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Advanced e-Commerce Search Secrets to help Brands Win from the Start of the Shopper Journey

How beauty products leader L'Oréal transformed it’s content creation process to drive online store search improvement.

Last week we held the third in our ongoing series of eStoreAcademy Webinars. The learning community was established to help brands navigate the rapidly changing online retail landscape as the Covid-19 crisis accelerates e-commerce growth globally. The free webinars, which are led by research experts, analysts, and brand e-commerce leaders provide real-world examples of best practice to broaden your team's knowledge, and prepare your organization for the next phase of post-pandemic e-commerce.

The most recent session covered the all-important subject of Advanced Search Techniques, with advice from Klaudia Ochocka, Digital Project Manager, L'Oréal LUXE, Mark Rogers, Senior Manager Product Management, Oracle Data Cloud, and Patryk Lesniarek Head of Business Development at eStoreMedia’s hybrid e-commerce agency, eStoreLabs .

They generously shared their experience, and tips on how to optimize online store search performance, including content and search keyword optimization, and extracting search insights from voice, video and images.

Winning from the Beginning

I opened the session with a brief analysis of how the pandemic has affected different categories over recent months. I wanted to set the scene, with some background on how online consumption has rapidly evolved this year, and reiterate the importance of online store search

As the e-commerce channel grows, online stores have become the platform of choice for consumers. Free text search, and the search results page have replaced shelf placement as the first opportunity for consumers find out about, experience, and purchase products.

We can’t underestimate the importance of delivering optimum search performance across online stores.

The difference between effective and second-rate search performance is stark. According to research carried out by Nielsen, brands can achieve up to 84% uplift in sales potential if a product moves a single place from top of the second page of search results to the bottom of the first page. Moving to the middle of the first page will give your product 100% upsell, while if you manage to land the top spot of the first page you are looking at more than 150% upsell.

We also carried out our own research, analyzing listings across 16 categories in Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, to determine exactly what drives search performance, including keyword selection, keyword density in bullets and titles, price and promotion, images, and ratings and reviews. We’ll publish the full results here in the coming weeks, but you can hear the overview I presented in the webinar recording.

We can’t underestimate the importance of delivering optimum search performance across online stores. However, as our own analysis and experience shows, search and keyword optimization is a complex task that requires a holistic approach with ongoing monitoring, taking local consumer behavior and the diverse nature of online store search algorithms into account.

Content Optimization for Search

L'Oréal’s Klaudia Ochocka and eStoreLabs’ Patryk Lesniarek illustrated the importance of targeted content optimization, and its role in boosting e-commerce search. Before L'Oréal underwent what Klaudia described as a content revolution in 2019, brand product managers - with little or no e-commerce experience or knowledge - were responsible for e-retailer product information content. There was no focus on keywords or search optimization. “We needed a change of mindset and methodology. We had to understand that if the algorithm could not see the product, trust me, the customer couldn’t either,” she said.

In-depth analysis carried out by eStoreLabs for L'Oréal identified critical problems with poor search rank performance across three online retail platforms in Poland, where key competitors had routinely outperformed the beauty brand. “In many online retailers L’Oréal products achieved less than their expected fair share of Search”, explained Patryk.

Challenging Year

The solution implemented by eStoreLabs and L'Oréal was designed to deliver significantly improved search results across the online retail platforms. It involved creating new search-optimized content from scratch, with titles, bullet-points, product descriptions, search terms, and copy length, all adapted for each of the retailers.

In 2019 L'Oréal radically transformed its e-commerce content strategy with the help of eStoreLabs. 

Twenty nineteen was a challenging and rewarding year according to Klaudia. She explained how the beauty brand rapidly transformed from having no coherent content strategy, multiple content sources and manual processes, to where it is today, with unified content guidelines, process automation and, monitoring and performance checks.

The ongoing program delivered positive search improvements within six months, including some products jumping 12 places, from 15th to 3rd position, on search results pages.

Beyond Text Search

The webinar concluded with an interesting contribution from Oracle’s Mark Rogers. Mark, who was an early member of the Amazon Anywhere team and co-founder of BBC Online, spoke about voice, image and video search, and their likely impact on the future of e-commerce.

Mark said voice search still has some way to go before it’s widely used for consumer goods e-commerce transactions. “There are only certain circumstances where you’d want to use voice for search,” he explained. On the other hand he illustrated how image and video search both offer potential, and should be included in any brands’ e-commerce strategy, especially video "for building awareness at the top of the sales funnel".

Catch up with the full recording here.

Register with eStoreAcademy to ensure you don’t miss any of the upcoming webinars, including “Building Engagement, Trust and a Great Online Shopping Experience” on July 23rd, with guest speakers Mark Boston, Global Ecommerce Lead, LEGO Group and Ewa Wysocka, Founder & CEO, Tribe 47.

We’d like to thank all our contributors, especially Klaudia Ochocka, from L'Oréal LUXE, Oracle’s Mark Rogers and our moderator, Marc Baker, of Tyde.

Register now