For large catalogs
If you offer a large variety of products, search is indispensable to delivering a good user experience.
The statistics are quite convincing as well:
- 43% of users immediately use the search box for navigation after landing on the homepage. The number is even higher for mobile users – 60% (according to Baymard Premium). Only 40% of them use the main navigation. Some instinctively tap on the search field even before the page could finish loading.
- Shoppers using search spend 2.6 times more money.
- People who use search are 200% more likely to convert compared to other visitors.
- 72% of sites fail to deliver on search expectations and 12% of your users will straight up dump you for the next guy if their search on your site is unsuccessful.
Due to all these reasons, delivering a good search experience is an absolute necessity. A prominent search box is an integral part of that. Many sites do this quite well. On a desktop, the search box can be flanked by other icons like the shopping cart but it should still take up a lot of space, at least ¾ of the available screen width from left to right. Keep the flanking icons to a minimum, no more than three.
In mobile design, the search box should ideally stretch across the entire width of the screen at the top. Also, don’t get fancy with the search box design. A plain rectangular box will do just fine. That’s what everyone is using. You can indicate it with a magnifying glass as is the norm or simply mark it with the word “Search”. The goal is to ensure your users spot it immediately when they access the site. Sticking to conventions will help you more in the pursuit of this end.