Home Bar Classics: How Searchanise helps a starting business to grow and keep up with the changing market

We have something from our clients experience to share with you again! Guys from Home Bar Classics take care of the comfort in your home by offering home bar furnishings and décor.

There are only four people in the project at the moment but they already managed to carve out a solid niche and are constantly working on improving their service. And, as the project owner Maxim Nekhoda stated, Searchanise is one of the key tools that they rely on.

We were happy to have a talk with Maxim and know more about Home Bar Classics way to success from the very start of the business.

home bar classics home Choosing Ecommerce

We were looking for a way to prove the market before making a major investment in inventory and physical assets. During our research we came across fulfillment by drop shipping as a business model and decided to experiment with the idea.

We quickly realized the scalability potential of e-shopping versus traditional retail and began to optimize and expand our initial experiment.
Today we conduct all of our sales online and are striving to expand our market share. Our store is doing great! We’ve successfully established a strong product base and are working to expand our inventory and reach.

We want to make sure that our growth is sustainable and that we do not sacrifice quality or customer care for the sake of rapid expansion.
The biggest struggle

Our biggest struggle is keeping up with changing technology and shifting markets. The platforms we use are very flexible which demands constant attention and tweaking.

There is no such thing as “build it and forget it”.
We’re always experimenting with new automation software, better marketing strategies and improved web functionality. We do our best to stay ahead of the curve, which is difficult when the target is always moving. Our greatest allies are smart automation apps which are well maintained by the developers to keep up with the changing tech. home bar classics searchanise Impact from using Searchanise

We began experimenting with enhanced search plugins shortly after implementing collection filers in our onsite store. A major influx in product tags proved too much for our existing search function, causing slow search responses and poor user experience.

The Smart Search & Instant Search app proved to be the best solution to our problem by far. Our website response time improved dramatically, searches became much more detailed and relevant, and we saw an increase in sales.
We tried a number of other search apps before settling on Smart Search & Instant Search, and were severely disappointed by the alternatives. We can state with confidence that this is the best enhanced search solution on the market. The difference in quality is nothing short of remarkable. home bar classics searchanise Conversion changes

At the moment we average between 2 and 3 sales per day. There are of course some fluctuations with this metric. Conversions from direct searches make up approximately 15% of all our sales.

Prior to implementing the Smart Search & Instant Search plugin we did not make a single conversion from our existing search function.
I personally believe that displaying the sale price in the instant search results lead the improved conversion rate. Thanks to Smart Search our promotional pricing is much more visible. The search results page is also much better presented, improving the overall aesthetic of our store. We absolutely love it.

Favourite Searchanise features

Our favorite feature by far is the instant search widget. Displaying real time search results dramatically improved our ability to connect our customers with the right product. ho,e bar classics searchanise Synonyms is another function which we believe to be absolutely essential. As smart as the app may be, there is no substitution for human analysis and nuance. Having the ability to cross-map related words is incredibly powerful, and gives us unparalleled control in helping our products get discovered.

Other conversion tools Home Bar Classics likes

In addition to Smart Search & Instant Search we also use conversion tools offered by the Zotabox app series. Zotabox allows us to set expiring coupon codes and announce flash sales in a persistent top banner on our website. We also have the option to include a countdown timer for all limited time offers to incentivize faster conversions.

Other useful apps we use include Consistent Cart, Privy + MailChimp, Product Reviews, Product Question & Answers and Compass. Additionally we run several automation apps to help us sync inventory and update advertising campaigns.

Plans for the future

Our business plans are currently focused on growth. We spent a lot of time developing our core platform to easily accommodate volume and scalability.

Thanks in part to Smart Search & Instant Search we can now focus on expanding our inventory and growing our business without worrying about our website keeping up with the growth. We’ve worked hard to create as much breathing room as we can, and will be taking full advantage of this aspect in the coming months.

Message to Searchanise audience

If you’re looking for an excellent long-term search solution that scales with your inventory and your site, give Smart Search & Instant Search a try. We’ve closely evaluated many alternatives, and are yet to find a better fit.

From integration, to functionality, to aesthetics, to pricing Smart Search is a winner hands down. It is always much easier to start with a quality product than rebuild later down the line.

Feel free to share your feedback on Home Bar Classics experience and tips! And if you have your own story to tell, we’ll be happy to hear it.

Want more? Have a look at Pixel Empire, Zoobgear and Active in Style stories.

How Pixel Empire increased conversion and loading speed with Searchanise

You’ve already seen the articles on how our Zoobgear and Active in Style clients increased conversion with Searchanise. It could come to your mind that our app works well only for sport shops. The next case will make contrast with this amusing coincidence.

Here comes an example of Searchanise in a creative industry. Dylan from Pixel Empire shared with us his success story, promotion ideas and his experience with Searchanise. It was a pleasure to have a talk with him.

