Which websites use site search effectively? Here’s 20 examples…

In this post, I’ll show a range of examples of site search from various ecommerce sites, inspired by this week’s #ecomchat discussion on Twitter. 

For the uninitiated, #ecomchat is a weekly Twitter chat hosted by ecommerce luminaries James Gurd and Dan Barker. If you haven’t followed it this far, it’s well worth joining in.

So, here are some suggestions of retailers and sites in general that use site search effectively. Some may have faults, but one or two notable features which are worthy of a mention.

So, here are 20 of the suggestions from the discussion. I’ve tried to credit people where possible…

Discogs.com

This and the next example were suggested by @AndrewDoesSEO and are both interesting choices.

I’m guessing that Andrew chose this for the excellent and very comprehensive filtering options, though the predictive search here is also very useful.

site search examples

MySpace

Yes, it still exists. This has excellent visual search suggestions which enable you to find related content and pages at a glance.

My Space site search

Dawson’s Music

This and the next four examples are from @kevsparks.

I like Dawson’s a lot. Great visual autocomplete when you begin to search:

dawsons ss

Excellent presentation of site search results too.

Dawsons ss 2

Swarovski

This ticks a lot of boxes. Good range of refinement options, elegant presentation of results, and this mouseover effect which shows a bigger image.

swarovski ss

Hobbycraft

Nice big site search box, visual cues on the autocomplete, and very specific product suggestions make this a great example.

Hobbycraft

Kurt Geiger

A well presented set of site search results from Kurt Geiger, along with good filtering and sorting options.

(The ‘Dizzy’ boots on the right are brown, if you’re wondering about the accuracy of the results).

KG ss

Obi.de

A comprehensive list of autocomplete suggestions here:

Obi site search

Fat Face

Suggested by @lakey, Fat Face presents its site search results well.

It also uses infinite scrolling so that users can see all the results without having to click on the next page.

Fat Face site search results

Wiggle

Wiggle’s site search uses autocomplete, and many searches will lead to categories like this, with buyer’s guides.

Wiggle site search

In addition, images are nice and big, while sorting options are comprehensive.

This, and the next two examples, were suggested by @dkoblintz, who works at Wiggle.

Waitrose

This is a great example thanks to its ‘jotter multi search’ feature, which allows shoppers to search for lots of items from their shopping list at once.

waitrose multi search

The results are then presented on one page so shoppers can work their way through the items and choose the variety or brand they prefer.

It’s an excellent idea, which removes a lot of the hard work from online grocery shopping.

Waitrose site searchchoo

Sweaty Betty

A good all-round site search function here, with autocomplete when you search, and attractive presentation of results.

There are plenty of ways to filter and sort results, as well as an alternative view and ‘buy now’ options when you mouse over on search results.

sweaty betty site search

AO.com

Suggested by @s1m0nc, AO.com gets a lot right online, and site search is no different.

There’s lots of detail within the search results to help persuade customers. Social proof in the form of reviews, key product features are listed, and the excellent delivery proposition is highlighted.

AO site search

Next

Suggested by James Gurd…

next site search filters

House Of Fraser

This always works well. The key here, for a department store retailer, is effective filtering of results as some searches can return hundreds of matches.

HOF

Kohl’s

Great use of autocomplete for merchandising here.

kohls autocomplete

Dune

Great use of autocomplete and well presented results with lots of detail. Dune does everything well here.

dune site search

Screwfix

This and B&Q were suggested by @robwatts.

This site stocks a lot of products for the trade, and so the site search needs to work well to be effective.

When customers are often in a hurry, saving them clicks and extra work is essential, which is where autocomplete suggestions like this can help.

screwfix nails

B&Q

B&Q’s site search is great visually, with accurate results and comprehensive product filters.

Note that it also shows non-product searches on a separate tab.

B&q

Amazon

Amazon had lots of mentions, both positive and negative, during the Twitter chat.

A lot of things it gets right, such as dealing with misspellings well, and having a large search box to accommodate lengthy product searches.

However, it does fall down a little when searches return lots of results. At this point it can be hard to use.

For example, this search for a macbook charger returns more than 27,000 results.

It’s very hard to narrow down the product selection to find the relevant results, so customers have to work very hard to find the correct charger.

amazon site search results

Lush

Lush presents its site search results differently. Product and non-product results are shown, the sizes are variable, and the filtering options are hidden.

However, the results are accurate, the images are great, and it works.

lush site search

Which sites have you seen with great site search? Which features do you find useful? Let me know below…

EcomChat is a weekly ecommerce discussion on Twitter covering a new topic each week, run by @jamesgurd and @danbarker. To find out more on the latest chats, head to ecomchat.com. 

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