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search to sales

From Search to Sales

The search experience on e-commerce platforms plays a crucial role in the success of online stores. Customers’ ability to quickly and easily find desired products has a direct impact on revenue, customer retention, and customer satisfaction. In this article, we examine the research findings from the Wakefield report* in detail. The research reveals numerous “search challenges” that e-commerce platforms face. Bear with us while we will explain how you can solve these challenges using Elastic Enterprise Search.

Challenges, Solutions, and Opportunities


Research* shows that as many as 79% of visitors switch to a competing site if it takes too long to find the desired products. Time and speed are therefore highly important for online shoppers. This emphasizes the importance of an efficient and effective search experience on e-commerce platforms.

According to the research, possible frustrations or obstacles during searches include irrelevant search results, no ability to compare or find similar products, and no results based on descriptions (you need to know the product name).

In addition to the traditional full-text search, Elastic Enterprise Search offers numerous functionalities that help online shoppers obtain relevant results quickly:

  • Automatic language detection, including spell corrections
  • Autosuggestions or autocomplete, for speed or when you’re not entirely sure about the product name
  • Synonym matching, because cellphone, smartphone, and mobile could refer to the same product (these days)
  • Filtering of search results, also known as faceted search
  • Highlighting of keywords in the results
  • Natural Language Processing, which helps understand the context, especially in longer search queries

Last but not least, from a technical standpoint, Elastic is an incredibly fast technology, even when dealing with large volumes of data.



88% are more inclined to shop on platforms that personalize their experience. A personalized shopping experience is a powerful means to engage customers and stimulate repeat purchases. Personalization includes aspects such as tailored recommendations, personalized search results, and relevant marketing communication. Providing a customized experience not only increases customer satisfaction. With the demography of Millennials and Gen Z, this figure exceeds 95%!

Elastic provides the ability to tune search results based on the target audience, demographics such as age and location, or lifestyle.

68% of online shoppers make unplanned purchases based on personalized product recommendations. By combining smart algorithms in Elasticsearch and customer data, e-commerce platforms can recommend relevant products based on the customer’s search behavior and preferences. This can increase the average order value and improve customer satisfaction.

Elasticsearch provides the ability to tune your related items and link your customer data with search behavior to send targeted recommendations.


Quality over price

While price remains an important factor in online shopping, a significant portion of online shoppers still prioritize finding the right product, even if it means paying a little more.
According to research, 53% of online shoppers prefer finding the right product over the lowest price. This emphasizes the importance of a good search functionality focused on providing relevant search results rather than just price competition.

Since Elastic allows tuning the order of results, for example, the ranking of results can be based on reviews.


Measure and know

Elastic provides numerous statistics that offer insights into how users search, what they are searching for, and whether they are truly finding what they need.

Here are a few examples:

  • Statistics show the words that are searched for but have no available results. This can be solved, for example, by setting a synonym or providing additional content.
  • Statistics show the words that are searched for and then which pages are clicked on and how long users stay on those pages. This provides insight into the relevance of the results and whether you need to improve the ranking of the results.
  • Suppose search statistics indicate that there is a high demand for a specific type of smartphone that is not yet released. In that case, you could launch a pre-registration to capture all this potential revenue.

*Wakefield research paper

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