Shopify Predictive Search: The Complete Guide
Published February 22, 2023.
Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform with over 4.4 million online stores using its services to sell their products to customers. Apart from its key features like custom designs and secure hosting, it also offers a predictive text feature to make it easier for your customers to search for products on your store.
Shopify's predictive search feature suggests search results to your customers in real time as they type their query.
This enhances your customers' search experience and can result in high conversion rates. Plus, predictive search can also help you understand your customers' buyer persona and inform future improvements to your store.
As an industry, e-commerce is rapidly growing and constantly evolving, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer behavior. So, e-commerce sellers are looking for tools like Shopify predictive search that can help them keep up.
What Is Shopify Predictive Search?
Shopify predictive search uses algorithms to analyze your customers' behavior and gives them suggestions as they type a query into the search bar. This way your customers quickly find the products they're looking for without writing the whole query and going through different pages of search results.
The results from predictive search can include different elements:
- A simple list of text suggestions
- Product images and names
- Categories or collections
- Popular or trending search terms
For example, Princess Polly, an online fashion boutique, gives its customers product suggestions, collection suggestions, and trending searches based on other customers' activities.
How Predictive Search Helps Shopify Stores
Shopify predictive search is a powerful tool that can benefit both you and your customers.
1. Improved Customer Experience
Shopify predictive search offers your customers a quick and easy searching experience, which is far removed from traditional searches and helps to reduce their frustrations if they find it hard to navigate to the product they want.
For example, predictive search can remove certain language issues. It reduces spelling mistakes because your customers don't have to type out their entire query. And if you use synonyms in your site search, then predictive search can make complimentary suggestions if your customers' search terms are different from the terms on your store.
» Discover more tips on using spelling and synonyms to your advantage
2. Higher Conversion Rate
Shopify predictive search makes your products more discoverable. By automatically completing your customers' search query, your conversions can increase by 24%.
Also, since 39% of online shoppers are influenced by a relevant search, you have good opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. By making suggestions to your customers, they may come across products they didn't know you had or thought they needed.
The convenience of instant and relevant search results can not only improve conversion rates but customer retention as well because customers are more likely to return to your store if it offers better experiences.
» Explore these additional benefits of upselling and cross-selling
3. Better Customer Service
You can use the data that Shopify predictive search gathers about your customers' behavior to give them a better experience every time they visit your store.
By personalizing their shopping journey, your customers effortlessly find what they're looking for, which in turn can solidify their trust in and loyalty to your brand and products — by up to 49%.
» Delve into the details of personalization here
4. Greater Competitive Advantage
If up to 61% of e-commerce sites deliver disappointing search results, then Shopify predictive search can set you apart from your competitors.
Analyzing the data from your predictive search can not only help to give your customers a positive experience that they associate with your store, but you can also adjust and improve your business strategy, product offerings, pricing, promotions, and marketing to maximize sales and average order value.
» Learn how predictive analytics can help your e-commerce store
How to Set Up Shopify Predictive Search
You might be thinking setting up Shopify predictive search is a lengthy and difficult process, but it’s actually not that complex and can be done quite easily.
- Start by installing a search app from the Shopify App Store.
- Once installed, you have to give the app access to your store and product pages so it can start indexing.
- Once complete, predictive search is enabled for your store. Your customers will be able to use the feature right away.
What to Keep in Mind
As with any app or software, Shopify predictive search can only give you promising results if it's installed and used properly. Consider these tips to make sure your predictive search feature is optimized.
Monitor Your Website Speed
Predictive search apps are full of resources and data points, so they can consume a high amount of server data and slow your website down. This is because predictive search adds an extra layer of complexity to provide real-time suggestions and predictions for your customers.
Tip: Upgrade your website's hosting or optimize the app’s algorithms to keep your website's performance at its best.
Ensure Proper Configuration For the Best Search Results
If your predictive search app is not configured correctly, it can give inaccurate results when your customers do a search on your store. This can be because there is not enough data for the app to work with or its settings aren't properly activated.
Tip: Monitor the backend of your search app to make sure its settings are correct and to increase the data quality and volume if necessary.
Make Sure You Stay in the Fast Lane
The success of any e-commerce store lies in selling its products to its customers — but only if those customers can find your products. Shopify predictive search can give your customers a seamless shopping experience with instant and accurate search results. Your customers only have to give a prompt, therefore saving time and perhaps finding something they didn't expect.