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No Results Found Page: Everything You Need to Know

Gokul
Working with Global Online Businesses to Hyper-personalize the Customer Experience through advanced AI and Maximize Conversions 🚀🚀


In this age of instant gratification, not finding what you seek can be heavily disappointing - especially on the internet. And even though one can get philosophical about it and say that not getting what you want is just a part of life, having a well-thought-out “No Results Found” page can take some edge off this unpleasantness. In fact, when done right, it can fetch you a host of benefits. 

Yes, you read that right.

What are these “benefits” of designing a well-planned “No Search Results Found” page? And how can you capitalize by adding them to your website’s layout? We take an in-depth look at such questions and uncover their corresponding answers. Plus, we discuss some exceptional “No Results Found” page examples to inspire and help you get started!

Why Should You Care About the “No Results Found” Page?

Even though some design experts may advocate against it, the “no results found” page is a critical element of your website. The value of having a dedicated page for search errors yielding no results can be summarized as below:

  • It cuts down the bounce rate as it engages the audience through various strategies.
  • It can help transform a lost sale or a roadblock into a fresh opportunity.
  • It helps build credibility and trust by offering value or alternatives.
  • It reroutes traffic to similar or attractive options.
  • It counters the effect of spelling mistakes that may crop up as buyers conduct searches.

Most importantly, the “no search results found” page improves user experience by transferring control back to the shoppers while ensuring that they stick around. That said, one can only gain these results when they successfully create a “no results found” page design. And how does one go about that? Let’s review it in the following section.

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Best Practices for Crafting the Perfect “No Results Found” Page User Journey

A “no results found” page could be a dead-end or a window of opportunity, depending on how you play it out to be. Here are some practical and actionable tips that can help the situation:

Make It Unreachable

Your first priority should be to ensure that the users do not land on the “no results found” page. Does it sound counterintuitive? Perhaps. But hear us out.

Despite its various advantages and uses, the “no search results found” page is still a drop-off point where you can experience customer churn. As such, you need to make it the last resort while captivating your audiences. After all, prevention is better than cure, right?

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Typically, the search UI is the first point of contact between the customer and your catalog. And so, it should be fine-tuned sufficiently to cater to the bouquet of customer queries. It should ideally overcome minor issues like spelling errors or mistypes to make relevant and personalized suggestions. Alternatively, you can implement federated search that leverages multiple search engines to locate relevant results. Argoid’s AI-driven recommendation system, for example, is a highly intuitive solution to such headaches. It can prevent the potential embarrassment of being caught off-guard while also improving the customer experience.

Of course, you would still have to design an excellent “no search results” page, so let’s dive into it.

Empathize and Apologize

As a seller, you know that you cannot have every single product available in the market under your roof. So, like it or not, the no search results found page is bound to crop up.

But you also know as a customer that the “search results not found” message is quite frustrating - even annoying, in fact. So much so that there is no need for any high-end tools performing customer sentiment analysis to gauge the resulting negative reaction!

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So, when you’re already on the back foot, the best approach would be to step up and take accountability. Embed the “search results not found” message with simple messages that accept responsibility or blame, like “apologies” or “our bad.” Alternatively, you can craft them to be more empathetic such as “oops - something went wrong at our end,” and “sorry, we couldn’t find what you were looking for.” Such additions could greatly defuse and deescalate the situation and implore users to give you another shot.

Explain and Assist

Modern-day customers are a lot more technologically aware and eager to resolve issues on their own. In fact, when you cater to this requirement, you would be seen as transparent and honest - qualities that every business wishes to ascribe.

As such, explaining the reason why they have stumbled upon the “no results found” page would be the best way to extend help. And why stop just there? Why not use this as an opportunity to facilitate self-servicing?

Yes!

