At first glance, search data might seem like an interesting report of the ways people are looking for your products. It presents a good reflection of the average shopper’s mindset, and may even bring up a few surprises, such as search terms that you may not have considered.
Look a little deeper and search data is your key to unlocking a trove of insight into customer intent. These insights set the foundation of a successful data-driven strategy, allowing you to predict sales based on consumer demand for certain products, eliminate blind spots in your inventory, and make real-time marketing and merchandising decisions that directly impact conversions.
Continuous monitoring, analysis, and optimization of your search data enables retailers to become more proactive and agile in order to meet customer demands, which can change at any given moment. Here are six ways that you can leverage search intent data to inform your business decisions and drive more sales.
1. Pinpoint gaps in assortment and product discovery
Search data offers a comprehensive overview of the types of products your shoppers are looking for. In addition to indicating which products are in high demand, and which are lagging behind, it reveals searches for items that aren’t necessarily in your catalog—but may perform well if you had them. Use these search signals to make adjustments to your inventory and ensure you are prepared for a rise in demand.
It’s also effective at revealing gaps in the product discovery journey. For instance, if one term is attracting a high volume of searches but converting at a very low rate, that’s an indication that there may be issues with assortment, pricing, or your search results.
By using your search data to identify these gaps, you’ll be able to discover opportunities for growth and improve the overall search experience for your users.
2. Create highly relevant customer journeys
Search data can be tricky, especially when it comes to high-traffic ecommerce sites that generate millions of searches a day. Rather than skimming across your top volume drivers, or the “head,” you have to dig deep into the “tail” to find the clues that will improve your end user’s experience.
The long tail, which is represented by queries with relatively low search volume, in fact accounts for the majority of searches when aggregated. And that’s where the real gold mine lies. Since long-tail queries tend to be much more specific, they are an even higher indicator of purchase intent, revealing exactly what your most valuable customers are looking to buy.
Insights into these more specific behavior patterns allow you to create targeted, highly relevant customer experiences on the path to purchase, and give you a better chance of generating sales from the large volume of traffic that hides in the tail.
3. Build a data-driven marketing strategy
People will use search engines like Google in a similar way to your on-site search. That means data gleaned from your own website can show you which items require a promotional push via channels like paid search, social media, and display advertising.
For example, if you’ve witnessed a spike in people looking for Adidas products, you should increase your pay-per-click budget on terms related to that brand (e.g. “Adidas sneakers,” “Adidas Yeezy”). You can use a platform like Twiggle Trends to generate a list of terms from your aggregated search data and find a group of related searches (essentially variants of your product) to bid on. In addition, you can create retargeting campaigns based on search query data to turn those searches into sales.
4. Predict and prepare for demand
Search data gives you the power to predict where sales are likely to happen. By studying trends in customer behavior or popularity of search queries during specific timeframes (e.g. week-by-week comparisons in search volume), you can start to identify movements in traffic and prepare for spikes in demand.
On the heels of that advice, you can build landing pages and ad campaigns to capture shoppers while they’re in that discovery phase. Use this predictive information to decide which products get the featured spotlight on your homepage or which items get the top ranking on your search results page. See it as a way of getting your customers to where they already want to go, but faster.
5. Capitalize on emerging trends
Shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by multiple factors, whether it’s social media influencers, celebrity endorsements, viral videos, events, or exposure to up to 5,000 advertisements every single day. With so many external influences driving up—or down—the interest in specific products or brands, it’s hard to keep track of it all.
Your search data is a reflection of what’s happening in the world and the impact it has on shopper behavior. If you want to become better at selling online, you have to identify and react to quick shifts in interest around certain products. That means authorizing changes to your homepage to imply a sense of urgency around key items, or crafting newsletters dedicated to an emerging fashion trend.
Keep a close eye on your search data to understand your customers’ changing behavior, and make those critical decisions around your marketing, merchandising, and operations at the optimal time.
6. Improve search relevance
Through aggregated search data, you can track what your customers are searching for, the items they’re landing on, and how those items are performing. That same insight can help you identify when and where you need to build redirect pages for a brand, style, or search term.
The same applies for curating pages around synonyms. Use your search data to build a bank of synonyms based on the various ways shoppers describe the products they’re looking for. This will help you increase search relevance and combat any recall issues.
Are you converted?
Search data is one of the many elements of continuous optimization that can separate the leaders from the stragglers. The key difference? The leaders rely on data and predictive analytics to guide their website and promotional efforts. Every decision is based on facts and figures, which presents a good way of minimizing risk and driving performance.
To ensure that your products are in front of shoppers when they want them, you have to understand their behavior and predict their next move. That’s why search data is proving so valuable in the fast-paced, highly competitive and challenging world of e-commerce, where everything can change without a moment’s notice.
Twiggle provides national language processing technology designed to help retailers discern customers’ intent and increase sales.Favorite