Tag Archive for: ecommerce search

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Retailers are Marketing to more than Five Generations, is your Site-Search Flexible enough to help them all?

The world we know continues to change, and we as a people, are forced to change with it. Sometimes it’s in small ways, like swapping Bell Bottoms for White-Washed jeans, then swapping those for Skinny Jeans. Sometimes it’s in larger ways, like going from hailing a cab on the sidewalk, to ordering an Uber from your bedroom/office/etc. with a touch of a button. Some of us prefer the former, while others have adapted, or were even raised with the latter. It is those inbred traits from our particular generation that make us who we are. The beauty of today’s age is that our technology can handle whichever you prefer.  Can your site-search say the same?
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Trailblazers – Congratulating The North Face on the Creation of the First Voice-Enabled Mobile eCommerce App

The North Face has launched one of the first Mobile Voice-enabled eCommerce apps for the iPhone, with search powered by EasyAsk’s natural language site search engine.

BURLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS (PRWEB) JUNE 07, 2017

The North Face App features a microphone

The North Face, a VF Company, has launched one of the very first Mobile Voice-enabled ecommerce apps for the iPhone. Using Apple’s Siri embedded microphone and voice enabled technology; shoppers can simply touch the microphone within the search box and say their ecommerce search. EasyAsk provides the artificial intelligence (AI) behind the scenes to understand the context of the search questions, as well as the content of The North Face’s product catalogue. The results are breathtaking. Absolutely perfect search results based on whatever the shopper wants. As most ecommerce searches begin on Smartphones, this dramatically improved User Experience is expected to drive significantly higher revenues and customer conversion.

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72% of Online Shoppers Prefer an Experience that Makes it Easy to Find What They Want.*

Implement better eCommerce Site Search and get some sleepWhy we worry about your eCommerce Site Search

eCommerce professionals lay in bed at night and wonder what they can do to increase conversions and boost revenue. After all, that is what they are chartered to do. But when they put on their work hat and go into the office in the morning, they also put on blinders. You see, many of these professionals forget that they are also shoppers. As they design their sites, they ignore their own experiences as online shoppers. Creating an experience that meets corporate objectives may be in direct conflict with their customers needs. Simply put – shoppers want to find and purchase what they want. A recent survey conducted by the Gartner Group showed that 72% of online shoppers prefer an experience that makes it easy to find what they want.* Read More

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How EasyAsk will Help you Drive 23-121% Higher eCommerce Revenues: Guaranteed

Smarter search that delivers the right products drives higher revenues. It’s proven, benchmarked and now, guaranteed. It’s also about delivering a shopping experience that delights your customers and encourages them to buy from you vs. your competition. results Read More

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You’re Betting Your eCommerce Business on . . . SOLR ??!!

What’s behind your eCommerce search box? You’re not going to like the answer

As an eRetailer, one of the most critical functions on your website is your search box.  This is where your shoppers go to find things they want to buy.  The truth is that, deep down; you know it just doesn’t work very well.  Most eRetailers think that “search” is just “search” and that all search tools are just about the same.  They expect that their search has some navigation, basic spell correction, and maybe type-ahead.  If that’s all search offers, then what’s the difference, really? Read More

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Automatic Spell Correction in eCommerce Search Saves you Time and Money

The last thing any visitor wants to see when they perform a search on an eCommerce Site is a page that says “No Results”. As we indicated in our recent whitepaper, Increase Customer Conversion by Boosting Product Findability, misspellings and using different tenses is a very common occurrence by eCommerce shoppers.

To make your site tolerant of misspellings and the like, you have two options: Either manually enter all the various misspellings and whatnot into your search engine, which will take you God-knows-how-long… Or, the better approach, use an eCommerce search engine that offers Automatic Spell Correction and stemming against terms in your product catalog.

This gives you out-of-the-box tolerance of these visitor errors, enabling them to find the right products and keeping them on your site as opposed to going to your competitors.

Watch this one-minute video and see how Coldwater Creek uses EasyAsk’s automatic spell correction to convert more visitors into customers.

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If Your Search Box Was a Personal Shopper, Would You Fire It?

 

In the world of online shopping, your site search box is like your personal shopper.  You know, like the ones who ask you, “How may I help you?” when you walk into a department store.

In the real world, if you’re asked that, you’re going to tell them how they can help you.  But in the eCommerce world, most of the sites you go to can’t help you the way a personal shopper can. Why?  Because of Keyword Search limitations, and the fact that most people don’t know what’s possible with their eCommerce Site Search.

In the early days of the Internet, way back in 1995, the Keyword attribute was popularized by search engines like AltaVista.  But even as early as 1997, which was 15 years ago, they discovered keyword search was unreliable.  But people still continue to use it!  Why?

