Year in Review: The March Toward Mobile, and Focus on Usability

Posted by Thierry Costa, December 20th, 2011 at 12:08 am PST
Categories: Site Search | No Comments »

Since our last year in review, the march toward mobile has continued to revolutionize the way we look at site search and navigation. Of course, the spread of mobile devices, and consumers’ interest in browsing websites from wherever they happen to be, drove the other big trend in site search and navigation this year: continued focus on improving usability and streamlining the online shopping experience.

Site owners are constantly on the hunt for new ways to improve searching and browsing for products and content, in a bid to move the needle on conversions. This past year, we saw sites working harder to include social media content, such as Facebook posts and tweets, in search; adding related searches and “most recently searched” lists to their sites, making it easier for visitors to find relevant content and products; and integrating the online and offline shopping experience. For instance, multi-channel retailers have been getting smart about showing “where to buy” information in search results, so that site visitors can find products in stock nearby.

Here are other stories that made news in 2011:

As Holidays Approach, Fine-Tune Navigation for Conversion Boost: September 2011

From Multichannel Merchant: How to optimize navigation before the holiday rush begins.

Motorcycle Superstore’s site search drives up its conversion rates: July 2011

From Internet Retailer: how the motorcycle retailer uncovers keyword search terms.

B2B E-commerce: Revamped online branding and cross-linked site search drives 17% of B2B revenue: July 2011

From MarketingSherpa: how U.S. Toy Company solved online branding issues by cross-linking site searches.

5 Must-Have Features For Today’s Online Retail: March 2011

From Retail Touchpoints: meeting the needs of site visitors via site search.

These articles from our own newsletter “Telescope” proved popular with readers over the past year:

5 Quick Ideas for Holiday Merchandising in Search and Navigation

Even incremental changes to site search and navigation can encourage customers to spend more time on your site, which means greater potential for conversions.

Check out these last-minute merchandising ideas.

Use Site Search Data to Capture a Nice Conversion Lift from Search Engine Traffic

Here’s how to create a tailored product banner for people who land on your product pages from search engines.

Click here for more on search data banners.

The Must-Have Online Commerce Features for 2011 – and Beyond

How to make site search even better – for instance, by bringing ratings and reviews into site search.

Read more about “must-have” features for site search.

Here’s what our blog readers found most interesting in 2011:

Different prices in different countries: Adidas All Black jersey mess up

The “scandal” over New Zealand rugby jersey pricing – and why online retailers need to closely manage international pricing.

Find out more about global pricing issues.

4 Stages of a Great Shopping Experience

Guest blogger Steve Warren from Fifth Gear explains how to impress customers during every stage of the retail transaction.

Learn more about improving the quality of the transaction experience.

Top 10 2011 MCM Awards Puts Spotlight on Great Site Search & Navigation

The top 10 retail sites with the best search and navigation, according to Multichannel Merchant.

Read more about the winners.

Out of this year’s lineup of guests for our regular Ecommerce Podcast, here are the most popular interviews from the past year:

Tim Parry

Senior writer at Multichannel Merchant

Steve Groenier

Former VP of sales and marketing at

Matt Konkle

President of Fifth Gear

And finally, here are the most viewed among our “Site Search Video Tips” for the past 12 months:

Rich Auto Complete

How Rich Auto Complete improves the site search experience.

How to Get the Most from Site Search

Creating a user-friendly site search box.

Open Search

How Open Search allows your site visitors to search your site search from their browser’s search box.

Search Suggestions

The benefits of search suggestions for search, navigation, and product pages.

In 2012, we look forward to bringing you more useful tips and strategies on everything from merchandising products to weaving social media into the shopping experience. In next month’s newsletter, we’ll offer up our 2012 predictions for search and navigation trends, and how they’ll impact your business.


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