The COVID Q&A: Increasing Conversions with Klevu Search Functionality

Next up in our partner Q&A series, we spoke to Klevu’s Marketing Manager, Amy Marks. A world-class search technology, Klevu helps eCommerce businesses create intuitive shopping experiences, connecting people to the products they’re looking for. Full of insight, Klevu’s functionalities include self-learning search, rich autocompletion and trending searches.

As eCommerce becomes all the more prevalent, we found out how Klevu is helping businesses make the most of their high intent buyers, and why site search is a vital part of creating the optimum customer journey.

What impact has COVID-19 had on eCommerce in recent months?

From what we’ve observed, it has been a massive readjustment and refocusing period. Both from our clients’ perspective and even for our internal teams too. There has been a sudden realisation from all angles that we have to rethink the way we interact with our customers. Everyone is now asking the question of how should we be talking to our customers?

When all this began, we saw many brands and customers become more cautious on what they were spending. For businesses, this meant re-purposing funds allocated from one project to another and prioritising activities to those that generate the most value. In some cases, the situation has even provided businesses more time to pick up on projects they’ve had in the pipeline for a while.

In terms of our clients, 70 percent of them are retailers, so they’ve been affected differently depending on their sector. However, across all verticals, we’ve found that our clients are reporting more searches on their sites. Not only this, but their site search traffic has increased massively. Based on our global client database, there has been a 40 percent increase in traffic and, in the UK alone, we’ve seen a 60 percent increase on monthly search terms. In fact, on 29 April, we saw 10 percent more searches on our system than we did on Black Friday 2019 – the biggest eCommerce day of the year!

Shoppers using the search bar more often is indicative of high intent buyers. So, I think for our clients, more than anything, they’re being reassured that search is important to accommodate and convert these buyers.

Have you seen any trends emerge from what consumers are searching for?

Well it goes back to, what do people need and want? They need food, they need the essentials, but they also want gym wear, home entertainment and even arts and crafts have shot up.

It’s difficult to say exactly which search terms have been used more over this time as we have so many clients specialising in different things. But, one thing we have seen is that people are becoming more comfortable searching conversationally. As a result of this, businesses need to be able to accommodate this evolvement of language in their search functionality.

Customers now expect a certain standard from online stores when they’re looking to make a purchase – they want to see more personalised recommendations and they don’t mind searching for exactly what they want. Retailers need to be able to meet these expectations. Think about it in terms of customer profiling: as a business, you want to speak to the customer who is ready to make a purchase.

Why have customer insights become even more important?

The circumstances have presented a time for some businesses to get their house in order and take advantage of new opportunities. Customer insights are so important within this because you want to understand how your customer is shopping with you –  what they’re searching for, what they’re interested in and how they convert on your website.

When it comes to customer insights, having a data-driven approach is really helpful to businesses, and this is where we believe onsite search functionality can help. Onsite search helps you deliver a more personalised process by taking your customer insights and applying them to your website, tailoring what they see to make it relevant to them.

As well as customer insights, customer journey analysis is also really important during this time. Don’t just assume that you know what’s working well on your website. There’s often a temptation to think, I’ve already mapped the customer journey. But, it’s not a one-off thing. It’s an iterative process, particularly while customer behaviour is changing so much at the moment.

Businesses should be reviewing their website’s purchase journey and reporting back on what they find easy and not so easy to do. For example, imagine entering your site, clicking the search bar, typing something in with a minor spelling error and no results show. Once you’ve identified these types of bottlenecks on your site, now is the time to make the improvements. Don’t be afraid to understand the poor parts of your customer journey. You’ll gain the best opportunities by rolling up your sleeves and figuring out what needs fixing.

How is Klevu helping merchants deliver a more personalised experience?

Search is one of the elements that can help you understand your customers pain points, mapping their journey and making improvements to increase conversions. Using Klevu, you have visibility of what your customers are searching for and the conversions they make. You can physically see which keywords are converting and be confident that Klevu’s AI functionality will run that keyword where relevant. It can also help across the wider business too. If your customers are frequently searching for something that you don’t stock, this insight can be used within your purchasing department.

On the personalisation side of things, implementing effective onsite search functionality means personalisation begins the moment that user clicks on the search bar. Based on Klevu’s machine learning, they will instantly be served results that are more relevant to what they already want. Machine learning is not a static thing, it’s dynamic and living and constantly learning to deliver a better customer journey.

What are the most common questions you’re being asked by merchants?

The main thing is around customer success. Using Klevu, they can see what their customers are searching for, but they want to know how to go about maximising the potential behind these searches. We’ve seen a massive spike in clients reaching out for optimisation tips, they’re downloading more content from us to learn about this and they’re actively trying to make the most of what they have.

Search is often an overlooked element when trying to improve the customer journey and increase conversions, but it is such an embedded part of how people use a site. As such an importance has fallen on eCommerce during this time, many are realising that they need to make the most of their online offering. We’ve seen even more businesses recognise that onsite search can actually help you through this difficult period. Not only does it deliver relevant and tailored results, it can also help to increase sales and reduce the amount of people bouncing off your site. It all links into creating a better customer experience and, as we know, if a customer has a bad experience on your website, they probably won’t come back.

We’ve integrated Klevu with many of our client’s Magento sites including Custom Plugs and iCandy. If you want to find out more about our partner Klevu and how this technology can help you increase sales and improve the user journey, get in touch with Team Pinpoint.