How to choose the right product discovery platform and tools

How to choose the right product discovery platform and tools
Posted by Attraqt | 30 May 2022
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A cohesive, coherent and inspiring product discovery experience across every channel can yield great results for brands of all sizes.

Investing in your product discovery experiences is an investment into your most valuable customers: shoppers that search spend 3x more than those who don’t.

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The journey your customers have on your online site directly impacts the success of your business. Building exceptional product discovery experiences will develop customer loyalty, increase average order values and boost conversions.

If you’re looking to improve the product discovery journey of your store, it’s helpful to understand the concept and tools of leading product discovery platforms that are vital for eCommerce retailers to thrive.

A comprehensive product discovery platform makes the path to finding the right products at the right time through the right channel clear, easy and intuitive. Tools such as AI-powered search, smart merchandising and relevant recommendations guide shoppers to their desired products, making a comprehensive product discovery platform valuable to any ambitious brand.

In this blog, we’re going to explore the importance of product discovery further, and explain some of the tools you’ll need to help shoppers glide from the first click to checkout and beyond.

Why effective product discovery is key to success

Product discovery, the process of guiding customers to their desired items consistently across all channels, has been a huge focus for ecommerce leaders as it improves the customer experience (cx). Gartner research found that cx drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, more than brand and price combined.

By ensuring your customers find what they are looking for fast, the likelihood is they will return. As it costs 6-7 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, exceptional product discovery will enhance the performance of your entire business.

The product discovery platforms that prove to be the most effective rely on various tools to facilitate the smooth-running of the end-to-end customer journey. We’ll look into 3 tools in more detail – AI-powered search, smart merchandising and personalised recommendations.

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Tool 1: AI-powered search

Those that use search are 216% more likely to convert than regular users yet irrelevant searches and zero-results pages plague 25% of search results. This not only hampers the ability for businesses to provide exceptional shopping journeys but it’s also a missed opportunity to boost the bottom line. A search that doesn’t meet customer expectations not only damages conversions but also erodes customer loyalty.

By replacing standard search with AI-powered search, you never fail to meet expectations. Self-learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models increase average order values (AOV) and customer engagement. The algorithms work by matching real-time onsite behaviour with shopper traits and the product catalogue to predict the intent of any search.

Putting intelligence at the heart of search is a sure-fire way to compel shoppers to purchase as it thinks like the customer, understands natural language searches, makes sense of long-tail queries and drives relevant answers.

The advantages of this tool don’t stop there. The operational challenges of search – the fine tuning and optimisation are essential to keep search a well-oiled machine. But they’re often time and resource intensive. AI takes the weight off and addresses this key challenge as part of automation.

By implementing AI-powered search, Superdry has almost completely eradicated zero result searches. The fashion retailer also provides more relevant results for long tail searches which has opened up an entirely new revenue stream for the business.

Tool 2: Smart merchandising

To create successful merchandising strategies, merchandisers must consider seasonal offers, new market trends, and personalisation among many other factors.

All of which depends on up-to-date data such as browsing behaviour and past purchases. But many online retailers don’t know how to transform data into actionable insights, or worse, have any data to work with.

Merchandising, the process of selecting which products to show to customers to drive engagement and conversion, is the most effective with the powers of AI working behind-the-scenes. Using real-time, on-site shopper behaviour, smart merchandising can personalise and rank results to individualise customer shopping journeys, drive omnichannel engagement and increase conversions.

Whether you want to filter rankings based on margin, click-through rate or sales, you can define exactly how to merchandise whilst letting AI do all the leg-work.

Merchandisers have more time to increase team efficiency and A/B test different strategies, customers enjoy more personalised journeys, and the business as a whole can enjoy an upturn in conversions.

For larger businesses with an international online presence, business rules can be seamlessly copied over to other sites. Aside from maximising operational efficiency, this guarantees the consistency of your brand messaging and positioning.

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Tool 3: Relevant recommendations

According to Accenture, 9 out of 10 consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations. But due to a lack of data as well as ill-suited tools, ecommerce stores struggle to provide hyper-personalised recommendations, restricting their ability to up-sell, cross-sell and grow sales.

Opting for a tool that uses real-time onsite behaviour, such as product preferences and demographic information, tailors product recommendations based on individual intent. Every customer gets an original product discovery experience to inspire purchases and loyalty.

Relevant recommendations tools can be used strategically to meet specific KPIs. For example, if you want to increase conversions, deploy an algorithm that recommends Most Popular, Best Sellers and New Collections to drive attention to high converting products. And to optimise results, A/B test different algorithms.

With dynamic recommendations as part of your product discovery armoury, your online store will flourish with increased AOV as well as additional purchases through alternative or complementary products.

By implementing relevant recommendations, French ecommerce retail leader, CDiscount, improved conversion rates, increased average basket size, accelerated R&D and boosted productivity gains.

These tools put your customers first

A product discovery platform with the tools we’ve explored above – AI-powered search, smart merchandising and personalised recommendations – will set your ecommerce store up for success.

By prioritising the customer at every touchpoint, you elevate the customer experience and drive customer loyalty. Using the powers of the most innovative technologies, you smash targets. And with the data that drives the entire solution you gain valuable insights.

There’s never been a better time to invest in your customers to inspire loyalty and bolster revenues.

Do you want to elevate your product discovery journey? To find out more about how Attraqt’s product discovery platform and tools can help your online store thrive, request a demo or speak with a member of our team.

Ready to see our platform in action?