Google recently launched a “search as you type” pilot program for online merchants. Similar to the searching mechanism utilized by the Google website, relevant results are displayed as a customer types in what they are looking for. Watch the video below for an explanation of the program.
So far, Hasbro and Lowe’s are utilizing the search as you type program. The feature is free for the first 25 million searches annually, and then licensing fees are acquired after. Although the program has not taken off and is not being used by many brands, it will most likely lead to big (and profitable) changes in online commerce and web interfaces.
The search as you type feature will give a commerce website more organization and cohesiveness. Instead of sifting through broad categories of product, consumers will find what they are looking for as soon as they begin typing. No more clicking through pages of irrelevant product. Even if a website is not neatly organized, this feature will hopefully make the site seem well planned and laid out.
Not only will the Google feature provide better organization, it also will hopefully boost online sales. Customers will find what they want quickly, leaving no room to question whether the purchase is necessary or not. Also, possible links to related or accessory items at the bottom of the search results could maximize the shopping experience and ultimately lead to an extra item or two added to the shopping cart.
No one enjoys haphazardly sifting through a website for a product—consumers want the shopping experience to be easy and quick. This feature will undoubtedly satisfy the customers’ needs and hopefully will yield a high return rate.
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