How to sell on zero-result pages: a complete guide
Even the best site optimization won't guarantee that a search query will produce results. If customers see a zero-result response, they might be tempted to leave empty-handed and go to competitors. Therefore, your main task is to design a “nothing found" page in such a way that you can keep customers' interest.
Over 68% of sites have a “no results" page that doesn't prompt customers to stay on the site. Many of these pages only show a general list of search tips. This is a missed opportunity.
The correct presentation of a zero-results page will help you get ahead of competitors and keep customers from leaving your site. These customers are a potential source of untapped revenue.
Many sites choose two ways to design these types of pages: leave them empty or, at best, display random recommendations for purchase. The chances of getting customers interested that way are minimal. Plus, people have already had an unpleasant experience and might not want to spend more of their personal time on your site. You need to make it easy to find an alternative. Customers want the search process to be as simple and effective as possible.
Offer customers a product that will soon appear in stock
If a product is not available, but will appear in the future, don't rush to give zero results. Set the status as pending. Let the customer place an order for the desired product. However, be sure to specify how long the customer will need to wait for it. If alternative products are already for sale, then customers will have more options and a wider selection.
Apologize to users and motivate them to continue browsing your site
You shouldn't immediately scare off customers with the phrase “Nothing was found." It's better to offer a short message in the form of an apology for the inconvenience. But don't stop there—offer several similar products that are suitable as an alternative.
Only show personalized products
Let's imagine a situation. A customer is looking for a product on your site and doesn't find it, but they repeatedly add other products to the basket or a comparison page. Why don't you present similar personalized products on the zero-results page? Show customers that you see what they're interested in and that you can make individual recommendations.
Invite customers to a different page
Your main task is to prevent customers from leaving your site. Direct them to the pages that will allow them to enjoy interacting with the store and make a purchase. A page with zero outputs can lead to the main page, new products, promotions, product categories, etc.
Place popular products in a visible place
Remember that the block with zero search results can still be useful. Don't put all your hopes on it, but don't miss the opportunity to show an assortment of popular products. Highlight the products that, according to your analytics, customers choose most often. Perhaps this will push other customers to buy, even if they weren't previously interested in those products.
The biggest search errors on most sites
The search tool on your website should be simple and in a prominent place. Moreover, it should give accurate results for queries and search terms. The following common errors can make it difficult for customers to navigate your site:
- Synonym search is not configured. For example, a person writes “blazer" in the search bar, but they really mean a jacket. They just made a mistake and saw that there is no such product on your site. If the “search for synonyms" function is configured, the site will still show the entire range of jackets, and the customer will make a purchase.
- The search system can't recognize errors, typos, or voice queries. People can make harmless mistakes by typing their query into the search bar. If you install a search tool that can understand queries with typos or made by voice, then you can increase the number of search results by as much as 15%.
- There is no transliteration function on your site. Search engines may not understand customer inputs if their keyboard layout is incorrect. It happens. You just forgot to switch the language and write a request. It's always unpleasant when you need to rewrite the request. If there is a transliteration function on your site, the search tool will still return relevant results.
Using our intelligent search engine, Evinent Search, helps you avoid these common mistakes. The Evinent search engine has a lot of practical functions that are based on real consumer behaviors. The statistics panel and associated analytics will allow you to evaluate data on zero-results searches and understand what customers are searching for. Start for free and evaluate the capabilities of the Evinent Search system yourself.