How to Fix The "No Results" Page on Ecommerce Website with Searchanise

Powerful search engines such as Google or Amazon set user's search expectations very high, as with them, you'll hardly ever run into a "no results" page. Ecommerce businesses have to meet these high standards, too, if they want to provide a quality user experience. However, for an ecommerce store smaller than Amazon, it could be challenging to return product results to every users' search simply because there could be no such product in a catalog or the site search is not so all-mighty. Find out how to approach this problem and fix the "no results found" page on your ecommerce website.

Why "no results" pages are harmful to ecommerce

A "no results" page, also called zero results page, is a web page shown to a user when the search engine cannot find any relevant content in response to a search query.

In some cases, there are no relevant products or content on the website, but very often, this content does exist, but the search engine fails to find matches. Let's see what effect the "no results" page has on an ecommerce website.

Bad user experience

The "no results found" page can ruin UX as it can quickly become a dead-end for users. They may decide that your website does not have the products they are looking for. Only 20% of customers will refine their search input if they haven't found what they want from the first try. And as many as 21% of users would immediately abandon the website after an unsuccessful search. If they leave, it's hard to say if they will ever come back. After all, everyone wants to repeat a pleasant and successful shopping experience and rarely gives another try to an unsuccessful one.

Affected brand image

If the site search often returns a "no results" page or other search errors, it may harm the perception of a brand. Poor functioning site search creates an impression that the website provides a mediocre service quality in general compared to competitors. This has a negative impact on brand image and, as a result, affects conversion.

Missed sales opportunities

Poor user experience and damaged brand image may result in high bounce rates and conversion decrease, both caused by the "no results found" page. The research has proven that a frustrating search experience leads to an enormous churn and burnout level — to the tune of 68%. These are not just numbers; these are real customers who could have purchased from your website but left the website to find the product they need elsewhere.

Poor examples of "no results found" pages

There are several outdated approaches that do not work well for a "no results" page. Let's see what they are.

Error page

The worst idea is to ignore the problem, leaving users with "search error: no results" without providing a way out. Try to avoid a blank error page by all means.

A long list of search tips

Another ineffective practice is to include an endless list of search tips. There is a fair intent behind this approach, but tips are neither effective nor helpful in practice.

Imagine a user landing on a "no results" page with a list of tips, like in the picture below. They will most likely not want to waste time reading these tips. Even if the user is motivated enough to read the tips and think about how to refine the search input, they may still not know how to alter the search if, for example, they misspelled the word.

Therefore, search tips are better than nothing, but they put all the work on the users' shoulders, which is not user-friendly.
bad example of no results web page
"No results were found" page with a long list of tips
Source: https://baymard.com/blog/no-results-page

Mocking the user

Back in 2010, humorous images or text may have seemed a good tactic for the "no results found" page. But, in fact, inappropriate humor is annoying and does not make the frustrated user feel any better. See the picture below as an example of how not to approach the "no results" web page.
humor on "no results" page
"Your search returns no results" page with inappropriate humor
Source: https://designmodo.com/ux-no-results-pages/

How to approach "no results"

Now let's see the best practices when dealing with a "no results found" page. You can optimize your site search to avoid it or learn what you can do if there are no relevant products in the store.

Fix it

The easiest way to fix the "no results" page is to integrate Searchanise into your website. Searchanise is a professional search app with special tools and features that take users away from the "no results found" page. Some of them, such as autocomplete, auto-suggest, and typo correction, will automatically begin to work once you've installed an app. Others (synonyms and redirects), you may want to fine-tune to achieve the best results. Let's now see how these tools and features work.

Autocomplete and auto-suggest

Autocomplete and query suggestions show a list of search predictions and alternative queries from the first character users type in the search bar. This helps users to refine the search without visiting the search results page and explore other related products available on the website. See a gif below for a real user experience with autocomplete and auto-suggest features.
auto-suggest and autocomplete help to avoid "no results"
How the autocomplete and auto-suggest takes the user away from the "no search results" page

Typo correction

The search engine has to be typo-resistant as we, people, often misspell words. This is especially true for mobile users who have to type on a tiny display. So make sure that the site search can provide relevant search results, no matter what mistakes and typos users make, as Searchanise does. Best search engines can handle even heavily distorted words, like in the picture below: the user misspells "light", but the search offers relevant suggestions.
avoiding "no results found" page with auto-correct
How typo correction works

Synonyms

Another way to avoid the "no results" page is synonyms. Synonyms are a variety of ways customers may refer to the same products. For example, a customer looking for clothes may enter "trousers" in the search bar. And the site search will return "pants" on the product results page only if it supports synonyms.

