Tag Archive for: eCommerce Site Search

by

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.

by

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?
Read More

by

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

by

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

by

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.

by

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.

 

 

 

 

Ready to see how EasyAsk's eCommerce solution can help you? Request a demo!
mp3 database movie database pdf database