Sourcing agents and merchandisers have a direct understanding of the characteristics of your products and reliably put this information into the product catalog – brands, sizes, colors, materials, wear and tear and more. These characteristics can power refinements in faceted navigation and enable some simple searching (red jackets, color televisions).
But your customers may use their own descriptions that are unique to your specific retail sector. This is a second customer behavior use case we examine in the white paper: Increasing Customer Conversion by Boosting Product Findability.
Here are some examples:
- Boating/Marine Accessories: “galvanized plow anchors” or “waterproof radar displays”
- Hardware/Tools: “jobbers drill bits” or “solid carbide cutting blades”
- Beauty Supplies: “nourishing skin cream” or “foaming facial cleanser”
With e-commerce sites becoming increasingly specialized, the ability for visitors to find products their own way makes the difference between a sale and a lost visitor.
Searches such as these use what we call “product concepts.” This goes far beyond keyword search and requires a natural language search engine that can easily understand and process groups of terms that combine to form a description of product.
Let’s look at how outdoor and clothing retailer The North Face uses product concepts on their site. We will first search for “lightweight ski jackets.” This returns products that are ski jackets with the characteristic “lightweight” (see image).
A search with similar terminology is “lightweight running jackets.” But this search returns a very different set of results (see image).
A keyword search engine would deliver a superset of products based on each term – a result not optimized for what the visitor is seeking. Only a natural language engine can understand these product concepts and deliver the right results to the visitor.
Download our free white paper, Increasing Customer Conversion by Boosting Product Findability and learn more about how you can tune your site to deliver a better customer experience and increase sales.