On-site search tends to get overlooked when marketers beef up their online merchandising efforts. That’s a shame, because on-site (or internal site) search offers a great opportunity to optimize the website experience for visitors by helping them quickly find the products they want.

wtw_visual searchA few big challenges visitors typically face when using traditional text-based on-site search:

Having to scan product names that don’t differentiate the items

Getting no results if the text entered doesn’t find an exact match

Having to type full queries and wait for a results page to load

To return a more relevant, easy-to-use set of search results for its visitors, a retailer decided to test Monetate’s Visual Search solution against its text-based search tool. Providing type-ahead results, as well as image thumbnails for products included in the search results drop-down menu, seemed like a can’t-miss approach—but the retailer needed to know for sure.

And it got a conclusive answer. Visitors responded in favor of the Visual Search option, leading to an 8.84% lift in conversion and a sizable 25.58% improvement in average order value.