Here are a few things that I use as I review a website on how can we really help the customer achieve better ROI. And the first one is do you actually have a search as you type experience? Not just an elastic search, but actually is it providing hints, suggestions, what you want people to buy as you’re typing. Inside that experience, you should be providing photos, you should be providing the common information and it can be done as you type.
Now as you get more intelligent, right, I’ll come back to that experience. But the second thing is categories, right? Finding things, when you’ve got a million SKUs, half a million SKUs, you have a lot to sort through. Therefore, speed of search becomes imperative. But also, how do you refine that search? You absolutely want to have an elastic search but being able to search or refine that search with categories on the side, brand name, size, volume, commons things that your customers will typically search for – those kind of refinements add to the customer’s search experience, most important.
Of course, one of those really important things is to never return a null search. “No result” makes them think you don’t have what they’re looking for, and that may not be true. Always provide some sort of “were you looking for” phrase. Use the standard of Amazon. Is your search even half as good as Amazon? Well, it should be, right? That’s where we need to go.
The next question really is “how is your search on different platforms?”. The multi-browser experience is different on mobile, different on tablet, and different on a full-size laptop. All of those are different experiences. What often happens is your products get squished or sorted and now they are displayed in the wrong way and we don’t want to have that happen.
And then last, are you getting personalized search results? Most B2B buyers, unlike consumers, come back and tend to repetitively buy. One way that you can really increase satisfaction is to make it really easy for them to repetitively find what they buy and buy it easily. Huge benefit!
Now there are a lot of other things we would begin to look at but if you start looking from your customers’ perspective, you can really improve their results.
Rob Neumann, CSS Commerce