- What is product discovery e-commerce?
- How can you enhance the product discovery process in your e-shop?
- 10 must-have product discovery tools
- 1. Autocomplete
- 2. Tolerant search
- 3. Merchandising
- 4. Dynamic filters
- 5. Recommendations
- 6. Ranking
- 7. Multi-language processing
- 8. Speed
- 9. Analytics
- 10. Mobile-optimized search
- The best product discovery techniques to take note of
- Assign a person responsible for product discovery
- Include product discovery in your plans and metrics
- Treat search as another business channel
- Keep improving and adjusting
- Frequently asked questions
E-commerce experienced massive growth during the pandemic, and many e-shops became overly optimistic in their future predictions. Online shopping was a must as most people were isolated, and the only viable product shopping option consisted of visiting e-commerce websites and having items delivered to our homes. As people were allowed to return to brick-and-mortar stores and Europe got hit by war, inflation, and general instability, e-commerce growth started to stagnate.
Many e-shops discovered they were left with goods that were simply not selling anymore. E-commerce conversions dropped by 20%, and e-shops had to look for ways to optimize their costs and increase sales. Soon e-shops discovered that one of the ways to keep their e-commerce businesses profitable is to streamline discovery and product delivery.
What is product discovery e-commerce?
Product discovery in e-commerce refers to a significant and important part of the online shopping process – how online visitors discover and search for new items to buy. Many e-shops worldwide rely on standard user interface design best practices to guide online visitors to new items. However, having a great website design is just the tip of the iceberg, as product discovery can be enhanced much further, bringing stunning results for e-commerce websites.
The key is bringing new ways of increasing visitor engagement on your website and improving certain processes to make shopping easier for your potential customers. Higher engagement can be achieved with certain types of software that include product discovery tools that can positively influence customer behavior during their shopping sessions.
How can you enhance the product discovery process in your e-shop?
Enhanced product discovery streamlines the shopping experience thanks to its ability to help people find relevant products and encourage buying. There are a lot of solutions on the market that offer enhanced product discovery functionality and can greatly help streamline each customer’s journey.
One of the major functionalities this type of software offers is a search box with a plethora of advanced features that help visitors find what they need without mistakes or major effort. This alone can help e-shops reach their business goals for increased discovery, as searching is a very important part of each online shopping trip. However, that’s not all.
Another huge part of the package is personalized product recommendations, which can do wonders for product discovery. Sometimes the product discovery phase can end prematurely if customers aren’t finding relevant products even thanks to great search, but this can be easily fixed with recommendations. The Recommender engine uses data gathered from the previous browsing of each customer and creates tailor-made recommendations to help increase the average shopping cart value.
Last but not least, discovery can be greatly improved with advanced product listing features. This functionality solves many common issues that e-shops often experience. Browsing can get very tedious if customers have to browse for their desired items for too long. Enhanced listing can remove this frustration with features that smartly sort products based on real user preferences or provide better filtering options.
With the addition of digital product analytics, you can go even deeper and learn new ideas for potential solutions. You can tweak individual tools to enhance continuous discovery options for your visitors based on informed decisions from gathered data. Each tool offers a set of sub-features that can help you better target customer behavior and preferences. Let’s take a look at some of them and how they can help you influence customer behavior during shopping.
No. 1 E‑Commerce Search Software in Europe
10 must-have product discovery tools
While there are many important tools and features that can enhance the continuous discovery of new items, we’ll take a look at the top 10 must-have product features. The selection offers a variety of functionality from separate tools, and while each of them works in a different way, they all share a common goal – to greatly increase your chances of making more sales. An additional effect is a significantly improved shopping experience and increased customer satisfaction, which also leads to more positive customer feedback.
If you have ever used a search box on an e-commerce site, you might’ve noticed a neat feature called Autocomplete. Autocomplete in search provides search results as the user types their keyword. This can be a huge time saver that can streamline shopping in multiple ways. The users don’t have to worry about typos as much and are likely to discover new products in the selection. Research shows that at least 40% of users click on Autocomplete to shop faster.
Additionally, Luigi’s Box Search offers an accompanying feature Autocomplete Showcase. This feature presents itself as a simple but very effective animation of autofill in the search box, which serves two purposes. Firstly, it brings attention to the search bar and lets online visitors know its position right away. Secondly, it provides suggestions and ideas for search queries and lets your online visitors know what type of items you have to offer right from the start.
2. Tolerant search
Even the best and most precise online shoppers will get the occasional butterfingers, and make a mistake, often with amusing results. Typos are inevitable, especially when the user wants to search in a hurry to buy something in a short time. Many standard site search bars will show no results if the query contains misspelled words, as the systems are not advanced enough to connect the dots and figure out what word the user intended to write.