Yahoo! and Google…

If you use a long-tailed search (i.e. “Women’s black long-sleeved dresses”), the chances of your search returning the right product, are very slim. And now you’re reduced to clicking through page after page to try and find what you want. Or, if you’re like me, you leave the site altogether.

Let’s flip it around and compare it to real life. What if you told a personal shopper that you wanted a “Women’s black long-sleeved dress,” and she returned with long-sleeve shirts, coats, jackets, short-sleeve dresses, strapless dresses, etc. You would look at her like she’s… how do I put this nicely?… AN IDIOT. Because you made it clear you what you wanted and she didn’t understand you.

You wouldn’t accept this in real life, so why are you accepting this with eCommerce websites? Because you’re used to it? That’s just ridiculous, especially when your eCommerce Site Search has the ability to understand the entire intent and context of your request.

If you’re using the right technology…

Natural Language/Semantic Search has been around for years, but has not gained steam until fairly recently with IBM Watson and Siri on the iPhone. It’s a SMARTER and FASTER search than Keyword, and can understand long-tail searches, price constraints, and synonyms.  Flip-flops, sandals, thongs, slippers are all the same thing, you know it, I know it, your search box should know it.

It’s time to stop accepting below-average as the norm. Upgrade your eCommerce Site Search to a Natural Language Engine. EasyAsk has done wonders with companies Large (Lands’ End) and small (Schuler Shoes).

Take a look for yourself and see what can be accomplished with the right Searchandising tool.

 

 

 

 

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Gartner E-Commerce Search Best Practices Part 2

In my last blog post, I discussed the recent Gartner report “Best Practices in Strategically Combining Search, Content Analytics and E-Commerce.” One of the most important e-commerce search best practices that analysts Whit Andrews and Gene Alvarez emphasize is the ability to “Offer effective definition-matching and handling of ambiguity in Query terms.” Let’s take a closer look at what this means, and how it applies to your search environment.

Effective Definition Matching

The Gartner reports talks about how a truly effective e-commerce search environment must understand the “language variations that are specific to what’s being sold and the audience to whom it’s being sold.” This really boils down to two items a search engine must be able to do:

  1. For each term in a search string, understand what that value represents – an attribute, product name, product category, etc. – and allow each column to have different relevancies.
  2. The ability to process search strings of different complexities as entire entities and understand how the individual terms relate in order to return the most accurate results.

This is the essence of natural language.  A natural language engine will process a complete search phrase, break it down linguistically and understand the full meaning of the request – NOT just what individual terms mean.  In this way, a natural language engine such as EasyAsk can fully support the specific “language of the site” and allow visitors to “speak” to the site in that language via the search engine.

With natural language processing, you can be assured that not only will simple searches – “blue shirts” – be processed effective, but so will complex ones – “women’s blue short sleeve shirts under $50.”  You can fulfill this e-commerce search best practice with the most effective definition matching possible.

Ambiguity

Ambiguity can come in many different forms.  It can come from mistakes or typos.  It can come from simple language variations such as different tenses.  Or it can come from a visitor’s lack of knowledge of the products – asking for “purple blouses” when none are available on the site.  To help you fulfill this aspect of the Gartner best practices, your search engine needs to give you the following:

  • Spell correction – your search engine needs to provide automatic spell correction.  Anticipating and pre-coding every potential misspelling of each term on your Website is a time consuming task. Who wants to do that?
  • Stemming – Your search engine needs to automatically support the different tenses, plurals and other variances of terms.  Once again, why should you need to have the time consuming task of entering every potential variance of each term?
  • Relaxation – this concept allows the search engine to drop part of a search term if no specific products exist in order to make sure some products are returned.  Seeing some products is always better than seeing NO products.  With relaxation, a search for “black levi jeans” will still return Levi jeans, even if there are none in black.  You search engine needs to have automatic support for this capability.

All of these characteristics will help you virtually eliminate the dreaded “no results” page and dramatically enhance the customer experience by always returning products to the visitor, even when there is some degree of ambiguity.

Further Flexibility

What if your “site language” is more complex than standard terms?  What if your site has a number of acronyms and industry terms?  What if you have cryptic model numbers that customers need to use to find parts or products?

To fulfill this last requirement, your search engine needs to make it easy to add synonyms, custom search terms and rules.  Once again this is where natural language engines help you implement best practices.

With natural language, you easily specify additional search terms and rules in – well, natural language.  You simply type in terms of any level of complexity and associate those with the existing terms or products in your catalog by simply pointing and clicking.

Learn More

To read more on these capabilities, please download our white paper, “The ABCs of E-Commerce Search: A Guide to Essential E-Commerce Search Features.”  In Part 3 of our blog post series, we’ll look at best practices in Search Analytics and Merchandising.

Ready to see how EasyAsk's eCommerce solution can help you? Request a demo!