Archive for category: Blog

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IRCE: what you missed in Chicago

Outstanding pizza and fireworks at Navy Pier are reason enough to visit Chicago, but the industry’s largest eCommerce event, the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), didn’t fail to equip and inspire as it held its 14th annual event in the city last month.

The EasyAsk team had a great time attending discussions, presentations, and networking sessions, as well as running a booth in the exhibit hall. We were able to impress visitors with solutions to the challenge that emerged over the 4 days: how to maximize mobile shoppers. Read More

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Search As You Type: Keeping lazy searchers happy

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

 

Typeahead… autocomplete… incremental search: many attempts have been made in recent years to speed up shopper’s searches. At EasyAsk, we offer ‘Search As You Type’, or SAYT (pronounced Say-it), because it means a whole lot more than just a list of suggested searches. It means many possibilities for getting the right products in front of your customers.

SAYT progressively searches for and filters through text. As a user types a query, suggestions, products, categories, and attributes are found and presented with each keystroke. This allows a user to stop short of typing the entire word or phrase and find what they were looking for quicker. Read More

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5 Ways to Optimize Your Searchbox

Q: A Search box is a search box . . . right?   How much difference can it make?

A: All the difference.

This might just be the single most important component in a successful eCommerce strategy and the key to driving significantly more revenue.

It is essential to get the usability of the search box within eCommerce sites right. Up to 30% of visitors will use the site search tool and these will be highly motivated shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for. Shoppers who use the search box will buy more:

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No Point in Personalizing Bad Results

Personalization is a valuable and effective part of the shopping experience.  But personalization must always be just that – a part of the shopping experience, not the shopping experience.  There are occasions when a shopper asks for certain products and the search results are affected by personalization.  Being able to find relevant products through good search is imperative to higher conversion rates.

Don’t get me wrong, personalization is great

The scope and advantages of personalization for eCommerce are ever-growing.  Personalization systems tailor the information a customer sees on the screen based on something known about them.  For example, if a shopper in Atlanta searches for jackets in the spring, a personalization system might use the knowledge of location and time of year to display lighter-weight jackets than it would to another shopper living in Boston during the winter.  Or maybe a shopper has been browsing the women’s department of a site, then searches for a shirt.  The personalization system might choose to show women’s shirts to the shopper first.

Shoppers can even be labeled with a persona, based on their search and purchase history, such as ‘budget- buyer’ or ‘fashion-conscious’.  A personalization system can change the way the same product is presented to different people, for example by using a particular template, or highlighting the reviews of a product.  The visual results and recommendations will vary depending on the type of shopper that has been identified.  Personalization can mean many things to many people. But if personalization sacrifices accuracy for a shopper, it can result in a serious reduction in customer conversion.

Picture the Scene…

Kerry has come to know Sarah like a friend.  Sarah is an assistant in the women’s department of Kerry’s favorite store.  Over the years, Sarah has learned Kerry’s taste in color and style and seems to always help Kerry find exactly what she is looking for.

On this day, Kerry decides to do some shopping on her lunch break and heads over to the store.  She explains that she needs a dress for a wedding this summer at the beach.  Surprisingly, Sarah doesn’t think they have anything for such an occasion.  Kerry persists and repeats her request in simpler terms.  This seems to work as Sarah springs into action and asks Kerry to follow her.  She then leads Kerry downstairs into the men’s department where she stops in front of men’s slim-fit suits.  Confused, Kerry asks Sarah if she had heard her correctly.  Sarah explains that she had noticed Kerry was shopping for men’s slim-fit shirts last week, and since she is shopping for a wedding outfit, these suits would work perfectly.

After explaining to Sarah that she had been shopping for her husband last week, Kerry heads back to the women’s department on her own.  After finding something, she remembers she also needs a jacket for the outfit and asks Sarah to find something appropriate.  Unfortunately, Sarah returns with a winter coat.  Exasperated, Kerry exclaims, “I asked for a light jacket, I can’t wear a winter coat to a summer wedding!”  Sarah is once again confused and explains that it is currently only 40 degrees outside and that she assumed Kerry would need a winter coat.

Personalized bad results are worse than no personalization at all

Wouldn’t it be crazy to actually experience the above situation in a brick and mortar store?  Yet if we allow personalization to rule over relevancy, this will be the experience in our online stores.  And an online shopper is likely to give up on their shopping experience if they receive poor search results.  Don’t expect them to have Kerry’s patience.

Relevance is key

Typically, shoppers that use the search box have an idea of what they’re looking for, so they probably aren’t ‘window shopping’.  Users who search during a session are far more likely to convert than those who navigate using categories and attributes.  Being able to find the right products is fundamental.  Therefore, if a shopper asks to see blue mountain bikes, you need to show them blue mountain bikes.  And if you don’t carry blue mountain bikes, show them the red, white, black mountain bikes you do sell.

Clearly, the ability to bring back relevant results should remain the focus when it comes to search.  But by all means, show your customers the most relevant products in a personalized way.  Show them what they are asking for, in a way that makes them want to buy.  Highlight different aspects of a product or show products in a different order, but ensure that those products are actually what your customer searched for.

Personalization is at its best when it is used in the context of the right set of products to choose from – the most relevant products. That’s when personalization becomes powerful.

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Don’t end up like Zuckerberg

Prepare for the GDPR, aka the General Data Protection Regulation, which will apply from May 25, 2018 in Europe and beyond…..

 

The General Data Protection Regulation affects not only EU-based companies, but tens of thousands of US-based companies that process EU data. Are you staying ahead of the game? We like this handy checklist of 12 steps to take now, produced by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

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Back to the Future: Voice Search

We’ve seen the ‘Back to the Future’ pattern in the history of mobile phones. They began very large, were gradually made as small as technology would allow, and now we need bigger pockets.

And, Great Scott! we can see a similar pattern in voice search as a result of the evolving use of smart-home devices. Read More

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The Way Shoppers Search Can Give You Migraines

Have you ever thought about how many different ways people might search for the same thing? If you’re an eCommerce professional you probably have. There is a direct correlation between how efficiently the shopper finds the product to how quickly they’ll make a purchase. So, how accurate your search results are, is what really matters.

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Gartner: The Case for Mobile Voice Search

How to Drive Revenue Through the Roof

The first premise in this discussion is the enormous number of shoppers that start on their Smartphones, then abandon the search and finish later on their desktop. This is the ‘norm’ for mobile shoppers. This begs the question, ‘WHY?’ Why did they fail to purchase the first time?

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Natural Language Search – Encouraging the use of more descriptive search

How a Natural Language Search Engine sets you apart

The ultimate goal of any online retailer is to increase sales. What sets you apart from other retailers are the enhancements you continually do to your site to improve the customer experience. Providing an experience that is pleasurable for your shopper will increase the likelihood that they will make purchases on your site and return for more products in the future. As a retailer, you need to take advantage of emerging technologies to help drive site improvements to keep your site fresh and your shoppers interested.

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Humanizing Your Website Gives Shoppers that Warm and Fuzzy Feeling

It is estimated that online shopping revenues will increase to more than $523 billion dollars by 2020 – an increase of 56% since 2015. This soaring number has many contributing factors; including ubiquitous internet access, the drop in age of shoppers, the availability of products, and the improved quality of shopping websites and apps.

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