This can lead to higher frustration, negative user feedback, lower sales, and abandoned shopping carts. Luckily problems with typos can be easily avoided, as more advanced softwares include solutions for usability issues to ensure a successful product search every single time.
Typos are not a problem if your search utilizes Typo Tolerance and Typo Correction features. Modern search engines can smartly identify the closest word to what the user was originally typing and replace the misspelled version with the correct one. This feature removes frustration or confusion from the search experience. According to our data, 30% of customers immediately leave the e-shop if they get a no-results found message and you’re missing out on potential sales due to a bad search experience, even if you actually have that product.
Each successful e-commerce site needs good marketing to let the world know who you are. However, promotion shouldn’t stop just there, and promotion can be of great help if used internally as well. With the sheer amount of products available on most e-shops, the chance that customers will discover all of them naturally is slim.
The key to helping your online visitors discover new product opportunities lies in successful merchandising and product promotion. Merchandising features can be a part of every customer’s product discovery journey, and they are the perfect companion to advanced search and product listing.
You can also promote products that matter through merchandising features such as banners that naturally fit with the design of your website. The banners can be placed directly in search, product lists, or elsewhere on the website to provide you with a greater degree of flexibility. You can place products of your choice higher in search results or product listings to ensure they will be immediately visible and streamline the product discovery process.
Promote best-selling products and discounted products that you need to sell to free-up warehouse space, or test out new items that don’t have a behavioral history. There are plenty of use cases when it comes to erchandising features, and it’s only up to you how creative you want to be.
4. Dynamic filters
Probably each one of us has experienced a long session of browsing through endless lists of items in e-shops, with the desired item nowhere in sight. Usually, the first thought is to utilize filters, but we often find out that they are insufficient and often provide filtering irrelevant options which are not really that useful in the end.
This issue can be easily solved with Dynamic Filters, which are a must-have for any state-of-the-art e-commerce website’s user interface. These types of filters dynamically change depending on the context of the search. Dynamic filters can help your customers sort through products based on various attributes and remove filters that are not relevant to the current search.
This is possible thanks to artificial intelligence, which smartly recognizes product categories and dynamically changes the filtering options for each category separately. Filters can also be customized manually to provide users with the best filtering options, so you can have your input and change what you need to ensure the best experience.
If users search for “laptop,” they will see only laptop-related filters, such as screen sizes, processor types, graphic card options, operating systems, brands, etc. If the next search is “robotic vacuum cleaner,” the filters will change to the surface, navigation, or dust bin capacity.
Product recommendations are another great way of enhancing the discovery of new items to buy. They are useful in every stage of product discovery, and this is all possible thanks to artificial intelligence. The recommendations are always tailor-made for each customer, depending on their browsing history.
The system smartly gathers data from the customers’ browsing and chooses which products are a likely match for them. However, that’s not everything, as the Recommender can suggest products to help increase the average shopping cart value as well.
It can present customers with cross-selling recommendations between product categories, help you upsell products with higher value, suggest ideal product bundles, or remind users of the last seen products. Recommendations can do wonders for your revenue, thanks to all of the above, and they can become a vital part of each customer journey that will ensure proper product discovery.
Product management in listings can get difficult with bigger stocks, and it can be hard to determine which item should show up first in search results. Some e-shops might handle this task manually and carefully plan which items will go to the top and which items will end up at the bottom of the list.
While this strategy can be very successful with careful planning, it’s also extremely time-consuming, and it might not pay off since each customer has different wants and expectations from their shopping session. This is why advanced discovery software utilizes Ranking features.
Ranking features are powered by AI, and their main benefit is that they automatically sort products based on various criteria to increase profits for e-shops. The criteria include profit margins, number of sales, clicks, availability, seasonality, and more.
The system can accurately classify the closest match for any keyword, but it also considers the user’s preferences, search intent, and browsing history in case history is available. Thanks to this feature, you don’t have to worry about your product lists or searches showing irrelevant items, and you don’t have to sort everything manually to ensure a flawless experience.
7. Multi-language processing
English is often the standard go-to language when it comes to online shopping. However, each e-shop might want to expand someday, and that’s where things can get difficult. Website translations can be done fairly easily, but that doesn’t mean the search AI will understand product names in different languages. This is exactly why modern solutions include the processing of other languages besides English.
Advanced language processing is one of the keys to opening your business in foreign markets. Default solutions can’t handle tasks like word forms, lemmatization, word decompounding, or typo correction in other languages besides English. These features are essential, as some languages utilize genders, countless tenses, and word forms more than English does. However, solutions with advanced language processing can handle these tasks effortlessly and ensure the best experience for speakers of any other language as well.
Speed is essential for online shopping, so the solution you choose must be perfect when it comes to how quickly it comes up with relevant search results. Thanks to constant research, testing, and troubleshooting, many solutions can offer just that. Furthermore, even if a solution works in an isolated environment, the software company has to ensure it will work anywhere without slowing down or compromising any part of the website.
