why on-site search engines matter

Why on-site search engines matter?

Did you mean <insert the first product you think of first>? Right, sounds familiar. The feeling of frustration is, too.

For any site visitors, the least they want to receive is poor user experience. No one really wants it, anyway. Website pages, on the other hand, can’t seem to get their practices any better, leaving customers pressing hard on the exit button and empty-handed.

40% of purchases begin from search. On-site search engines are important because they direct your sales in ways you haven’t discovered yet. One unsatisfactory product hunting, when piled up with other potential buyers, can lead you to your biggest loss. It may be a tiny detail from your website, but believe us when we say it transforms a total output. But it’s you who decides: for good or kinda okay.

What is an on-site search engine?

It’s not the Google engine, but it somehow shares some similarities in terms of content and text-structured results.

Site search engines are tailored to a website using what may be an obvious representation, a magnifying glass icon.

Most commonly, they are found on the top corner of the page, and once clicked, visitors can start typing words and—well, search.

This user-centric approach enables users to enter every section and access all the latest on your website, from product catalog to content. With speed and useful optimization, it lessens the time visitors spend on your page to look for a certain item.

Search engines collect valuable data every time a shopper uses your built-in search. This data is used to learn your customers’ language and refine your business performance to continue offering them a carefree buying journey.

Visitors who simply browse may not benefit a lot from this functionality, but research shows that those who use the search function are 3x more likely to find what they’re looking for, and convert into customers. Ka-ching!

On-site search - Prada
On-site search - Prada

Facts around search engines

Here are some fundamental numbers that You. Have. To. Know. Do the math if you wish.

Up to 43% of visitors immediately navigate to the search when they visit a site, according to Forrester Research. Don’t you? Search engines are the users’ starting point. It’s the first thing they’ll find, especially if there’s a rush or a sudden urge to buy. Search engines cause potential leads to start an action.

Based on Prefixbox’s own data, in certain product categories, on-site search users convert 16x better. Search users make up about 10-40% of all the users on your ecommerce site, meaning 40% to 80% of your online revenue is generated by these search users. This is how it works!

However, 72% of ecommerce sites fail to deliver site search expectations. No matter how much you want to offer only the finest features, it will not be possible if you compromise what needs attention.

Most often, search engines cannot process language which results negatively to 10-25% of all searches in zero-results pages. Like this common issue (and fact) out of the many, only a few platforms can innovate their search solutions to address this problem. Turns out, lost customers never come back to the same webpage again.

What makes a good search engine?

The basics of a search engine don’t just end with a search bar. Your webshop would have to require serious time and effort to optimize your search and results for the best shopping experience.

The goal here is to convert sales by leading them to the right products with just the right amount of jargon and clicks. Let us help you figure out the most effective features that search engines must possess, with real applications of our very own capabilities.

Content & Catalog Search

An advanced site search engine could really boost your sales (no matter which engine you use), and fortunately, you get this feature in all StyleHub plans without additional costs. Our built-in high-quality search engine is designed for your website. Your users can search your product catalog, articles, product categories, and more so they can navigate to different sections of your page.

materials onsite search
Searching for materials - Gucci

This feature helps customers find just what they’re looking for, and even those that they had no idea they’ll need—like some How-To blog post.

When visitors benefit apart from the product catalog search, they see your website as more functional which leads to frequent visits and purchases. It’s a seek-and-you’ll-find type of experience!

Intelligent Search Engine

There are situations when customers do get search results, but it’s far from what they’re really looking for. When worse comes to worst, they get faced with 404 pages.

These could mean a couple of things. One, there’s a need for an inventory check and assessment of products they search for but you don’t sell. Another is that your search engine isn’t equipped with interactive solutions that help make searching user friendly despite misspellings or unruly sets of words.

gucci onsite search
Trending searches - Gucci
onsite search typo tolerance
Typo tolerance - Gucci

Our site search autocompletes users' search terms based on your content and products, to help them match what they want to what you have. Using this feature, customers are given fast and accurate pre-filled recommendations instead of typing longer texts.

Faceted Search (Product Filters)

StyleHub’s search engine is integrated with faceted search solutions that power up your product list pages and provide smooth customization for your users.

Product filters provide a better interface, so users don’t have to scroll through the entire list.  Instead, they could immediately hop right into the products they want to avail based on price, color, size, or ratings.

Although there are variations, whenever customers are out to find a specific product, they would want things straightforward. And we’re telling this to you as directly as possible. Shoppers appreciate effective optimization, and it influences them to purchase more. The results? 20% increase in conversion rates. Easy as that.

faceted onsite search karl lagerfeld
Faceted search - Karl Lagerfeld

Result Weighting

Wide-leg jeans, for example, maybe at the top of the denim jeans results because of the consumers’ consistent interaction with the item. But after a month, it ranked down to the second spot by flared jeans when searched under the same category.

This feature lets visitors search for the products they wish to buy in relevance to its category and standing. At StyleHub, we show search results for the customers in order of their importance, based on best practices and telemetries. This solution measures the users’ interest in your products and the changes to their behavior.

The next time they browse your catalog, they can accurately find what they’re searching; while you would know how and which products to rank, and which ones would sell the most on your future releases. No one loses here.

Just remember that this feature delivers sales well, especially if you know your best-performing items.


If there’s something one should never underestimate, it’s definitely on-site search engines.

They may be there merely to assist customers and casual visitors, but they serve a purpose just as significant as the other tools found on your website.

It’s best to say that data won’t lie. Along with providing strong optimization, you want to understand your users better with analytics to help you make better business decisions. In the long run, the responsive solutions you invested in will widen your opportunities, even more, to connect and boost your sales.

Shoppers have their own evaluations in mind, but your accommodation to their needs determine their choices. Like doing someone a favor, they return it to you much bigger. In ecommerce, it’s with loyalty and engagement from the visitors turned customers.

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to share it.