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Search as a Future of E-Commerce

How natural language processing can help improve conversion

search and e-commerce

E-Commerce has become the center of retail across the globe in recent years. Giants such as Amazon and Alibaba continue to dominate the online marketplace with new innovations and developments across all domains. We are often looking out for the latest trends in technology, and one such trend in e-commerce is search.

Over the last couple of years, e-commerce search has evolved dramatically moving on from a keyword-based approach to an intuitive natural language approach. At the center of it all is the user experience since adoption of newer technologies now yields accurate and reliable results.

Navigating the Site Structure: A Key Challenge

The massive variety of products available on e-commerce websites can often be complex to organize. Most websites use a hierarchical categorization approach with categories, subcategories, and so forth. For the customers, this can be frustrating since it can take ages to find the products they are looking for.

Statistics from Twiggle suggest that 57% of online users start their buying journey with navigation but when this strategy fails, they resort to the search option. On the contrary, the 43% who start their journey directly from search are often 2 to 3 times more likely to convert than users who start with navigation.

Even though users generally prefer navigation, you have more chances of making a purchase if you optimize your search tool. The question is: how do you go about optimizing search in e-commerce for better conversion?

Problems with Existing Search

Inaccurate and unreliable results. This is the crux of the problem with existing search tools in e-commerce that make use of a legacy keyword-based system. Due to the unnatural approach of search engines, customers often do not find the items that they are looking for.

This is very bad for business. Why? Because 37% of users get frustrated and leave your site when they cannot find something that they are looking for. For an online store with 1 active monthly million users, this equates to a loss of approximately 130,000 visitors each month!

Search is the future of e-commerce. But it should make it easier for customers to find your products. The aim should be to optimize search such that it always returns relevant results according to what the user wants rather than what the user types.

The Next Step Forward

For understanding how search should be like, we need to first think of how customers find products in physical retail stores. Browsing through products in a retail store is like navigating the site structure – it is simple and convenient when the number of items is limited.

However, often customers will ask a sales representative questions such as where are the dress shirts or where can I find blue trousers. Now, these are questions we naturally ask as customers and salesman can guide us to what we are looking for. How do we integrate this in online search?

Through the use of machine learning and natural language processing! To optimize search tools, we need to add contextual awareness to return accurate results that the customers want. If a visitor on your website phrases the query as a “black dress shirt” then legacy search engines will show information about black dresses, black shirts, and dress shirts altogether. This is because these search engines are not aware of what a dress shirt is and what the customer is looking for.

There are plenty of benefits of optimizing search – it is the upcoming trend and future of e-commerce. This is something that leaders in the e-commerce industry are extensively working on and it all boils down to the user experience. The aim should be to ensure that the user should be able to find exactly what they are looking for without much hassle.

A Startup Redefining Search for E-Commerce

Pakistanistores is a startup that provides a dedicated search engine for online shopping in Pakistan. The aim of the startup is to make the customer’s buying journey as simple and convenient as possible. The idea behind the startup is that rather than having to browse each individual website, you can find the products that you want in one single place.

On top of it all, Pakistanistores makes use of machine learning and natural language processing for optimizing search results for its users. For customers, it provides the perfect platform to find the right products at the right price in quick time. As a user, you can accurately and reliably browse through millions of products in a single place.

For online websites, it improves the visibility of products and enables them to reach out to wider audiences. By getting yourself listed on Pakistanistores (You can contact us through, online merchants can access a new medium for generating sales for your products.

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