Best Practices for Instant Search Box - What to Do With ‘No Search Results’

Ellie Ho
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

Want a quick and easy way to increase your store’s conversion rate? Is that even a question? Instant search best practices help your site’s visitors get to where they want quickly and easily. It’s a simple way to make your eCommerce store more customer-friendly while also driving up your conversion rate. We’ll look at ways to improve your search box, as well as no search results to improve your website’s UX.

thursday boots example search box tips boost commerce no search results

Source: ASOS

You’ve narrowed down the available results before even pressing Go. Now you can see exactly what you want and you didn’t even need to be redirected. Any products that don’t fit the new words you’ve entered are knocked out of the results until you’re left with only relevant products.

This is instant search. It’s quick, convenient, and increases your website’s conversion rate by getting people to where they need to be in a flash.

Enable one of the fastest search-as-you-type solution for your store by install Product Filter & Search by Boost Commerce.

Try Free Now

Why instant search is important for your store

Having instant search makes the customer journey easier, which increases the chance they’ll buy from you. Streamlining the journey customers take on your website has been proven to increase conversion rates by making sites more user-friendly.

instant results not working is a big drawback no search results
Three clicks or less. This means you need to give them what they’re looking for straight away and if you don’t have the product, then show no search results suggestions to lead them to similar ones. People aren’t going to dig through your store looking for a product they don’t even know you have.

Research shows that Boeing Store shows product info like price, photos, and reference numbers in the instant search box.

Include product photos and price in search

People don’t like being redirected around your website - they want to be able to see everything they need quickly. Having a product photo and the price in the search box as live results appear will increase your search UX and improve your chances of making a conversion.

What to do when a search brings up ‘No Search Results’

Sometimes your site visitors won’t find any results for a search. The worst thing you can do in this event is to leave them with a ‘No Search Results’ page that doesn’t suggest they go somewhere else. Leave them with this, and they’ll likely abandon your website.

Instead, you can:

  • Suggest similar search queries that do yield results
  • Suggest similar or related products
  • Suggest other popular products on your store
  • Offer customer support through chat or phone numbers
  • Offer personalized results based on their search history

The internet has moved on from the days of HTML websites and ‘No Results’ pages. Your site needs to move on with it to avoid losing business.

You can integrate the above solutions into your site search with the Boost AI Search & Discovery app from Boost Commerce.

Learn more about how to bring up product suggestions when search phrase returns no results by watching this tutorial video:

Why is the traditional ‘No Search Results’ page bad for business?

Visitors to your site don’t have the patience that they used to. Nowadays, people mostly browse the web on mobile devices and they expect things to be quick and simple. Glitchy experiences like slow page load times and empty search results put roadblocks in the way of the customer journey and lead to frustration which causes people to leave your site.

There are plenty of other eCommerce stores on Google that will sell your products. If a visitor can’t find their desired product in your site search they’ll assume you don’t stock it and move on to the next store - or worse, your competitors.

There are several things you can do to reduce the bounce rate when your customers can’t find results for a search.

1) Use search analytics to find queries that yield no results

Use your search app’s built-in analytics to identify commonly searched queries that yield no results, then get to work optimizing your site content in the following ways:

  1. Add the products people are searching for that you don’t stock
  2. Add synonyms to existing products so they appear in these searches
  3. Promote relevant or related products on your website so visitors can see them

If people are frequently searching for products related to yours that you don’t stock, then it’s about time you put an order in to meet the demand. You’ll find money falling right into your pocket!

instant results not working analytics no search results
Boost's Analytics feature shows top search terms with no result.

2) Build a bank of synonyms

Another effective way to reduce your bounce rate is to build a bank of synonyms for the products you sell. For example, if your store sells winter clothes then you could add the synonyms ‘jacket’ and ‘coat’ so that swimwear results show when these words are searched.

gymshark synonyms solve instant results not working no search results

Try to find as many synonyms as you can for each product that you stock. You can use your site-search analytics reports to help you see what customers are frequently searching for. Doing this allows you to capture more searches and prevents visitors from giving up on your store in frustration.

Looking for a search solution? Try our product search app now!

3) Use autocomplete and typo-tolerance

Autocomplete helps visitors to see what you’ve got in stock while they search. If you type ‘winter’ and the search bar suggests ‘winter coat’ and ‘winter jacket’ then I can confidently assume that these products are available in the store. If I don’t like what I find in one category, then I can switch to the other suggested ones to find even more products.

headphone zone search box tips boost commerce no search results

Search analytics: Why you need it

Site search analytics reports give you deep insight into search terms that people are using, terms that end in no results, which search filters are being used, and the number of searches your site is generating.

This information can help you to tweak your website’s content to meet the demand of your customers. Using search analytics can also help you to plan promotional campaigns and measure the success of existing ones. You can also use it to anticipate future sales trends.

You can use the Boost Analytics feature on the Boost AI Search & Discovery app for Shopify to gain insight into your site search and optimize it to increase your conversion rate.

Final thoughts

Optimizing your instant search box and plugging ‘no search results’ holes is a sure-fire way to improve your conversion rate and keep your bounce rate low. Make sure you’re never leaving visitors with nowhere to go. Plus, be sure to look over your search analytics reports to get a deeper insight into what your site visitors are looking for.

Ellie Ho
Content Marketing Specialist
June 17, 2024
3 min read