Tag Archive for: ecommerce

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

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

by

Research Shows Voice Input is Overtaking Typing on Smartphones

Voice as a Computing Interface is exponentially faster than typing, it is easier than typing, and computers are finally intelligent enough to understand 95% of what is said… compared to just 70% in 2010.  And people are using it more and more.  Just as Responsive Web Design has become a necessity since more people search on their phones and tablets, so too is having a Natural Language Search Engine that understands what these millions of shoppers are saying.

Read More

by

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – The Realities of eCommerce Search

Sometimes online shopping in 2015 is a flashback to 1969 when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sang the above titled song in their album ‘Let It Bleed’. You search for something to buy, but the website doesn’t seem to understand what you are asking for and delivers up stuff you didn’t want. You look at the results and decide to shop elsewhere. Lost customer, website bad.

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

Gartner Best Practices in E-Commerce Search – Part 1

July is “Best Practices” month here at EasyAsk – where we describe good search, navigation and merchandising techniques that can help you convert more customers.  As you and your teams ramp up for busy back-to-school and holiday seasons, we want to help you convert more visitors into sales.  Over the course of this month, our team will show different best practices in search, navigation and merchandising and how they can impact customer experience.

While EasyAsk has many lessons to share, we always like to recognize best practices from independent firms, especially when they align with our vision. Gartner, a preeminent research firm, recently released a report called “Best Practices in Strategically Combining Search, Content Analytics and E-Commerce“, written by Whit Andrews and Gene Alvarez – two of the brightest minds in e-commerce and search.

Among the findings in this report, the Gartner analysts clearly stated the value of search, navigation and merchandising to an e-commerce environment:

  • Search is the means by which shoppers most nakedly reveal their needs and wants (as they themselves perceive them) to sellers.
  • Search is, therefore, a particularly powerful way to promote, relate and reveal products in a shopping experience.

The analysts went on from there to lay out two very important best practices in e-commerce search:

  1. Offer Effective Definition-Matching and Handling of Ambiguity in Query Terms
  2. Use Search and Content Analytics to Fulfill Shoppers’ Desires Through Merchandise, Related and Suggested Offers, and Advertising

These two best practices highlight the unique advantages natural language technology delivers in an e-commerce search environment.  Since natural language understands both the intent of the search and the content being searched, visitor searches are more accurately matched and the search engine seamlessly deals with ambiguity – misspellings, tenses, stemming and when to relax terms.  Natural language also understands the relationship between terms in a search to derive contextual meaning and further eliminates ambiguity.

In addition, the actionable analytics and natural language business rules in EasyAsk make it easy for your business people to better merchandise your site with context-driven offers, promotions and ads.

In the next two blog posts of this series, I will drill down into each of the two Gartner best practices we discussed above.  I will examine the best practices, detail how natural language fulfills the promise of these best practices and show customer sites where these practices are applied.

The most valuable best practices typically come from experts that have visibility into the widest spectrum of implementations – learning how smart people across the industry approach problems differently.  We’re always happy to confirm when EasyAsk best practices match those of top-tier research firms, such as Gartner.

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