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Offer them actionable ways out of the “no search results found” page so that they can get back to exploring your website or making a purchase. There are several ways to proceed from this point, you could offer the following possible next steps:

  • Reroute the customers to the homepage.
  • Display the search bar once again at a prominent location to accept new queries.
  • Publish hints on how they can search better (check spelling, try different keywords, etc.)
  • Share navigation links to popular products and categories.
  • Let them know that they can get in touch with you.

In this manner, your “no search results found” page would be viewed as more helpful than annoying!

Make (Personalized) Recommendations

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Personalization is yet another smart way to make the “no results found” page interesting enough to elicit customer interaction with the search UI. Make every page unique and include links to products or services that the customer may have recently viewed, items related to the keywords searched, or suggestions that go well with customer preferences. Even though these recommendations are not exactly what they might want, finding the next best thing could keep them around long enough to translate into a purchase.

Accept Notification Requests

Speaking of the next best thing, if the customer is unable to find what they need, you can engage with them by giving them the option to stay in touch for regular updates. Utilize this opportunity to capture their contact details or seek permission to issue alerts or notifications for when the item of their interest is available again. Such an approach can be particularly useful for websites that have fast-moving items that may be in stock one moment and gone the next. The resulting notifications can also trigger FOMO, which again could work in your favor and draw results.

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Get Silly (or Creative)

Finally, accept that the “no results found” page was inevitable. And peppering this oopsie moment with some humor or general silliness would make the customer more forgiving. For all you know, this human side of your business can give them a good laugh and connect with you on a deeper level. So, let your zero search results page go crazy (within reason, of course) every once in a while.

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Finally, accept that the “no results found page was inevitable. And peppering this oopsie moment with some humor or general silliness would make the customer more forgiving. For all you know, this human side of your business can give them a good laugh and connect with you on a deeper level. So, let your zero search results page go crazy (within reason, of course) every once in a while.

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11 Stellar “No Results Found” Page Examples

By this point, you may have a solid understanding of the anatomy of the search results not found message page and the customer journey therein. With that out of the way, let’s focus on some clever “no resultspage examples to watch the theory in action!

#1 B&H

The website for all things photo, video, and audio has masterfully perfected its “no results found” page.

From the above screencap, it is evident that the store leaves no stone unturned to offer help in every possible way. In addition to the clear and unambiguous message that there are no search results found, it offers:

  • Additional tips to make searching easier
  • Feedback link to enable the organization to improve search
  • Category-wise tiles displaying the entire catalog of the products available
  • Links to chat and email, as well as contact numbers to get in touch with customer service and sales and expert advice.

Such holistic support ensures that no customer slips through the cracks!

#2 Walgreens

Pharmaceutical giant Walgreens has also managed to nail the “no results found” page down to perfection. It offers helpful suggestions to improve the search query, while also sharing links to items purchased previously. You could also browse through products, photo services, or health information. The website also makes it clear that some items on sale in their physical stores may not be listed online. It also adds a nifty contact us link and shares any ongoing deals in the nearest store. You can also sort through everything that they have to offer through the detailed clickable links at the end of the page.

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#3 IKEA

The “no results foundpage of IKEA is gorgeous - demanding viewers to pay rapt attention. The vibrant and interactive tiles that offer the buyer inspiration conclude with category-wise recommendations. You also get personalized product recommendations based on the items you’ve checked out as well as a preview of the recently viewed products. IKEA also lets you review your search history so that you can always retrace your searches and find items easily.'

#4 HubSpot

HubSpot does not technically have a “no results found” page. But what you do get is a full-page pop-up that lets you know that they could not find what you were looking for. Sensing the exasperation of the customer and following the empathetic route, the company posts the encouraging message of Don’t worry, try searching again up top. You also get to choose between searching HubSpot.com or the blog. And before you know it, the HubBot will also spring into action and try to help with your query. All in all, this setup makes for a watertight zero search results page.

