Testing A Persistent Search Bar on Mobile

By Luke Hardwick

April 29, 2020


On-site search is an important feature for any online business, and it is especially essential for mobile sites. With limited real estate for navigation or promotions, search plays an even bigger role in helping customers find what they need. One SiteSpect client, a large grocery chain in the UK, felt that their mobile on-site search wasn’t serving their customers as well as it could. They created an A/B Testing campaign to optimize it.

Search Behind a Click

On the original version of this grocery chain’s mobile site, the top navigation included a search icon, but not the expanded search bar. Once a user clicked on the icon, the expanded search bar hid the shopping cart icon. Customer feedback reflected frustration with using the mobile site because of the search feature.

The brand then decided to test a persistent search bar. Instead of an icon, the search bar in the variation remained open and anchored underneath the top navigation. This kept all features visible, streamlined the search process for customers and encouraged greater engagement.

Increasing Cart Adds from Search

The KPIs for this test were Searches and Add to Carts from Search. The variation (with the persistent search bar) saw +7% increase both in searches, and in Add to Carts from searches. The increases in Add to Carts from Search also shifted the needle for Total Add to Carts of around +2% and an increase in Basket Value of just under 1%. Following these promising results, the brand will test the same change on tablets.


Luke Hardwick

Luke Hardwick

Luke Hardwick is a Manager of Customer Success at SiteSpect, consulting for SiteSpect users on their optimization and personalization road maps and projects. Luke is based in London and has experience as an conversion rate optimization specialist across many softwares before landing at SiteSpect.

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