User-friendly and visually appealing online search experiences helps increase conversion rates and improve customer engagement, according to a new study.

A study from SLI Systems of fashion, accessories and beauty retailers show their approach to site search, navigation, SEO, and merchandising are increasing their usability and customer engagement, which are key to delivering a more ‘high-touch’ digital experience.

Terry Costa, SLI Systems vice president of marketing, said fashion retailers strive to deliver a feature-rich web experience that replicates as much as possible the in-store shopping experience.

“Fashion, beauty and accessories retailers have been at the forefront of creating a feature-rich, high-touch shopping experience online, to emulate the in-store experience where customers can see products up close, touch them, and even try them on. When it comes to the web, if shoppers can’t get a good feel for a new dress or jacket they like, they’ll easily jump to another site,” he said.

“The way products are displayed and merchandised in site search plays an important role in the online experience, and the innovative approaches fashion brands have taken offer a great example for what other retailers can do on their own sites.”

For example features like quick view windows, mouse-over or clickable pop ups, rich colour swatches, rich auto complete and AJAX search are all being utilised by online retailers to offer a better online shopping user experience.

To see study in full, click here.