Retail Technology Review: Why Online Product Search needs to become more human

Share

eCommerce retailers need to face up to an uncomfortable truth, which is that today’s search and discovery mechanisms are based on technical and user experience concepts developed over 20 years ago. They leave consumers frustrated and unengaged, resulting in churn or missed sales opportunities.

In this article in Retail Technology Review, Twan Vollebregt (CEO) looks at why (and how) eCommerce retailers need to rethink their approach to how consumers search for products on their websites.

We think it’s time for a change. What do you think?

eCommerce retailers need to face up to an uncomfortable truth, which is that today’s search and discovery mechanisms are based on technical and user experience concepts developed over 20 years ago. They leave consumers frustrated and unengaged, resulting in churn or missed sales opportunities.

Not true! Is the collective cry. So let’s analyse it and see why (and how) eCommerce retailers need to rethink their approach to how consumers search for products on their websites.

So much change – yet so little change

At the heart of product discovery is search, guided by facets and search-bars. These mechanisms reflect a technical search engine perspective – for good historical reasons. Once upon a time in the early days of the Internet, a software engineer was asked to fetch products from a database. The simplest way to achieve this was to ask the product designer to add some input parameters to the UI, which acted as database filtering parameters. Voila – the concept of ‘filtering’ was born – and it is still with us today, but not because it provides a great user experience.

Yes, both mechanisms have evolved over time. Facets are now being selected dynamically, and may be based on the specific user’s journey. Search bars have become more and more sophisticated, adding capabilities such as autocomplete, spellcheck, faceted search, synonyms, and boosting – as well as providing their results using a more appealing drop-down UI.

However…

Read the full article here.

Share
Traverz is changing product discovery for good. Are you ready to take advantage?