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 min read
December 31, 2018

The Latest Search Trends That Change How Shoppers Discover Products Online


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As an e-commerce retailer, you probably know a thing or two about online marketing. And the most common thing one hears are the words “SEO” and “optimisation.” First you put all your effort into creating marketing content that considers how google reads content. Then you optimise your product images for organic searches. Finally you optimize your Shopify store for success.

Now all that is very well. But today’s customer is always evolving. The advancements in technology are transforming how people discover products online. So it’s important for you to keep your search strategy updated.

Here are some search trends to prepare for:

  1. Searches for inspiration rather than the product itself. People do search for specific products or services, like curling tongs or parlour services at home. But it has been found that an increasing number of people today search for ideas rather than the product itself. For instance, ideas for hairstyles for bridesmaids, or quick DIY hairstyles for curly hair. In fact, many shoppers seek out actual shopping lists or checklists to help them get started on what to buy before they decide where to buy them. And the frequency of such queries is only doubling.
  2. Searches are used to identify sources that can meet a need right now. E-commerce is booming. It’s quite easy for shoppers to find whatever they want whenever they want it. If it isn’t here, it can be shipped from somewhere else, with the option of same day shipping. Instead of structuring their day around what they need, which shop they have to go to to get it, and what time they have to go before the shop closes, a shopper just does a quick search online to see which business can help them out in that moment. E.g. a search for salons open till 10pm.
  3. Search queries have become detailed and conversational. Not few years ago, people would use simple words or phrases to find out things. Petrol mower tank size. Sushi restaurant. High SPF sunscreen. Nowadays the questions are more specific, personalised and almost conversational. How much petrol do I fill in my lawn mower? Which is the best place for sushi Palmy? What sunscreen can I buy to use when I go swimming? Nowadays even Google search prompts such sentences. Notice the use of the word “I” in all these queries, and how the questions are phrased, as though they are asking someone for advice. Should I? do I need? It’s exactly how you would talk to another person. This can be owed to voice searches, that are only getting increasingly popular. With 2 in 5 customers using voice searches, the trend is on the rise.
  4. Searches aren’t limited to Google. We forget that amazon practically owns half the retail world! Stats show that 56% of product searches begin on Amazon, and plenty more at similar online marketplaces.

If you look closely at these trends, you understand how search patterns have changed and how that directly impacts the e-commerce market. With search patterns changing, and the technology to aid it being ever-evolving – personalisation, localisation, mobile search, voice search – this trend is already playing a crucial role in how consumers discover products. Many companies realise this and are employing ways for their digital marketing and sales strategies to be guided by these latest trends. Online retailers are creating content that serves the current shopper – utility-based or season-based holiday lists, ready-to-go product hampers, DIY content based on the products they sell, content that answers questions related to the pain points that their products solve etc.

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