It might not seem to be so at first glance, but speed is essential for customer loyalty as well. Modern users, especially online shoppers, tend to get frustrated easily when parts of a website don’t work as intended. Longer waiting periods can result in users leaving the website completely and taking their business somewhere else. It’s worth researching which solutions are the fastest so you can gain a competitive advantage.
While having all these amazing features at your disposal is a great thing on its own, you also need to track how they perform in action. This is where advanced, comprehensive Analytics features come in handy. Advanced analytics is vital as it can help you keep track of each tool and show you how they perform. This set of tools will allow you to track clicks and conversions and reveal how customers engage with each tool.
You will be able to see popular search queries and identify which products are best-sellers. However, you can also keep track of critical information from the other end of the spectrum and find out about searches that come up with no results, recommendations that are not performing that well, and much more. Furthermore, it can help you with customer segmentation thanks to precise data. Analytics should update constantly and track everything important so you can identify both your strengths and weaknesses.
10. Mobile-optimized search
Often overlooked and underestimated, mobile search is essential for any e-commerce business, yet many e-shops neglect it. The fact is that around 63% of online shoppers prefer shopping via their smartphones rather than computers. This means that mobile search can be just the right thing to get a competitive advantage. One of the main things that mobile search needs to offer is responsivity.
Great mobile search is responsive to screen sizes, as there is a huge number of smartphones with different screen sizes. Responsivity ensures that mobile-optimized search will provide a quality search experience for each user, regardless of what device they use. Maintaining a good search experience across devices is essential for improving your sales, as frustrating search functionality can drive your customers away from your business.
Boost your Product Discovery with Luigi's Box
Our features offer everything you need to improve product discovery on your e-shop which can significantly increase your conversions and earnings. Try it out today!
The best product discovery techniques to take note of
Assign a person responsible for product discovery
Always have a go-to person who will keep track of the search performance and adjust its settings accordingly to ensure a smooth performance for every website visitor. Intuitive interfaces combined with access to search analytics are essential, as they will provide the person responsible with an easy way to manage the entire operation, even if they work only part-time.
There’s no need for you to handle every tedious task manually when you can access AI-powered features. With the right solution, you can sit back and relax or focus on more prominent tasks instead of dealing with repetitive issues. Artificial intelligence can take care of the majority while you can focus on improving your strategy, performing usability tests, and adjusting each tool accordingly.
Include product discovery in your plans and metrics
Business plans shouldn’t include just your financial planning or product selection. With your solution readily available, you can take advantage of the analytics features and include search data and metrics in your business plans. Take advantage of everything you have at your disposal and improve your processes.
Treat search as another business channel
The search might not seem like a big deal to some e-commerce website owners, but it’s been proven to be a major factor in the entire shopping experience. Treat it as such, and consider it your additional business channel. Great search can bring significant value to your business and bring you many return customers as well.
Keep improving and adjusting
Advanced product discovery is a very effective way to increase your sales and reduce your losses, but you need to put some effort into it as well. Make sure to use your solution to the max and constantly improve with data analytics, product promotions, adjustments in search and filtering, as well as in all essential areas that affect the shopping experience.
We hope you learned something interesting in this article that will help you streamline your product discovery process in the future. Remember, it’s not only about the tools and products you use to improve search & discovery, you also need to manage customer expectations, and your teams as well. With the right attitude, you can beat the competition and gain yourself a loyal customer base in no time.
Frequently asked questions
What is product discovery in e-commerce?
Product discovery in e-commerce refers to the process of how customers discover new products in online marketplaces.
What are product discovery techniques?
Product discovery techniques include a wide variety of tactics to help customers discover new products in online shops. They can include interviews with customers, gathering analytic data and applying changes accordion to the data in practice, analyzing competitors and adjusting the browsing experience, among others.
What is a product discovery tool?
Product discovery tools refer to software, features and/or functionalities that helps e-commerce websites enhance their product discovery options. They usually include an advanced AI-powered toolset that consists of search, recommendation engine, product listing features, and analytics. All of these tools include a variety of features which help create a better product discovery process and experience.
Why is product discovery important in e-commerce?
Product discovery in e-commerce is essential because without it, the customers would have a very hard time finding what they need in e-shops. Product discovery makes the process easier thanks to adjusting functionality to better serve online shop visitors, presenting products without their direct input, or helping them find what they need with efficient search and stellar interface.
Alex is a wordsmith for Luigi's Box where he works as a product marketing specialist. He used to work as a graphic designer while getting his degree in Media Communication. His other interests include photography, reading, art, philosophy, and psychology. Besides being a part of the Luigi's Box team, he does video translations for the Art You Can Eat video portal about contemporary artists from Slovakia.More blog posts from this author