If you want your website to stand out in the world of B2B businesses, start with search. That magical little box where your visitors type in their desires is an often-missed opportunity to wow them (and gain valuable insight from them).
Your B2B consumer might be researching vendors and suppliers by day, but at night, they are savvy B2C online shoppers. As such, they expect a sophisticated user experience in which friction has been reduced and roadblocks removed.
And when you are thinking about which of your site visitors are the most important to win, hands down, the answer is “searchers.”
Searchers are your most valuable site visitors. Compared to non-searchers, searchers have an 11% higher average order value and a 2.7 times greater conversion rate. As a result, a relatively small number of site searches can potentially contribute a significant amount of your site’s revenue.
Treat searchers right, and your bottom line will benefit. Here is how site search can turn your B2B prospect into a buyer:
Give Relevant Results
The first thing your site search should do is provide relevant results. Visitors on a B2B site aren’t shopping for the fun of it. They want to find what they need fast. After all, time is money.
If people quickly move from search to navigation or leave your site altogether, your site search isn’t doing its job.
Showcase Your Expertise
You’ve created a virtual library of case studies, blogs, consumer guides and videos – all with the hope of educating and converting your prospects into customers. But can they find any of it?
Andersen Windows is a good example of how to deliver search results with a wow factor. Type “French doors” in the search box, and you’ll get products along with support information, technical documents, photos and videos. Using SLI Learning SearchTM, Andersen Windows makes all of its non-product information incredibly easy to find.
Be Open to Possibilities
At Spectrum Chemical, the search box invites users to input “Product Name, Catalog Number, Manufacturer, CAS #” – a confidence-boosting move that makes users feel they can’t go wrong. Smart search will allow you to create appropriate synonyms and tune your results so that visitors find what they are looking for, even if they type it in slightly different ways. Technical specifications and measurements are a great example. For example, if someone typed 2.5, 2 ½ or 2-1/2, you’d want them to get the right results. In addition, features like SLI Rich Auto CompleteTM help people know they are on the right track by showing results as soon as they begin typing.
Be Mobile Friendly
You’ve already heard the news. Google’s new algorithm makes it mandatory for websites to play nice with smartphones and tablets. Imagine the person at a job site searching for information (remind me again, how do we install this window?) or for a replacement part (does the nearest store have one in stock?) – the more you convey valuable information to the mobile shopper, the more valuable you are to them.
That magical search box is talk, talk, talking all day to you. Listen to what it says and use this information to your benefit. The search box is where your customers tell you exactly what they want in their own words. Advanced site search will give you the ability to easily pull reports and spot trends. For instance, the SLI Merchandising and Reporting Console keeps you up to date on your site’s top search phrases and those ending in “no results.” Use this data to tailor your merchandising efforts.
As you can see, there are many ways to ensure your B2B site is delivering the very best search experience. Contact SLI Systems to learn more about learning-based search, navigation, recommendations, merchandising, mobile, and SEO solutions.
Christina Stubler is a Content Marketing Manager for SLI Systems.