Your website search is broken - Miros

Your website search is broken

How often do you click on the 2nd page of a Google search…?
Well, why do you keep making your customers do the same on your website?

What are you actually selling?

The way shopping is done online through website search hasn’t changed since the 90s. It was built to do two things:

 1. To sell books and spare computer parts

 2. To mimic the offline shopping experience

Soon after, fashion retailers started following the trend. As the first stores started opening online, retailers did exactly the same as bookstores: mimicked the offline and tried to sell books.

Not a typo. Fashion retailers have been selling clothes EXACTLY like they would sell books. And they’ve never stopped – which is why your average conversion is only 1-3%. Instead of 10-20%.

Why would you ever think that a person would want to buy something so emotional, so colorful and so visual like clothing – by explaining what they want in words?

Most people are struggling to express what they want for lunch. And here you are, forcing your shoppers to use their words to tell you what they are looking for. Doesn’t make much sense, right?!

The whole industry is in on it.

Now comes the biggest paradox of them all. Let’s say your shopper is looking for an evening dress. You made them express what they want in words, they managed to find a few words to describe their preferred dress for the evening, and your website search gives them these results:

Website Search

Really Harrods?! Two dresses?! Come on, It’s only an evening dress. What would happen if a customer tried to explain what they wanted in even more detail? 

So not only do retailers make their shoppers turn emotions into words (pretty close to impossible), but even when people do find a way to express themselves, they’re met with mediocre results at best.

Let’s see how Harrods’ long-standing rival Selfridges compares when I try to find a Christmas sweater.

Hard to even call this search mediocre with a straight face, when you get 6 Benetton hoodies instead of a selection of Christmas Sweaters.

Just to prove a point that this is a pain for customers globally, let’s test out how a US brand like Saks OFF 5th deals with expressions like: business casual.

I certainly wouldn’t buy a preschool playbook to wear to a company retreat. Saks OFF 5th, we both know you have a lot better business casual outfits than this.

However… This is not your fault as a retailer. You’re creating beautiful garments. You’re inspiring future generations. Leading the charge of this global cultural revolution with your unique pieces. You’re doing your job.

So who isn’t doing their job right?

Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the rise of global tech vendors in the product search and discovery space, like AlgoliaKlevuCoveo, just to name a few.

They all promise the same 3 things:

  • Unmatched personalization
  • The most relevant recommendations
  • And an out-of-this-world buying experience.

Sounds seductive. It’s almost exactly what every retailer needs. Yet the majority of global retailers still have a subpar buying experience. Most online stores still fail to provide an actual personalized experience. They still struggle to give their customers relevant recommendations tailored to each individual.

Even Algolia, probably the most advanced of the bunch, has recently announced the launch of their new Neural Search product line. The article explains in a very complicated manner, a very simple premise: we’ve figured out a new way to match what customers type in the search bar with labels tied to your products.

So once again, you have to ensure your products are properly labeled to let your technology do any work. How is this innovation? What happens when your product isn’t labeled with keywords like “elegant” or “Christmas”?

Your tech partners are still making you sell your beautifully designed products as if you were selling books. Nothing against books, but they’re so much more simple to explain with words. Visual products are not.

Whether your customer needs a business casual outfit for an upcoming conference, whether they’re looking for a Christmas gift for a friend, or there’s a romantic date coming up that they need an elegant evening dress for – it’s your responsibility as a retailer to give them the best possible options, in the least amount of time, using the most convenient method of searching visual products. One idea is to actually read their minds. Since that’s a pretty far-fetched idea, let’s explore the second best thing.

Wordless Search

Providing a world-class shopping experience has been staring you right in the face for years now.

Where do people spend the majority of their free time? Hint – it’s not your website.

It’s on social media. Whether we’re talking about the older ones like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest or the newcomers like TikTok or YouTube shorts, they’re spending countless hours daily, finding inspiration, entertainment, and relatable content, to no end. 

Now imagine what this experience might look like on your website. Someone lands there and starts browsing your dress category. The more they scroll, the more relevant items the algorithm puts in front of them. Now they click on a garment they especially like. In addition to regular product page content, like exploring sizes and colors, they’re presented with the option to find similar styles. Once they click on “Find similar styles”, they’re catapulted back into the immersive experience of browsing highly relevant items – that they’re actually looking for. Just browse and click.

This technology exists, and it’s called Wordless Search. Some of our users have described the experience as: “It feels like it’s reading my mind.” The AI perfectly understands the browsing behavior and reads the shopper’s intent. With every scroll and every click, the shopper is closer and closer to the exact image they have in their mind. On average it takes 30 to 60 seconds for a user to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Can your online store help your customers find what they’re looking for in less than 60 seconds? Can you make sure your shoppers never have to click page number 2 on your product listing? 

Next time you look at your weekly engagement metrics and conversions, remember that an average Tiktok user consumes 52 minutes of content daily – and leaves the platform not because they want to but because they have to. 

Remember it and ask yourself what would happen if this was your website’s statistics. What would your business look like if you were using Wordless Search?!

Wordless Search

What is it?

Just like the name suggests:

Search without using a single word.

Buying visually complex items like fashion, clothes, footwear, furniture, art, design pieces, decor… is a function of style and beauty, not features. So why do we keep making our shoppers buy these like they’re buying a book or a laptop?

Wordless Search is an AI technology that relies on shopper behavior. It recognizes browsing patterns based on which it mirrors the buying intent your shopper has, without them having to input a single word. It gives off the impression that their minds are being read.

Book a demo

Learn about Wordless Search

Give your shoppers the experience they were always willing to pay a premium for. Book a demo to see how.