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#5 eBay

If you think that eBay has run its course, you cannot be further from the truth. With almost 187 million users, eBay continues to stay relevant to date. With such a high volume of users hitting the search bar on the regular to land a sweet auction deal, it would only benefit the company if they could streamline the search feature further. 

And that’s exactly what eBay has successfully managed to do.

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It boasts of one of the most intuitive and helpful search engines backed by a powerful spell checker. Further, seeing as how eBay perfectly fits the mold of websites that have fast-moving goods (or services) thanks to its bidding system, it makes absolute sense that the website allows users to save the search. This feature bypasses the need for the user to check back frequently as eBay could share email alerts and notifications for when items with similar keywords would be available.

#6 Amazon

In the world of eCommerce, Amazon is a giant that needs no introduction. And naturally, given its (almost) monopoly and rising stardom, the company has been working tirelessly to improve its store for a top-notch user experience.

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The same can be viewed through its zero search results page. While the auto-correct feature of Amazon’s search engine is quite spot on, garbled search queries will request customers to visit the help section or contact Amazon support.

To prevent customer bounce, Amazon recommends relevant products and personalized recommendations based on your browsing and purchase history (provided you are logged in).

#7 Food.com

The “no results found” page of Food.com is rather simple and to the point, which makes it all the more effective. It displays the message that the search has yielded no matches and recommends some of its popular recipes by category. Also, did you notice the handy little search bar at the bottom that comes equipped with clickable recommendations that could redirect users to the trending topics? Pretty neat!

#8 Marks & Spencers

The multinational retailer, Marks & Spencers, checks almost all the boxes for the best design practices discussed for “no search results found” customer journeys. It starts with an apology, offers the search bar for a fresh search query, explains why the previous search resulted in the “no results found” page, and allows viewers to check out recommendations or previous view history. The final bit cements the audience in place as they can easily seek inspiration or pick up from where they had left and continue with the purchase!

#9 Costco

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Sure, Costco’s “no search results found” page is pretty simple. But it gets the message across. The search results not found message takes on the blame for being unable to find the page that the user was looking for while also offering an apology. It then offers them a link to go back to Costco’s homepage and start the search afresh. Of course, all of these are your run-of-the-mill elements in a “no results found” page, but it is the image accompanying the message that truly stands out. The lone teddy bear sitting amongst the shelves at Costco must strike a nerve among shoppers who may have thought that the “no results found” page was a dead end. In a way, it is Costco’s way to let you know that they understand how lost you may feel, and they empathize. Such a wordless message is enough to develop that emotional connection that businesses wish to establish!

Disney also does something similar (with the exception that it adds recommendations in place of homepage redirects).

#10 Drugs.com

The “no results found” page of Drugs.com is rather helpful with a series of resources made available at the click of a button. Users who may have ended up on this “no search results found” page could:

  • Check out the entire alphabetized list of drug names
  • Connect with the Drugs.com community and ask a question
  • Use the Drug Interactions Checker tool for drug-drug or drug-food interactions
  • Identify pills using imprint code, shape, or color
  • Run image searches to see what a certain pill typically looks like
  • Keep up to date with news, FDA approvals, or “in the pipeline” drug releases.

It also seeks user input on how to make their search results better.

#11 Sainsbury’s

British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has a host of products available on its online store. However, the “no results found” page avoids overwhelming the shopper by shoving them all in their face and follows a smarter clutter-free approach while offering help. You can pick between checking out groceries, seeking detailed help, or exploring great offers. It also recommends trending items based on the season, past search history, or offers. The fewer options make the search UI less overwhelming and easy to resume shopping.

Closing Thoughts

The “no results found” page is not the end of the world. However, your “no results found” page design could result in lost opportunities if you fail to play your cards right. Use the tips and examples shared above to create interactive, informative, and valuable zero search results pages that can improve customer experience and clinch sales. At the same time, improve your search UI and personalize results to engage with customers more meaningfully. Speak to the experts at Argoid to know how you can get started.

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