5 Ways How Shopify Merchants Can Utilize AI-Powered Search For Better Customer Experience

Doki Nguyen
Jun 14, 2024
3 min read

AI is currently at the height of its popularity. However, AI-powered search is not exclusive to retail giants.

As Shopify merchants, you can greatly improve your online selling performance and boost revenue growth with the power of AI. While implementing AI-powered search may not work wonders overnight, you can expect to see immediate results 🤞.

In this article, we will show you the best ways to leverage AI-powered search for your Shopify store.

Know your AI-powered search

At its very core, AI-powered search is atechnology instrument that helps online shoppers communicate with an eCommerce website’s systems in much the same way as they would converse with other human individuals.

In short, AI-powered search is conversational.

It’s when your site’s search machine can understand and communicate with shoppers like a real in-store assistant. It can help direct visitors to the appropriate product collection or specific product page on your Shopify store, ultimately leading to greater customer satisfaction with their purchase decision.

Still new to the concept of AI-powered search? Find everything you need to know here:

AI-Powered Search 101: A Beginners Guide

AI-Powered Search vs. Conventional Search: What Shopify Merchants Need To Know

Top Advanced Site Search Technologies To Enhance Your eCommerce Search Capabilities

AI-powered search is not just a combination of buzzwords like NLP (natural language processing) and NLU (natural language understanding) to enable conversation between machines and online shoppers. It also helps recreate the in-person experience that all shoppers desire when browsing an eCommerce website.

This results in a personalized and frictionless experience that enhances engagement and contributes to increased brand loyalty and preference. AI-powered search enables your Shopify search to quickly turn customers' searches into meaningful and highly converting engagements.

5 tips for Shopify stores to utilize AI-powered search for better customer experience

1. Set a specific goal for implementing AI-powered search on your Shopify store

Don’t dive into AI-powered search without a clear goal in mind. Stop and think: what do you want AI technology to improve in your Shopify search?

While the ultimate goal is to increase conversion rates and sell more to potential shoppers, you might want to set a more specific set of goals to precisely calculate the impact of AI-powered search on your store.

Shopify merchants can effectively set goals for AI-powered search by first identifying the specific search-related problems your store is facing. This might include:

  • Low conversion rate
  • Mindless product browsing, which leads to:
  • A high number of “flyby” visitors who don’t buy
  • Too many “No results found”
  • Irrelevant search results
  • Low click rate on search results
  • Too many queries before shoppers find the item they want
  • the list goes on and on

If you aim to set up an AI-powered search with the vague goal of simply "increasing sales," you may miss out on the opportunity to fine-tune your overall Shopify search and overlook the final result.

This is because many factors affect your store's sales and revenue, such as your product's arrangement, description, call-to-action (CTA), product quality, and social proof. “Search performance” alone can play an important role in your overall revenue but it’s not all.

Did you know? Boost AI Search & Discovery has built-in advanced analytics on your store’s search performance as a whole! Besides app impact statistics (which is coming up next), there are tons of actionable metrics for you to evaluate and amplify your Shopify search performance.

Save your time on planning and reviewing AI-powered search performance with Boost! The first 14 days are FREE! No credit card needed!

Try Free Now

2. Go for practical search suggestions

Display search suggestions in real time

The term "real-time search" refers to the ability to search through the material as soon as it is created.

For example, if you enter a search query on an eCommerce search bar with smart search suggestions, the top relevant search results will immediately load in the search box without the shopper needing to take any further action.

This is particularly helpful when your Shopify store has a large inventory, as it can become tiresome for the shopper to narrow down their search every time they want to find a specific item.

With real-time search suggestions, your shoppers will be able to find what they are looking for faster and more accurately, leading to a happier user experience.

Crocs search suggestions

Crocs makes it effortless for shoppers to find what they're looking for. When you open the site, you see a very minimal but noticeable search bar.

When you enter a keyword, things get more interesting. Crocs lets you choose from instant search suggestions in the form of suggested keywords, and suggested products with an image and price.

Use predictive search to better understand shopper’s buying intent

When you use Google Search, the engine gives you suggestions for what you might be looking for as soon as you start typing. This is called predictive search. It helps you search faster by showing you results that might be what you want or related to it.

In Boost AI Search & Discovery, you can optimize search relevance and suggest predictive search queries using the Suggestion dictionary.

This customizes the display of autocomplete suggestions in the instant search, allowing you to prioritize keywords with high relevance to show at the top and make them more likely to be clicked.

3. Always equip Shopify search with spelling corrections and AI synonyms

When people search for products to buy online, it's important that the search results show what they're looking for. This is because shoppers feel understood and connected when they can easily find what they need in your store.

One thing that can make it harder for customers to find what they want is when they misspell a word.

There are many possibilities to misspell words, so it is important to check for common mistakes. Sometimes people may enter the wrong keyword because of their fast typing. Adding different spellings of words to your list can help your shoppers find more products and improve search results.

Moreover, AI synonyms let you adjust search results without altering your data, and they help bridge the gap between search terms and product information. For example:

  • If a customer searches for "laptop," but you use "notebook" in your product data, you need to use a synonym that is commonly understood. This is a bidirectional synonym mapping, meaning both terms have the same meaning.
  • To help customers who search for "accu drill" or "accumulator screwdriver," create two synonym mappings: one for "accu" and "accumulator," and another for "drill" and "screwdriver.”
Lacoste synonyms

Both “sneakers” and “shoes” show up on the search result page when you look for “sneakers” in Lacoste store

4. Prepare to implement voice search

Voice search means using your voice to ask questions and give commands to devices like smartphones or smart speakers. It executes the user's command or answers their question.

The future of how we search for products looks to be focused on voice search technology, which is expected to become very popular.

According to a report by Orbelo:

  • One-third of the US population uses voice search features.
  • 71% of consumers prefer to conduct voice searches instead of typing.

To buy things online with voice technology, you need a phone or speaker and a virtual assistant. Popular speakers with voice-controlled assistants include Amazon Echo (powered by Alexa) and Google Home (powered by Google Assistant).

As on-site search becomes more sophisticated and personalized, preparing your Shopify store for voice search can help improve shoppers' experience and differentiate your store from competitors.

5. Choose a one-stop solution for AI-powered search

Crafting a satisfying shopping experience on your Shopify store can be time-consuming and require expertise and great effort. This is particularly true when you want to implement AI technology into the default Shopify search.

By adopting a ready-made AI search from a trusted provider, you can save time, effort, and money compared to hiring a technical expert team to develop an AI-powered search solution from scratch.

When selecting an AI-powered search solution, ensure that you choose a comprehensive tool that includes all AI-powered search features, such as AI synonyms, partial search, numeric search, typo tolerance, and search suggestions.

Additionally, pay attention to successful use cases and run tests on all AI solutions for optimal utilization.

Boost AI Search & Discovery offers a 30-day free trial for Coupon Blender users.

Future-proofing your Shopify search with Boost AI Search & Discovery

Boost AI Search & Discovery has Shopify's and cross-industry know-how gained from our experiences when working with over 14,000+ business clients from around the world. You can get top-tier product search solutions integrated with the latest AI technologies that will fit well into your business size, regardless of your niche.

Boost AI uses structured search that understands your shoppers’ natural language and delivers clear, relevant results. We make your store understand what shoppers want behind the keywords they entered whether it’s a single keyword or a long question.

Leverage customer experience in your Shopify store with unparalleled relevant search by Boost, powered by AI:

Try Free Now

Doki Nguyen
Content Marketing Specialist
June 17, 2024
7 min read