Circumstances over the last year coupled with consumer trends around digital engagements, have made transforming to digital first a minimum viable prerequisite. But to go beyond simply surviving, B2B and B2C businesses must start with search for any new digital commerce strategy.
A well-organized search strategy will improve all facets of your customer engagement from the direct impact of better, more relevant search results to the overall enhancement of your customer’s experience by leveraging the data your search engine collects.
HCL Commerce partnered with Ray Wang and Constellation research to create a guide to help you think through digital search as part of your larger digital commerce strategy. The result is five best practices you can apply to optimize your project:
- Preview search to provide textual and visual suggestions.
- Search autocomplete to suggest keywords during search.
- Faceted search uses attributes (such as product or content features) as criteria for shoppers to explicitly filter for their search results.
- Full-page search lays out the initial results based on ascertained relevance
- Store- and product-level search bridges the gap between physical and online shopping by identifying shoppers’ ZIP codes to enable a geographical lookup of nearby inventory.
Why does this matter?
Search is rapidly becoming the heart of the customer experience and it often initiates the buyer journey before customers even hit your site. When they do, they expect to find exactly what they want quickly and easily and if they can’t, they are happy to leave – meaning not only do businesses lose revenue, but they actively push customers to their competitors. However, there is a gap between customer expectations and what can be delivered by (traditional) search and personalization capabilities which leads to frustration for both buyers and sellers.
What’s the solution?
Without giving too much away, the solution entails an integrated search experience which delivers better contextual data and enables better, more personalized marketing and promotions. An integrated search capability both captures and incorporates more data to ensure better results, more precise marketing and promotions, all leading to happy customers. And if you combine search with AI you can enable real-time decisioning based on in-session data for in the moment personalization that helps you sell more even more.
To learn more about this read the full report and results of the research and see how AI-driven search can turbocharge your digital commerce!