Does anyone have success story with on site search in e-commerce field? I mean someone have achieved more then 25% of visitors actually use in site search instead of viewing all main categories?

I would like to know what is a best practice to move user towards on site search, and how can it be done.

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    Welcome to UX.se! As it stands, the question is quite broad to have a single correct answer. Also, please avoid asking questions which will have opinion based answers. – rk. Aug 31 '13 at 13:37
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    what's wrong with categories leading users in rather than search - isn't the customer and business goal for products to be found and bought? – Toni Leigh Sep 1 '13 at 17:58

The best way to move users towards search is to make it crux of your experience, à la Google. Another way is to simply be such a massive and varied retailer that search is the only useful way to get anything done, à la Amazon.

But if neither of these options are acceptable to you, then the question becomes: what do users need to accomplish what your site is there to do for them?

Most e-commerce sites are focused around some particular space of related goods (i.e. a brand), and so it makes sense for users to browse. Browsing can also be an effective way for users to find things similar to but not exactly what they thought they were looking for, but often what they actually are happiest finding. (I've seen this in user research I've done for e-commerce clients.)

To wit: assuming the search functionality is reasonably visible, people will only use it if they think it's the best way to find what they want. So if you want people to use it, you need to make it clear that it's the best way. You might show examples of useful searches, or you could even make your category pages simply execute searches to dump users into that experience as soon as possible.


Make the search field very large, and center it on the screen.

  • Why do you suggest this? Does this actually work or is this just a subjective opinion? Either way you need to provide more reasoning here, a one-line answer is not actually much use without reasoning and / or evidence. – JonW Sep 2 '13 at 9:02
  • @JonW It's just an idea. – stommestack Sep 2 '13 at 13:45
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    We appreciate ideas, that's no problem, but you need to say why you think this idea is appropriate. You may well be right and this could be an ideal solution, but without explaining the reasoning behind it then it's not really an answer to the question, it's just a brief comment. – JonW Sep 2 '13 at 13:52

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