What Is Searchandising — and Why It Matters

What Is Searchandising — and Why It Matters

What is searchandising?

Searchandising is a portmanteau of "search" and "merchandising." It's the process of curating results to help visitors discover important products on your website as they're shopping.

In brick and mortar stores, retailers can build window displays, assemble in-store product arrangements, or display signage to help sell more products — be it for a special sale, to reduce inventory, or show off new arrivals.

In the online world, a website's standard merchandising might include things such as:

  • Designing catalog landing pages
  • Promoting certain products in search results
  • Adding sales banners on product thumbnails or pages

searchandising example
The center column showing "shop the look" is a kind of online merchandising.

Site search products such as Search.io enable e-commerce companies to dynamically curate both search results and category pages to deliver a more impactful and higher converting buyer's journey. Data-driven merchandising can deliver more revenue and higher customer satisfaction.

Search merchandising and product curation

Many retailers spend considerable effort curating results for catalog pages. This could include putting products into a certain order, designing attractive landing pages, or selecting certain products or brands to promote. Another place to do merchandising is in the search bar and search results. Studies show that, after landing on a site, 43% of all e-commerce visitors immediately navigate to an online retailer’s search bar. 

Search merchandising may seem complex, but with newer search solutions, it can be done easily and intuitively. 

Whether a visitor browses to a category page or performs a search, the same merchandising rules should apply; using digital merchandising tools, you can display results in the order you want to improve your site’s conversion rate and boost customer experience.

search merchandising and curating
With Search.io, customers can drag and pin the order of products or pages for promotions and campaigns.

With Search.io, you can order results in one of two ways:

  • Manually curating results: With our new merchandising solution, you can simply drag and drop results in the order you want them displayed. Whether it's a category page or a search result, products will be displayed in the order you specified.
  • Dynamically ordering results: Set rules to order and display products in optimal order using attributes such as brand name, margin, rating, and more.

With Search.io, customers can merchandise both search results and catalog landing pages.

Boost conversion rates with searchandising

We designed Search.io for customers to easily design merchandising campaigns themselves with intuitive UI sliders or simple YAML script. It enables you to:

  • Create and manage merchandising campaigns for one or multiple projects
  • Define scope and rules for campaigns
  • Display results in search and/or category pages
  • Drive buyers to different URLs
merchandising scheduling

Catalog vs search pages

There are times you may want to promote only a specific product or type of product. There are other times you may want to promote certain products by attributes (such as on-sale items or certain brands). And you'll want your merchandising to appear in both search results and on product pages.

Fortunately, the same business rules or drag-and-drop product ordering you configure for e-commerce search engine merchandising can be used on your catalog pages as well.

Dynamic boosting for campaign optimization

As mentioned above, you can use any attribute — profit margin, popularity, rating, inventory level, date added, click-through rate, etc. — to build merchandising campaigns. Another feature, dynamic boosting, will re-order merchandised products to push the best selling merchandised items into the top spots.

For example, imagine you have ten items that could be promoted based on your merchandising settings. The merchandising features will give all ten of those products higher visibility than other products on your site. Dynamic boosting will further optimize results to ensure the best selling products are listed first.

Note that if you're using the manual ordering of results, this won't work, but dynamic boosting will work for dynamic results.

Personalization and merchandising

We also offer a feature for commerce personalization that can be layered on top of dynamically merchandised results. For example, let's say you have a sale on skiing items and you know someone has purchased Salomon branded apparel in the past. With personalization settings, you can promote Salomon-branded camping items in search results and on your on-sale skiing collection.

Even if you don't have a customer's buying history, data such as location, seasonality, and recent search history can be used to personalize results. If it can be measured, it can also likely be used for personalization!

Dynamic boosts and personalization are great features to layer on top of your merchandising efforts to maximize sales opportunities. And with Search.io, these features are easily implemented through our no-code editor or simple YAML script.

Improve the site search experience

We've covered a lot of the new merchandising features. Let's touch briefly on other other half of searchandising — search.

Search.io can help you build a great search experience. Features such as autocomplete, instant indexing, natural language processing, and machine learning make it a powerful e-commerce search platform.

Search relevance

Our new AI engine, Neuralsearch, delivers incredible relevance — even if customers misspell a keyword, use a synonym, or use search terms that describe what they're looking for. Neuralsearch is built on new machine learning technology to serve relevant research results in near real-time for just about any collection.

Ranking optimization

Industry-leading relevancy provides great results, and our built-in reinforcement learning gives you greater control over ranking. Reinforcement learning is a type of machine learning. We use it to automatically optimize and re-rank results based on buying signals — clicks, sign ups, add-to-cart, purchases, or any attribute you specify. Customers can actually modify the search algorithm — or A/B test different algorithms — to increase conversions and profitability. More relevant products drive better results, which feeds back into the search algorithm to deliver even better results over time.

Search UI/UX

A search UI builder is included for customers at no additional cost. Easily design product search results made to your specifications. Set page colors, thumbnail size, and even search result design starting from pre-defined templates. For more advanced users, we also offer a free React library for building unique results.

Autocomplete

Autocomplete, also called autosuggest or type ahead search, works out of the box, no additional configuration required. As customers type search queries, suggested results will be displayed to help customers discover products faster. You can even include merchandised products in autocomplete!

Search metrics

Uncover trends in your on-site search and merchandising campaigns with search analytics. Identify poorly performing search terms and track CTR to find opportunities for improvement.

So, what is your searchandising strategy?

Search.io can help online retailers merchandise relevant products. Whether your searchandising strategy is to curate results by hand or use dynamic merchandising rules — or a combination of the two — Search.io gives you everything you need to deliver a great customer experience in both search results and on catalog pages.

We mentioned a few of the industry-leading features you'll find. To learn more, sign up for a free 14-day trial or get a demo from one of our search experts.


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