Video Game slidesow

Dylan, how did you come up with the idea of the e-shop?

I originally was the owner of a humble little Etsy store. I sold various art prints that I created in Photoshop and printed each design myself out of my college’s printer.

After my business grew beyond the scope of Etsy I decided to migrate to Shopify where I quickly found that running a professional looking website was far easier than expected.

After figuring out the distribution side of things I quickly expanded my site to sell designs from artists all over the world. And thus, the Pixel Empire was born.

How is your store doing right now?

‌My store is doing better than ever and is projected to do extremely well this holiday season.

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How many people are involved into the project?

Technically it is still a one-man operation run by yours truly. If there is an obstacle I can’t overcome or do not have time for I hire freelancers to do so. I have dropship companies handle each order so I don’t consider their team as my own, though I definitely couldn’t run without them.

Since its inception, I have been a part of every responsibility needed to run the company until I have expanded to the point where I can find freelancers to do the job.

Who are your most loyal customers at the moment?

My most loyal customer base is definitely the gaming community. I believe my success with this demographic stems from myself being a huge gamer and nerd.

Because I am the target audience, I understand what they want.

Statistically, my largest recurring customers are male, age 18-26.

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Was it always a success or did you struggle for it?

I definitely have had varying success since I’ve started. But luckily, due to my nice margins and the fact that I don’t have inventory, I have always been profitable.

How has the new search affected the business?

A new powerful search bar is definitely a game changer.

When I look back at the statistics for the default Shopify search results from the holiday season 2016, I see so many missed opportunities for conversions. The default search bar was terribly slow, didn’t have predictive search, or so many other features I have come to expect in a search bar since I installed Searchanise.

The analytics for the revenue generated from Searchanise results is staggering.

Screenshot (4)

Dylan kindly provided the data from Google Analytics on sales before and after using Searchanise.

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What other tools did you use?

I have dozens of other tools and apps that all work in unison to provide my customers with a frictionless conversion process. Apps that offer upsells at checkout, carousels that display ‘related items, new arrivals, also available as, etc’, follow up with a customer after their order is delivered requesting a review in exchange for discounts, and so many others.

However, based on 2016 holiday season I think Searchanise is going to be the most lucrative newcomer to my site for this holiday season (comment: we had a talk before the Black Friday).

Do you enjoy being a part of ecommerce industry?

Absolutely. I couldn’t imagine being in any other industry. Even if I create new companies that sell extremely different products, I know that ecommerce will play a pivotal role its success.

What is your biggest struggle? What does your store need the most?

My site’s biggest struggle is its speed. I think my biggest hindrance in a higher conversion rate is my collection page’s speed. At one point this year it was taking up to 12 seconds to load. It was a miracle customers were still purchasing from my site with speeds like that.

Luckily, Searchanise’s new feature (smart navigation) to implement into collection pages has been a literal game changer.

Screenshot (1)

Not only are the biggest collection pages averaging about 1.5 seconds to load, the filter system rivals that of industry-leading sites.

I can’t wait to see the results of this holiday season with Searchanise’s help.

Here are the screenshots Dylan provided us with after the holidays.

Conversion rates

Conversion rates

Page views

Page views

 

Any industry trends you can feel running an online store?

I’m just about to run an ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ sale. I feel like this is the most ‘trendy’ promotion that I plan on doing this year. It’s the first time I’ve offered it, but I have a great selection of designs that I think will stand out from the rest.

Thank you for this great conversation Dylan! Do you have a message to our audience?

If you want the fastest search bar on Shopify with the most features and the most accommodating customer support team, then look no further than Searchanise.

I have tried other Shopify Search apps but none compare to Searchanise.

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We are proud to receive such a positive feedback from a person who achieved success single-handedly, only by his own effort and enthusiasm. Isn’t this example inspiring for everyone who is afraid of starting their own business?

And he is not going to stop! As Dylan said, his plans for 2018 include quadrupling the number of artists that sell on the site. As he’s spent the majority of 2017 improving his website, he’s going to devote 2018 mainly to expanding.

We are happy to be a part of this success story. And the other ones too.

How Sport Equipment Store Increased Conversion by 45% on the Orders through Search.

“People open product page, look at it and leave website. Then they come back, and then leave the site again, and the purchase process takes some time. … The customers usually come 4 times in average before they complete a purchase, but sometimes it can get up to 20 times!”

This interesting information I learned from Eric, the owner of ZoobGear – boxing & MMA gear store store. And it all started with a thank you note saying that our service really increased conversion in Eric’s store. Searchanise boosted the overall conversion by 10%, and the conversion of purchases through search by 45%! I immediately gave a call and asked Eric how the improved search affected the store sales, and what other factors helped ZoobGear increase their conversion. ZoobGear.com | Professional MMA Gear 2017-05-03 14-11-53 Oleg: Hi Eric, please tell me about your store, and how the advanced search increased your conversion.

