We know that 84% of US online adults rely on the search function — more than the menu function — of a brand or retailer’s website to find products that they intend to buy or when browsing. Yet some businesses spend more time setting up merchandising categories than setting up site product search for success.

The most recent addition to Forrester’s growing commerce search research explains how the commerce search experience is only as good as the data that feeds it.

Consumers expect a personalized product discovery experience. That’s only possible when search solutions tap all relevant data sources and tune results accordingly.

Use the following data sources to create stellar search experiences:

  1. Product data. This data is the bulk of what is fed into your commerce search solution, often by a product information management system. Many search solutions augment or enhance the product data that they receive. Rich product data lets search tailor results with increased refinement.
  2. Inventory data. How many of those items are available, and where are they? Fully 93% of US online adults say that it’s important to be able to filter products by availability. Consumers expect this information from retailers!
  3. Delivery data. How can customers receive the item, and when? Most US online adults want to be able to filter their products by delivery date. Show delivery options — and costs — early in the customer journey.
  4. Customer data. One-third of US online adults agree that they are willing to share their information if it creates a better shopping experience. Customers will provide zero-party data about their needs and preferences (e.g., when they complete a quiz). They also passively provide first-party data through their purchases, loyalty activity, and returns. Seventy percent of US online adults want the option to not have their information collected, however. If they do opt in, they then expect the digital businesses that they buy from to use that information to improve their experiences.
  5. Session data. Leverage the data that you collect as customers browse and interact with products in real time, and serve products that match your customer’s intent in that moment. Avoid a jarring product discovery journey by refining customers’ experiences with each query, not each click.

For more insights on data-powered commerce search experiences, please read the full research here.

Questions? Let’s connect. Schedule an inquiry or guidance session with me!