Have you noticed that ever-present feature that your customers rely on? The thing that takes them straight to what they are looking for? Yes, it is that small rectangular space where the customer can type in specific phrases and search for the product they are looking for, and yet in many cases, this is the most ignored aspect of any website
The humble search box is what connects you to your customer. Customers come looking for products they might have heard of, possibly seen on another site or in some commercials. The last thing you want is your customer to think that your business is not even aware of such a product.
Let’s explain that by taking the example of a popular e-retail website, like amazon.com. The site will never give you an empty answer; instead, it will list you similar products. Sometimes it will bring up products that are not in the specific country you are searching from but are available in another country and gives you the options to purchase them, even if it means spending a lot more. The idea behind it is to show the customer that everything is available on your website. You want your customers to think of your website when they need anything.
Another aspect is the speed with which your site can return results, also called response time. The more you make your customers wait, the more likely they are to jump to another website to get a product. Wait times are strongly tied to the volume of sales made on a website. Slower page speeds lead to longer wait times and more visitors would drop off, resulting in lower sales. This problem is especially accentuated on mobile phones.
Search is now undergoing dramatic improvement with the application of artificial intelligence to get more relevant results than ever before. You can now incorporate specialist site search tools to improve the customer experience on the web.
Challenges with Conventional Site Search
Conventional Site Search is the functionality available on a website that allows customers to search for the products, blog content or knowledge articles within the website. There are obvious challenges with conventional site search.. Some of the more notable challenges faced in conventional search include one dimensional search, limited correlation capabilities and static search.
- One Dimensional Search
With conventional search, your search remains limited to text based one dimensional keyword search. This also means you have to have your entire knowledge base converted or tagged and made available in textual form.
- Limited Correlation capability
Although correlation in conventional search is a possibility, it is largely static. It is static in the sense, the correlation has to be specifically mentioned in the search criteria. There are many other subtle correlations that typically get ignored when conventional search rules are formulated.
- Static Search
Conventional search results are typically static, meaning they do not expand beyond keywords or correlation rules.
Let’s now take a look at how Artificial Intelligence powered site search overcomes these challenges and more.
Artificial Intelligence-based site search
Artificial Intelligence-based site search harnesses the power of cutting-edge technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to power customer searches. These search functions work behind the scenes and get the most relevant results for a customer.
Let’s explore features of AI-powered site search that are a cut above conventional site search while also exploring how it helps businesses increase revenues.
More than just text
AI-powered site search tools enable the customer to search for content or products with more than just keywords. Customers can now search with a question or a phrase, in some cases even using voice and visual search. This significantly expands the search horizon and offers the customer an array of options to choose from. The more relevant options the customer is presented with, the more likely they will stick to your website and complete a purchase.
With Natural language processing or NLP, performing a contextual search that brings forth the intent behind the customer search is possible. NLP and ML algorithms can bring up related contexts like a festival where the customer might look up the product even in specific product searches.
Another often-used feature of NLP that site search engines can take advantage of is typo detection. Any typos in the search are easily identified, and relevant search results are displayed. This saves time for the customer and increases the chances of the customer making the sale.
Product Catalogue Enrichment
Machine Learning-based site search engines learn a lot from searches from worldwide customers. This massive repository of search phrases helps the search engine identify products and content based on additional keywords and phrases, thus enriching the product catalogue. There is now a larger net to catch keywords and phrases used by the customer, pick up the right product from the catalogue, and more.
Machine Learning lets the search engine learn from past searches and purchases, even with disjoint searches. It helps the search engine to understand correlations between several purchases and provides all possible options to the customer in one go. This is different from rule-based correlation, which is static. Here ML dynamically learns from past searches and establishes correlation dynamically.
Personalisation is one feature that builds customer loyalty. Typically, customers are comfortable with sites that can remember their search preferences. AI adds another dimension to this by profiling various customer search patterns. These search patterns can then be applied to all customers identified in specific profiles enabling them to discover more.
AI-based site search engines can easily spot the latest trends in both search and purchases and present the most relevant results to the customer. This might turn out to be another way to delight a customer, than just offering what the customer was looking for.
The Business Benefits of Powerful Search
AI powered search in your website will firstly and most importantly help your customer connect to your product better. It allows your customer to get what they are looking for on your website much faster. Other benefits of using AI powered site search capability are,
|Better customer experience
Better conversion rates
Improved customer loyalty
Today AI-based site search engines can easily be integrated into your website. There are cloud-based solutions that allow you to pay only for the consumed resources and not the services offered. In other words, you pay only for what you use, nothing more, nothing less. Thus, AI-based search is more lucrative and beneficial as compared to conventional site search for customer retention.