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Ecommerce Guidelines: Search Result Page Trust Elements

Guidelines 134-136

Ecommerce Best Practices » Product List & Search Results Page » Clarity/Credibility » Trust Elements

When it comes to cart/site abandonment, trust (or lack thereof) is a major influencer.

While it may seem like an odd location, the product list can contribute to building trust. If you’re apparent with the quality of products, pros and cons, users will appreciate and trust that honesty. If you communicate why something is broken or unavailable, users will also appreciate that. Instead of feeling hoodwinked, users will feel informed.

The following guidelines contribute to a reliable, legitimate product list that ultimately creates a trustworthy ecommerce site.

3 guidelines for ecommerce product list & search results page, trust elements:

  1. Show ratings (and # of ratings/reviews) in product list.
  2. Products with ratings and reviews should be promoted upward.
  3. Avoid “zero results” page.

Guideline #134. Show ratings (and # of ratings/reviews) in product list.

Ratings, and number of ratings or reviews, play the part of social proof on the product list.

Users are usually inclined to click on a highly rated item, but they’re even more inclined when the item has been reviewed by hundreds of people and still maintains this high rating. Offer these details to better inform your users’ decisions.

Lowe’s displays ratings and reviews clearly:

The reviews and ratings were excellent, and could easily be sorted by rating and other sort options. This made it VERY easy to see low ratings and quickly navigate the reviews section.

Guideline #135. Products with ratings and reviews should be promoted upward.

People are more likely to buy a product with high ratings and reviews than a product with zero customer feedback. Promote products with ratings and reviews so users don’t have to waste time looking for them.

Worried that those products without reviews and ratings will be perpetually stuck at the bottom? Incentivize people to write reviews and to rate them.

Rei shows yoga mats with many ratings at the top of the list:

Guideline #136. Avoid “zero results” page.

Display analogous products to the search term. Check for misspellings. Redirect to a category page or the homepage. Whatever your approach, avoid a zero results page when users search for non-existent products.

While West Elm doesn’t sell microwaves, they offer a variety of relatively similar search results (microwave safe plates) when a user searches for one:

How to do it RIGHT


Intelligently interprets the misspelling “dors” for “doors”, reiterates the user’s faulty search phrase to them (“Your search for speakers for car dors…”), and provides similar results: speakers for car doors.


Doesn’t call it a papoose, but they know what you’re getting at.

Continue to the next section:

Ecommerce Best Practices » Product List & Search Results Page » Usability » Filters