SOPHISTICATED SEARCH TOOLS LET YOU CONTROL THE USER SEARCH EXPERIENCE
An intuitive onsite search tool optimizes the user’s online experience with advanced functionality such as auto-complete suggestions, a navigation bar with faceted attributes, and smart search that translates misspelled words and alternate terms into appropriate results. And, from a business perspective, a better onsite search tool provides meaningful data about site visitor behavior and intent so that organizations can continually improve their site.
In this white paper, we highlight the key differentiators of a sophisticated search tool, discuss the essential components that make search more effective, and share the advanced search features and functionality built into Unilog’s CIMM2 digital commerce solution. Aung Latt, Unilog’s Senior VP of Sales, also provides his insights on the importance of incorporating sophisticated search into B2B eCommerce.
Anyone can have a search bar on a website, but for those whose sites have sophisticated search capabilities, they can offer more targeted, relevant search results for buyers, which lead to a quicker and easier path to purchase.
More advanced than standard search functionality, a sophisticated or advanced search utilizes search algorithms which allow vendors to dictate the results that display on their site during a user search. “This is where distributors are going to win or lose the eCommerce game,” said Aung Latt, Senior VP of Sales at Unilog. “Relevant search results are critical to a buyer, and search algorithms are the best way to ensure the most suitable results will appear.” In order for B2B wholesalers to accelerate their online business, they need to put the pedal to the metal and improve their eCommerce site search.
SOPHISTICATED SITE SEARCH TOOLS JUMP START THE USER EXPERIENCE
No one has the time or patience to click through multiple pages to eventually find the product he or she needs. Buyers expect to enter a general name, description, or part number in a search box and see a condensed set of search results that match or relate – instantaneously. A sophisticated search tool does just that and more; it simplifies the overall purchase process, which is a win-win for both buyers and sellers. Sophisticated search tools are fueled with intuitive capabilities:
- Auto-complete suggestions to help facilitate faster, more accurate search results
- Configurable search that enables the most relevant items to appear first in the search results
- A navigation bar with faceted attributes that let buyers drill down to a specific item or subset
- Relevant search results which are pulled from content found throughout a website, not just on product pages, to provide buyers with more resources
- Product variant views that streamline search results for products that come in multiple sizes, colors, etc.
“Relevant search results are critical to a buyer, and search algorithms are the best way to ensure the most suitable results will appear.”
Senior VP of Sales at Unilog
SUPERCHARGE ONSITE SEARCH WITH CONTENT, SPEED, AND ANALYTICS
While sophisticated search is an essential eCommerce site component, it can’t function at its full potential without three key elements:
- Great site content
Detailed information about company products and services drives a search tool. Specifics like a product’s material, size, amperage and job application allow the search platform to identify and present the most pertinent content to assist a buyer. While robust product data is important, so is other site content such as training videos, manuals, blogs, and other resources.
- Fast site speed
Search tools consume large sets of data, so in order for sophisticated search to find results in a short amount of time a website must be optimized for speed. Search results don’t matter to a buyer if they take too long to display, so online retailers must be sure their sites have the power to keep up.
- Search-specific analytics
Sophisticated search platforms feature in-built analytics and reporting tools specific to user search behavior. This information offers detailed insight about a site’s search configurations, giving businesses the opportunity to tweak and improve the user search experience. Analytics provide an important feedback loop for B2B online retailers, so they should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure a site’s search results effectiveness.
FOR A BETTER ONSITE SEARCH EXPERIENCE, UPSHIFT TO CIMM2
Just like cars, digital commerce and search platforms are not all built alike. The engine, parts, and technology that go into them can make the difference between a successful product and a real lemon. Unilog’s CIMM2 software is a high-performing digital commerce solution built with a robust product information management (PIM) tool, a strong content management system (CMS), an adaptable API toolset that integrates internal and external systems, and an industry-leading, open-source search platform.
Developed specifically for manufacturers and distributors, CIMM2 offers a B2C user experience for B2B buyers – and the CIMM search tool helps drive that experience with top-of-the-line benefits:
- Built with Apache Solr
Used by big companies like Apple, Netflix, and Best Buy, Solr is a responsive and versatile search platform that handles even the most high-volume traffic searches on a website
- Customizable configurations
Adapts to business and industry needs by offering multiple ways to configure product searches and associate related terms and products
- Predictive searches and powerful matching
Simplifies buyer search with multiple types of search options and intuitive type-ahead features, plus it interprets different orders of words, misspelled words, and even variations of number displays
- Insightful reporting
Search-specific reporting tools and custom analytics track user search behavior, allowing businesses to personalize and optimize web content for customers
- Site search diagnosis and support
Unilog will diagnose and determine best ways to configure search for optimal results
Sophisticated search tools like CIMM2’s search put distributors in the driver seat, allowing them to control the path to buyer search results on their site. However, Latt stresses that businesses must have dedicated people to analyze and adjust the course regularly in order to offer a successful user experience on their B2B site. “There’s always a bit of finessing needed to develop the right search results for buyers,” explained Latt. “In a way, developing your onsite search becomes more of an art form than a standard search by keyword.”
For a personalized demo of CIMM2’s impressive search features and functionality, contact Aung Latt at Unilog. He’ll show you how you can add power and speed to your online storefront and stay in the lead.
Unilog is a global technology company that delivers powerful, affordable eCommerce solutions for the B2B marketplace. Our cloud-based eCommerce platform and product data enrichment services help distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers increase online sales, reduce cost to serve, and enhance their digital channel. Unilog is an ISO 9001:2008- and ISO 8000-certified company with North American headquarters outside of Philadelphia, PA and international headquarters in Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.unilogcorp.com.