Usually, the synonym library is added automatically, but you can always customize it like in the picture below, "tight pants," return "sports pants," and "running trousers" as a search result.
how synonyms help to fix "no results" page
Synonyms in work: search for "tight pants" returns "sports pants" and "running trousers"
You can customize synonyms via the app's admin panel in the tab "synonyms," as in the picture below. Or read more detailed instructions on the help portal.
setting up synonyms in search app
How to customize synonyms in Searchanise admin panel

Redirects

With the help of Searchanise, you can also redirect a customer searching for a particular product to a certain page. For example, you know that your catalog does not contain Nike trainers. And you would like to redirect customers searching for Nike to New Balance trainers instead of the "no results" page.

To add custom redirects, open Redirects in the admin panel tab, click the plus button and set up redirects. For more details, refer to the help portal.
adding redirects in Searchanise admin panel
How to set up redirects

What to do if you can't avoid "no results"

Even if you successfully implemented approaches from the previous section, the users may still run into a "no results" page if no relevant products are listed in the catalog. It's ok if your website doesn't have the product the customers are looking for. After all, even giants like Amazon might not always have what shoppers want. What is more, there are ways to replay the situation to your benefit. Let us show you how.

Use analytics to add demanded products to your catalog

The "no results found" page can become a source of useful business development insights. Searchanise collects and analyzes information on users' search inputs, what they find and what they don't find. Take a look at these analytical reports to discover customers' demands.

Let's say you run a store with farm products and learn from site search analytics that customers have been searching for strawberries and blueberries, as in the picture below. This is an excellent opportunity to add berries to the catalog and increase your sales.

There are other ways to benefit from search analytics, find out how from our blog article.
the use of search analytics for business development insights
Analytics shows what search queries end with "no results"

Add product recommendations

With Searchanise, you can also add product recommendations to the "no results" page. Yes, this won't help users find what they are looking for, but it is an effective way to point towards other website content and encourage them to continue surfing.
recommendations can be added to "no results found" page
Product recommendations on "no results" page
To add product recommendations, go to the Upsell & Cross-sell (Product recommendations) in the admin panel tab, click the plus button, and set them up.
how to set up product recommendations
How to add product recommendations

Customize the "no results" page

Last but not least, you can customize the look of your "no results found" page.

Let's say you cook custom chocolate, and the user doesn't find the flavor they want. In this case, you can leave a message motivating them to order the custom chocolate like in the picture.
custom "no results found" page
Customized "no results" page
Or, you can go a step further and add a contact form on the "no results" page like in the picture below. If you need help integrating the form, contact the Searchanise support team via feedback@searchanise.com, they will be happy to help.
adding a contact form for "no results found" page
Contact form on "no results" page

Key takeaways

  • The "no results" page is harmful to user experience and can negatively affect brand image, resulting in lower conversion

  • Don'ts when dealing with the "no results found" page: ignore the problem, include long search tips, use inappropriate humor

  • To fix "no results," install Searchanise, a search app that supports autocomplete & auto-suggest, typo correction, synonyms, and redirects

  • It's ok to admit that there are no relevant products on the website, as you can nevertheless improve the "no results" page by customizing it and adding product recommendations

  • Invest some time to fine-tune the search app to maximize the benefits that it can bring

  • Use site search analytics to see what customers demands are and use this information to can introduce new products to your catalog

To be able to use the top tools for fixing the "no results" page, install Searchanise. A professional search engine can be integrated into your website with one click. After that, you may want to play around with the settings, optimizing the site search as described in the article.

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Anastasiya Kupriyanova - Content creator
Anastasiya Kupriyanova
Anastasiya is a content creator at Searchanise. Her professional areas of interest are SaaS solutions and ecommerce. Anastasiya believes that quality content must be valuable for readers and achieve business goals. When she is not busy writing, which does not happen often, she reads passionately, both fiction and non-fiction literature.

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