Eric: Hi, we sell boxing & MMA equipment. Basically, our orders are divided into 2 types. Basic orders (simple small stuff like boxing gloves) and bundles. Sometimes people use the search and sometimes not, but the average order size is very large. It’s about $400, and it what usually happens when people open a product page, look at it, and leave the website. Then they come back, and then leave the site again, and the purchase process takes some time. And what we’ve noticed when people come back to the site, they couldn’t find a product because the search wasn’t good enough. And we did everything to hide the search, especially on mobile. We wanted people to use the navigation because it was easier, and Shopify search wasn’t good enough. That’s the point, and once we started to use Searchanise app, our customers started to get directly to product pages and complete the orders that we tracked via Google Analytics and Hotjar.

Basically, we tracked every sale we have, and every customer session on the web site via Hotjar. The customers usually come 4 times in average before they complete a purchase, but sometimes it can get up to 20 times! All our products divided between light and heavy items (bundles for $400). For example, the product Title 4-Score Punching Bag Stand – Full With Bags is a bestseller, and people come back an average 16 times to buy it. The product itself is $350 and the shipping is an extra $100 what makes customers come and leave a lot before making a decision. And we also noticed that 90% of the audience search the products via the phone. Before that, they couldn’t find products and we lost a lot of sales. Buy Title 4-Score Punching Bag Stand - Full With Bags Online – ZoobGear 2017-05-05 11-31-45

In fact, we don’t use advanced features, just instant search and search page results. And it gave us awesome results! That’s the best thing the app did for us, and now we have it on mobile. We put it in the header, and people use it a lot!

We also advertise mostly on Google Shopping, and when people come directly to the product page, but then they go to the bestsellers because it costs a lot for them. They search for some other sites, and come a day or a week later, and they find a product and purchase it. These people usually use search for the most common products, the small products. For these customers conversion through search increased by 45%. TITLE 4-SCORE PUNCHING BAG STAND - FULL WITH BAGS - Google Search 2017-05-03 14-49-21

Oleg: What other things do you use to increase your conversion in general?

Eric: We use a lot of videos. When we added videos, things changed dramatically. People usually don’t have them on their websites, so it helps us a lot.

We also provide discounts. Sometimes people first search for the discount, and we give a 10% discount for the first order. Popups with discounts really work.

When people come to buy gloves and other things where people don’t familiar with the sizing, it’s very important to have a correct size list, especially with gloves, headgears and shin guards. It’s not a shirt, when you know your size—small, medium, large, etc. You need the exact sizing. So, we added that—things improved dramatically.

Basically we advertise mostly on two product pages through Google Shopping. It’s about 90% of our traffic, and we’ve just improved product page. Things dramatically changed.

We added Limespot recommendations. Now, there are two main ways to navigate on mobile through the site—via the search and via recommendations. People don’t want to use catalog navigation on mobile, it’s too long and too many clicks. So, Searchanise and Limespot for mobile.

We added the reviews system, and encourage our customers to leave reviews. Now, we have lots of reviews—over 1,000 reviews, and they help. People give their honest opinion on the product that also helps a lot. Bundles – ZoobGear 2017-05-03 14-24-24

Basically, we added all the information we needed. People usually ask about discount prices, about return policy, about security. We add all this information to the product page in a separate tab. You have product description, and then you have FAQ. All the information was added to the product page, because it’s the most important page for our customers. Buy Combat Sports MMA Gloves + Shin Guards Bundle Online – ZoobGear 2017-05-03 14-36-48

Oleg: Information about the store. How did you start to sell sport equipment?

Eric: Basically, we started a year and a half ago. We just contacted all major brands, and worked really hard on automation. To make things appear on the website automatically without manual work. We had lots of trouble with inventory updates, and we really try to automate everything. And now we sell more than 2,000 products from 100 brands. We work officially with Ringside, Combat sports, Title Boxing, Rival Boxing, UFC and others. All the major brands. Gloves | FREE Shipping @ ZoobGear.com 2017-05-03 14-17-32 Oleg: Thank you very much for your story! We’ll be waiting more information from you.

Eric also kindly provided the data from Google Analytics on sales before the introduction of Searchanise, and after it. zoobgear-search-usage-nov16-jan17 (1).PNG

Increasing conversion is a complex, and not always understandable task. ZoobGear tried many things: a list of sizes, a FAQ on the product page, reviews, recommendations and finally they added improved search. There is no single way to increase sales and conversion by the wave of the hand. Only a set of methods helps the store become successful.

P.S. Never forget about mobile users. Mobile purchases has reached 40% of all sales in the whole e-commerce. And as Eric said, it’s not convenient for customers to browse the catalog on the phone screen. Therefore, Searchanise search and Limespot recommendations will help you!

mail_preview Oleg Silakov
Product Manager at Smart Search & Instant Search
osilakov@searchanise.com