Ecommerce Design / Ecommerce Expertise / How To Sell Online

3 On-Site Search Add-ons Proven to Increase Conversions and Average Order Value

/ 3 min read

It’s becoming more and more essential that all ecommerce businesses, regardless of size, implement sophisticated on-site search technology to help their shoppers find the items they want as quickly and conveniently as possible. This is due to a shift in consumer shopping habits, by which internet users have become accustomed to functional faceted searches, such as those available on sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and more.

Unfortunately, many online retailers outside of the big name brands aren’t utilizing on-site search –– at all. Here’s a quick look at the statistics:

In all, on-site search is a key contributor to the success of almost any ecommerce business, but it is often an underrated element of site optimization. On-site search, if done well, can lead to higher conversions and increased average order value for any online retailer.

Why is that? Well, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they are likely to be searching for the exact product they intend to buy. In other words, shoppers utilizing your on-site search are further down your conversion funnel than those users simply browsing your site. Since these shoppers are at an advanced stage of the buying process, ensuring that your search feature helps them find the products they are searching for should be a high priority.

Here are a few best practices and must-have features to think through as you revisit your on-site search strategy. Be sure to not neglect add-on technologies that enable you to implement powerful merchandising techniques proven to boost revenue and profitability. In other words, you don’t have to build this from the ground up. The search integrations you use should be fully capable of implementing these from the get go.

Rich Autocomplete

Chuck Levins Autocomplete

Chuck Levins

What if you could suggest products to a visitor before they misspelled a word – while they were still typing out their search query? Rich autocomplete, also known as autosuggest or predictive search, is an on-site search functionality that does just that, allowing retailers to guide their customers to matching products as they type.

Rich autocomplete significantly enhances the shopping experience on your site, helps your customers save time and helps eliminate spelling errors.

Today’s advanced autocomplete technology takes this several steps further, providing retailers with a range of merchandising opportunities right in the search box, such as:

  • Including thumbnail images, prices, ratings and other relevant information with the product matches encouraging shoppers to skip the search results page and navigate directly to the product they desire
  • Banners used to display special offers and promotions
  • Displaying the most popular products high in the results to drive increased conversions
  • A list of popular searches displayed saving time and eliminating spelling errors and confusion over the terminology used on your site

“Autocomplete is the best way to display search results to ready-to-buy customers,”  says Ryan Urban, Director of Acquisition for online store Brickhouse Security.

Keyword-Triggered Banners

What if you could choose which banner to display to each shopper based on their search query? Keyword-triggered banners give you this power.

International Trumpet Guild

International Trumpet Guild

Well-targeted, keyword-triggered banners are a simple way of ensuring customers are engaged and visually stimulated with your site on a personalized level. Your site search analytics can give you a wealth of data around which banners to create to generate successful campaigns.

Here are some examples of how successful retailers have used them:

  • To promote a specific brand
  • To display a special holiday promotion
  • To cross-sell or up-sell
  • To offer discounts or free shipping to certain types of shoppers

ProStock Hockey


When clicked on, banners can also direct shoppers to highly targeted landing pages, like the example above. These pages might include all products from a specific manufacturer, a group of products related to a holiday or seasonal theme, or anything else that makes sense for your store.

Product Highlighting


Casino Supply

Badges, or product highlights, are used on the search results page to draw the shopper’s attention to an exciting subset of the search results. Traditionally organized in a grid format, search results pages can be overwhelming, especially if your store has a large catalog or if the customer has entered a non-specific search term that has returned dozens (or hundreds!) of results. Product highlights, in conjunction with techniques such as dynamic filtering, can help the shopper quickly make sense of their options.

By highlighting certain products with visual badges, such as “new,” “on sale” or “online exclusive,” shoppers who are concerned with those attributes are given powerful guidance toward completing their purchase.


When upgrading the search functionality on your site, don’t overlook the powerful merchandising opportunities presented by technologies such as rich autocomplete, keyword-triggered banners and product highlighting. They enhance the shopping experience for shoppers who are highly likely to convert, and can thus increase your revenue through higher conversion rates and average order value.

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Leave a Comment
  • Nikita Koval

    We’d love to cease this opportunity and discuss a content partnership. Could you provide us with your contact details?

  • Thanks for the info, Nikita! You’re right, navigation is incredibly important. A failed navigation is often the cause of someone even needing to use a search bar (that, or they know *exactly* what they want). I’d love to hear more from Orbit Lift in terms of what y’all’ve found and seen. There may even be an opportunity for a content partnership :)

  • Nikita Koval

    Good job! But in the majority of industries, a well-setup navigation generates at
    least 60% of total revenue (Fashion e-retail), while searches account
    for more than 65% (Media e-retail). Private recommendations and comments
    in the product section can increase revenue by up to 10% as well. You
    can imagine that just a 10% increase in conversion rates related to
    search on-site performance will bring in millions of extra revenue.

    You can have a look at this article that explains this in more detail

  • hope this works for my site also

  • Hey Rahul! You can contact Bigcommerce support to get some help. We have payment gateways available, but they’ll need to help you set it up. You can contact them here: They are available 24/7 :)

  • Thanks for your prompt response Tracey
    Do you know if all the examples are using Nextopia (including the “Chuck Levins” store)

  • Fair enough, Adam :) All of the above is feasible on Bigcommerce via our partner (and author of the post) Nextopia. You can find the integration here:

  • Hi Thanks for the write up would be great if you actually mentioned how the above is feasible within bigcommerce.

  • BusToolsStore

    which of these recommended features are available on the standard site search available on big commerce?


    my email id is contact me urgently if you able to get any option to add Indian payment gateway


    hi, i am from India interested to launch a E commerce portal with Big Commerce but only stuck in payment gateway option we need option to plugin in Indian payment gateway

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