Search in eCommerce?
It goes beyond traditional search methods that rely solely on the words entered into the search bar. Instead, personalized search takes into account various factors:
- user behavior
- previous purchases
- browsing history
3 Crucial Benefits of Personalized Search
1. Enhanced User Experience
Personalized search greatly enhances your users' experiences by delivering highly relevant search results tailored to their individual interests and preferences. By considering factors like past purchases, browsing history, and demographics, personalized search algorithms help your users find what they're looking for quickly and easily.
This way, you save your users valuable time because they don't have to sift through irrelevant products. This efficiency improves your users' overall shopping experience, making the search process faster and more convenient.
» Personalization isn't restricted to search: Use omnichannel personalization to give your users the best experience on every platform
2. Increased Conversion Rates
By enhancing your users' experiences and satisfaction, they're more likely to convert. Consider that when you present your users with relevant search results that meet their specific needs, they feel understood and valued by you. This in turn can increase their trust and foster a positive perception of your brand. Satisfied users are more likely to return to your website, make repeat purchases, and become loyal customers.
3. Higher Average Order Value
Through effective personalization strategies like product recommendations, you can encourage your users to add more items to their carts. This creates ideal upselling and cross-selling opportunities to increase the average order value.
Ensuring Ethical and Privacy-Compliant Personalization
It's important that you handle user data ethically and respect customer privacy when implementing personalized search algorithms. Utilizing first-party data, obtained with user consent, is a key strategy to ensure ethical compliance while still offering a personalized experience.
Make sure you're aware of and comply with relevant regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), when dealing with user data. By adhering to privacy laws and obtaining user consent, you can protect both your customers' privacy and your business interests.
» Follow these tips on how to strike the right balance between data privacy and personalization
Personalized Search as a Cornerstone for Success
Personalized search is a powerful tool that can offer significant benefits. By going beyond traditional search methods, it can deliver highly relevant search results suited to each user's interests. This gives users a more efficient and convenient way to find what they need.
By putting the customer first and embracing the power of personalization, businesses can elevate the eCommerce experience and drive long-term success.
Are there any industries that can benefit more from personalized search?
Personalized search is crucial for industries like apparel, fashion, and skincare. Consider a scenario where you visit a skincare website. If you have dry skin, you wouldn't want to be served search results intended for oily skin.
Can personalization extend beyond search to other aspects of the eCommerce customer journey?
Yes, it encompasses everything from the hero image on the homepage to personalized emails to targeted ads.
How do I know if my personalization efforts are working?
Ask your users! Whether it's through focus groups or surveys, feedback like 'The search function is terrible,' 'I struggle to find what I need,' or 'The results are irrelevant' could indicate that your search needs optimization.