How to Make Better “No Results” Pages for Your Ecommerce Store
Customers hate finding a "no results" page when they’re searching an ecommerce website. Sadly, 68% of sites leave their customers at a dead end in their shopping journey because their “"no results"” pages do not lead anywhere or offer any alternative solutions.Since only 2.17 percent of ecommerce visits convert into purchases, making the most of every visitor is crucial for success.
If you don’t want shoppers to abandon your site, then your "no results" pages should lead them somewhere better. In this article, we will show you:
- How "no results" pages can produce big results for your ecommerce store.
- Strategies to help you design better "no results" pages.
- Examples of "no results" pages that deliver more sales.
Let’s dive into how "no results" pages can become a positive part of your site visitors’ experiences.
“No Results” Pages Shouldn’t Be a Dead-End for Users
Your site search is probably going to fail to answer someone’s query at some point. This is a normal part of dealing with unique searches that don’t fully align with your product descriptions.
In fact, search support is so poor that 31% of all product-finding tasks ended in vain when users tried using search. And among the top 60 ecommerce sites, a whopping 70% of their search engines are unable to return relevant results for product type synonyms — requiring users to search using the exact same jargon as the site — while 34% of the sites don’t return useful results when users search for a model number or misspell just a single character in a product title.
When this happens, customers could do one of two things:
- Try to start a whole new search while thinking of ways to get better answers from your product catalog.
- Go to a different website to look for what they want there.
Obviously, neither of these are ideal for your business. Instead, the goal is to remove any friction within the shopping journey. Give customers ways to continue on your site.
Proven Strategies for Creating Better “No Results” Pages
Ultimately, “no results” pages can be a great way to add value along the customer journey. Similar to how TikTok enables infinite scroll, keeping users spellbound in the app, your “no results” page has the ability to spur a much more valuable touchpoint for your brand and the consumer alike.
Take Advantage of User-Generated Content (UGC) Galleries
Not only does showing UGC shared on social media or directly uploaded by your existing customers show your site visitors you’re celebrating your brand community, but it also serves as inspiration to help them find a product that might match their needs. Seeing real people using your product helps the shopper visualize themselves owning it, increasing purchase confidence.
The opportunities to showcase UGC are plenty, and adding a customizable inspiration gallery to your "no results" page is a great way to redirect the shopper back to product pages on your website. Pixlee allows ecommerce sites to create versatile galleries with shoppable Gallery Badges, allowing visitors to shop each product featured in a user’s individual piece of UGC.
Alo Yoga devotes sections and even entire landing pages on its site to shoppable UGC galleries that draws the site visitor back into the purchase funnel.
Incentivize your user to become a part of the community you’re proudly showcasing and drive engagement with high-quality media from your fans. Pixlee lets brands automatically collect, curate, and publish UGC on dedicated site pages within one easy-to-use platform.
Provide Options to Get to Know Your Customer
Use your no results page as a point to understand your site visitors better — what they’re looking for, why they’re on your site, etc. Here are some ways to start:
- Gather custom information on the customer, like linking to a design-your-own product page to understand what they want
- Link to a customer survey, giving them the opportunity to share more about themselves
- Provide a phone number for customers to ring for help.
Knockaround offers a design-your-own custom sunglasses option, and uses this as the first suggested result for search queries that don’t match a specific product. This gives the site visitor another route to try as they find exactly what they want, and helps you understand who your site visitors are.
Offer Similar Products Based On Data
Use any and all data you have to make a different offer to them. Their specific product might not be available, but you could sell one just like it.Here are a few ways to do this:
- The simplest way is to suggest broad matches based on the original search. Use some form of synonym matching to make this happen.
- Another approach is to deploy personalization data to offer suggestions. Personalized data could include their previously viewed items, customer information, or any data collected already about the customer.
- Finally, show relevant items popular with other shoppers. Display a few links to popular items on the site that may be relevant.
Lamps Plus takes responsibility for the dead end in its wording, and offers a chatbot or support number supplemented with suggested products for the user to browse.
Giving suggestions to the customer provides the impression that your ecommerce site has something to offer, even if it’s not the originally searched item.
Create a Customer Feedback Loop
Imagine your ecommerce website is a brick-and-mortar store. A customer walks in, glances around, looks at the shelves, and says, “Do you have any blue starfish coffee mugs?” No one answers. The customer leaves. How would you feel about this? You’d ideally have wanted to start a conversation with that customer; even if you don’t have exactly what they’re looking for, this is an opportunity to share what you do have to offer or learn how you can improve your product selection.
Your site search is the same. Don’t stop at a "no results" page. Instead, use engagement tactics to optimize for direct feedback or use the tactics listed already. Customer feedback at this point is valuable, and you can use your no results page as a place to start a dialogue with someone already visiting your site.
Here’s how to start a conversation with customers reaching a chokepoint on your site:
- Train and deploy a chatbot to handle common searches and requests.
- Offer easy access to Community Q&A sections on your product pages
- Add a phone number so the customer can call. This is even more crucial for specialty sites serving specific interests.
- Use a standard live chat to give customers another option.
- Let your customers leave a note or suggest a search result
Whatever you do, talk to your customers and make it clear you’re willing and able to help them find what they need. Never let your customer hit a wall.
Prevent No Results Pages with Better Site SearchIn a perfect world, the best way to deal with "no results" pages is to prevent them. While it may be impossible to eliminate this common problem entirely, there are ways to reduce the number of "no results" pages.
Here are ways to prevent "no results" pages:
- Update your product pages with the best categories, tags, and metadata you can to reduce the likelihood of missed matches.
- Add some kind of vocabulary control to your site search function so you can manually match common terms to products. You can also use this to match ‘incorrect’ terms to their correct products.
- Use predictive autocomplete search to detect the first few characters in a search query and suggest a completed search term. The autocomplete suggestions should, of course, match an item in your store.
- Don’t frustrate customers by pointing out spelling errors. Instead, use a spell checker to correct them automatically.
Puma’s site offers suggested products, searches, and categories immediately when the user starts typing, reducing the chance of a "no results" page due to a misspelling.
No matter how optimized your site’s search is, users will still land on your “no results'' page from time to time. Using the “no results” page as a valuable touchpoint for customers to engage with your brand and even build community will ultimately serve your brand well in the long run. With these tips, you’re armed and ready to create a "no results" page that works with the customer and keeps them interested in your website content.
Paige is the Head of Marketing at Prefixbox, a leading eCommerce site search solution. She’s an American who’s been living in Budapest since 2017 and loves giving #alwayslearning sessions to help people optimize their online stores.