Why personalised search is a content game-changer
Over the last decade, search technology in ecommerce has barely evolved. Compare your search experience on Google with the results you get from your favourite retailers, and you’ll know what I mean.
However, ecommerce search has just had a major overhaul which not only brings it back into the 21st Century, but creates an exciting future for the way we can access and use content to shop online.
The new personalised search product from RichRelevance, Find™, enables retailers to transform the customer search experience today, and also expands our capabilities for bringing high-value content into the customer journey tomorrow.
Personalised & immediate search results
The core Find product gives the online shopper personalised search results and instant feedback with the type of intuitive results we all expect when we search with Google.
The customer experience
As you type your search term, e.g. jeans, an overlay page appears under the search bar to show you the best match products, straight away.
In real-time, as you refine your search, the search results change to show you the products that reflect your new search term or the filters you select, e.g. skinny jeans.
Machine learning capabilities gives new and regular shoppers better search results over time, based on their post-search activity and shopping and search habits.
The future of content in the natural customer journey
Even more exciting, is the fact that this technology opens up the retailers’ capabilities to return search results that include targeted and personalised content, such as blog posts, user generated content and buyer’s guides.
At the point of search, shoppers have the option to view products alongside relevant content, giving customers a richer content experience that enhances the brand perception and provides differentiation from competitors.
This offers a solution to the growing number of retailers who are concerned about the lack of brand engagement in online shopping.
The current content model is a linear one, based on a one-way flow between home page and PDP. We all accept that this is flawed, because it places the majority of content outside of the natural customer journey. Find provides the technology to surface targeted content to the shopper, wherever they are in their journey.
Putting the experience back into mobile
The content experience is further compromised when we compare the content experience and placement on desktop to the mobile and app experience.
Most retailers currently favour desktop-focused content models, as the chart above shows, where content is placed on the homepage, blogs, various landing pages, and PLP headers.
When you track this across mobile and app, much of this content disappears or gets harder to find. So as more shoppers migrate to mobile, their access to content diminishes, which pares back their experience of your brand.
Find forms part of the solution to provide shoppers with a more consistent content experience, across all channels and platforms.
Welcome to age of High Value Content
Despite our obsession and investment in content, there is very little data to support its commercial role in ecommerce. Is it engaging shoppers? How does it influence conversion? What is the ROI?
Find provides a new capability to answer those questions and provide a new level of insight into content performance. Firstly, shoppers will have more consistent access to content, so retailers will get more data about customer preferences to consuming content and its role and influence on the end-to-end shopping journey.
From digital transformation to content transformation
We’ve been through the age of digital transformation, and now we are coming into the age of content transformation.
To counter the incessant demand for content, retailers need to get a handle on the content strategy across the business, through process, technology and data. This is critical if we are to bring efficiencies and economies into the production process, and enhance our ability to understand how customers use content so we are in control of it and are using it consciously and strategically to attract and engage shoppers, cement our brand values across the entire shopping journey, and increase conversion.
The technology and data that Find brings to retailers earns its place as an essential content transformation tool.
Guest post by Gabrielle O’Hare