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Technology trends: How online retailers can become virtual personal shopping assistants
I consider myself to be a fairly typical shopper. My time is precious so I tend to go online to find what I need, compare the options according to my preferences and make a choice that fits my budget. In the process, I may also buy related products if they catch my attention. Finally, I check out and choose direct delivery, or find a local store for collection if I want to take a look at the 'real thing' before fully committing to my purchase.
This all involves making lots of choices and can be time-consuming, so I always appreciate some onsite guidance, otherwise I will likely go elsewhere. In other words, I require the services of a virtual personal shopping assistant to help me make decisions simply and quickly.
In this series of three blog posts, we examine how online retailers can provide this essential service digitally by using the right technology.
Part 5: Optimising the onsite search experience: a practical guide
In parts 3 and 4, we highlighted ways for retailers to help shoppers do great searches. In the final blog post of this series, we will focus on how to make it easier to navigate even the largest search results pages.
Part 4: Optimising the onsite search experience: a practical guide
Shoppers typically have a good idea what kind of product they are looking for when using an onsite search box. Even if they cannot always express their intent in words, they have clear expectations from the search results.
However, sometimes search engines return results that confuse customers, and at worst returns nothing.
Another scenario stems from search engines trying to be too smart and returning fuzzy matches - searches for which no exact results can be found, but where some sort of similarity matching led to results.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud Cartridge
I can spend a lot of time in my favorite store. There is always so much to see and discover and I usually emerge having purchased far more than I intended to, thanks to the clever and enticing ways products have been displayed.
The challenge in eCommerce is to emulate this browsing experience online and skilfully guide shoppers to the items on your digital shelves that you most want them to see. After all, good merchandising choices lead to higher conversion rates, larger orders and overall sales revenue.
Part 3: Optimising the onsite search experience: a practical guide
In this part of our blog series we talk about how retailers can support shoppers in asking the right questions when using an onsite search engine. It may sound trivial, but surprisingly few truly express what they want to find. This is a big issue as the quality of the search results very much depend on how precise the search phrase is.
I've had some, but few, equivalent experiences online, despite personalization being a buzzword for many years. We've all come to expect some form of “People who bought this also looked at…” or “You may also like…” suggestions when we're browsing. Shoppers generally welcome the assistance, while this signposting can help retailers engage customers for longer.
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