Beyond Search Results: Why E-commerce Searchandizing Matters

22 May 2024
Posted by Imran Choudhary
Why E-commerce Searchandizing Matters

The significance of search extends beyond merely retrieving search results. Today, it serves as a strategic tool that goes beyond providing relevant products to shoppers.

While ensuring relevant results remains crucial—given that 68% of shoppers choose their preferred online retailer based on the quality of their search interactions (CI&T Connected Retail Consumer Survey, Oct 2023)—we sometimes become overly fixated on relevance, overlooking the art of merchandising the search results according to trading priorities. Searchandizing, though a longstanding term, still feels like an overlooked art form among many online retailers, often due to a lack of understanding, strategy, or tools to implement it effectively. Yet, unlocking its potential can yield a plethora of benefits for merchandising teams.

The Evolution of E-commerce Search

Traditionally, e-commerce search was about retrieving results based on user queries. However, the landscape has evolved. Modern consumers expect more than just a list of products; they seek personalized experiences, intuitive navigation, and seamless discovery journeys. Nevertheless, as online retailers, we face challenges in providing such experiences. According to our recent State of Product Discovery report, 36% of merchants cite the volume of products as one of the greatest challenges to driving good product discovery experiences that convert for them while providing excellent buyer journeys for shoppers.

For example, a search for a men’s white t-shirt on some online stores could yield over 1000 products, overwhelming the shopper and presenting challenges for merchandisers aiming to drive conversions and improve stock turnover. While cutting product volume might not be feasible, we're witnessing refinement, which is beneficial for everyone. Could searchandizing help address both the merchant and shopper challenges of managing product volume, enhancing shopper experience, and meeting trading KPIs more effectively?

What is Searchandizing?

Searchandizing blends merchandising tactics with search functionalities to deliver tailored merchandising assortments that engage shoppers better and drive improved KPIs for e-commerce teams, such as click-through or conversion rates.

For instance, instead of solely providing search results based on relevance, searchandizing prioritizes assortments based on specific data points and strategies. One common strategy is 'new in,' which prioritizes not only the date a product was added but also factors like inventory, sizing spread, and trending data. Promoting new products with low inventory or limited sizes is not effective use of prime real estate on the results page.

3 Reasons To Prioritize Searchandizing

1. Personalization: Searchandizing allows merchandisers to personalize search results based on user preferences, behavior, and demographic data. For example, in the white t-shirt search, preferred brands, fit, and pricing preferences can be boosted to the top, aligning the results with individual shopper preferences, thereby enhancing the buying journey and conversion rates.

2. Improved Discoverability: By employing intelligent merchandising tactics, e-commerce platforms can showcase trending products, seasonal promotions, and related items, enhancing product discoverability and cross-selling opportunities. Visual merchandising, such as organizing search results by color for items like summer dresses, can significantly enhance the shopper's experience.

3. Improved Business KPIs: Effective searchandizing strategies can significantly impact business KPIs and conversion rates by guiding users toward relevant products and incentivizing purchase decisions. Merchandisers can adjust assortments based on regional sensitivities to price, thereby driving engagement and successful trading.

Benefits for Merchandisers

1. Data-Driven Insights: Searchandizing provides valuable insights into customer behavior, search trends, and product performance, enabling merchandisers to refine their strategies and optimize product offerings.

2. Flexible Merchandising Controls: E-commerce tech stacks with robust searchandizing capabilities offer merchandisers greater control over product placement, promotions, and merchandising rules, allowing for real-time adjustments to market trends and seasonal demands.

3. Continuous Optimization: Searchandizing is an iterative process that requires ongoing monitoring, testing, and optimization. Merchandisers can leverage A/B testing, performance analytics, and user feedback to fine-tune strategies over time, aided by AI-driven insights.


In the digital age of e-commerce, searchandizing has emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing the search experience, driving engagement, and maximizing sales potential. By combining advanced search functionalities with strategic merchandising tactics, e-commerce platforms can create personalized, immersive, and conversion-driven experiences that delight customers and differentiate their brand in a competitive market landscape.

As the e-commerce ecosystem continues to evolve, embracing searchandizing as a core component of the merchandising strategy is crucial. Crownpeak offers a suite of product discovery capabilities and the expertise to help e-commerce teams succeed in leveraging searchandizing effectively, addressing the gap between existing tools and business needs.

*Source: LBR State of Product Discovery Report

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