Intelligent site search, such as HeyDay, is a sophisticated search technology that helps websites or online platforms to provide users with highly relevant and personalized search results. For B2B eCommerce platforms, intelligent onsite search is non-negotiable. Site search is a common issue B2B customers have provided feedback on for improvement.
What if I told you there's one tweak you can make for a QUANTUM LEAP in your B2B eCommerce platform growth?
What if I told you that one tweak is SO SIMPLE and ridiculously cheap…would that get your attention?
Well, all that is true. And the answer is site search!
But more than just having a site search function on your website is required. If your site search isn't AI-optimized, you're flushing your sales down the pipe. AI-assisted site search dramatically enhances your customer's experience and boosts sales.
From our experience with various eCommerce platforms, customers who use AI site search see astronomical conversion rates than those who don't.
Traditionally, people using the search bar usually have a clear idea of what they want and are likely to purchase. For B2B eCommerce platforms, intelligent onsite search is non-negotiable. In most B2B eCommerce platforms we've worked with, site search is a common issue that customers have provided feedback on for improvement.
Keep reading for tested and proven best practices that’ll fuel the growth of your B2B platform without extra marketing budgets.
What is Intelligent Site Search?
Intelligent site search, such as HeyDay, is a sophisticated search technology that helps websites or online platforms to provide users with highly relevant and personalized search results.
The search tool goes beyond simple keyword matching. It uses advanced algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence techniques to understand user intent, context, and preferences.
Intelligent site search systems interpret user queries and analyze vast data repositories to generate accurate search results that match the user's intent, even when the question is ambiguous or lacks explicit context. These systems consider user behavior, purchase history, location, and contextual information to deliver more precise and tailored search results.
With intelligent site search, website owners can quickly sweeten the user experience by making it easier and faster for users to find the desired products, services, or information on their websites.
That proactive approach also sets the customer up for more purchases, making them stay longer on your website. The more they love your platform, the more they talk about it too, which sends your revenue through the roof.
With HeyDay, you get auto-suggestions, typo correction, seamless navigation, synonym matching, predictive search, and genuine natural language processing. Your B2B users can easily find what they seek more efficiently, even with limited knowledge of the website's structure or terminology.
That’s just the start.
Importance of Intelligent Site Search in B2B Platforms
B2B companies typically offer intricate products with many specifications, attributes, and variations. They also have a vast product catalog, often containing hundreds or millions of items.
Thus, visitors often need help surfing the site. And product data processing become even more complex. If a search engine is not working correctly, B2B buyers and shoppers give up and switch to your competitors.
The result? Lost opportunities and extra manual labor for your sales and customer service team.
Intelligent site search is integral to the growth and success of B2B platforms, from improving user experience, customer satisfaction, and engagement to enhancing product discoverability and conversion rates and saving time and costs.
AI-assisted site search helps streamline buying by providing relevant and accurate search results;
Reduces frustration and increases engagement by presenting relevant suggestions, refining search queries, and providing advanced filtering options;
Uses synonym matching, typo correction, and faceted navigation to ensure that products are easily discoverable, increasing conversion chances;
Guides buyers towards the most relevant products, reducing the time and effort required to find what they need, optimizing the likelihood of conversion and platform revenue;
Minimizes the need for manual assistance or support, reducing operational costs for the platform.
Again, the difference between traditional and intelligent search is like night and day.
How Intelligence Site Search Differs from Traditional Site Search
When constructing how users can browse your websites for products or information, there are two options to choose from:
traditional site search
intelligent site search
Standard site search matches keywords to website content but may only sometimes provide relevant or complete results. On the other hand, intelligent site search uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to personalize search results based on user behavior and natural language.
Such advanced search tools offer features like auto-suggest and guided navigation (i.e., filtering search results with pre-defined attributes or characteristics) to refine searches and improve the overall user experience.
Additionally, intelligent site search collects pertinent visitors’ data to enhance website effectiveness. Think about it this way, if I’m not interested in dog food, there’s no point in recommending dog food or articles about dog food to me.
While smaller B2C websites might find some benefits using traditional site search, B2B and larger eCommerce platforms require intelligent site search for advanced search capabilities, such as:
Intuitive user experience
Relevance and personalization
Continuous learning from user behavior
For example, Amazon uses its search bar to help site visitors make seamless buying decisions.
A practical web browser does more than prevent customer loss. It also boosts sales. For example, businesses using the intelligent search engine HeyDay have experienced a conversion increase of approximately 20%.
Implementing Intelligent Site Search in Your B2B Platform: 7 Must-Have Features
An intelligent onsite search is an investment that gives you a competitive edge by helping you attract and retain customers and drive sustainable growth.
Below are seven must-have intelligent site search features to consider:
1. Auto-complete search term suggestions
Autocomplete is an essential feature that helps save time and effort for users. It predicts a user's typing after the first few letters based on previous searches or commonly used phrases and offers suggestions.
Type-ahead search speeds up the typing process and reduces errors as users no longer have to type out the entire word or phrase. More so, autocomplete helps users discover new information and options that they may not have otherwise considered.
2. Fuzzy Search
Fuzzy search allows the system to find information even if the search term is misspelled or incomplete. This is particularly beneficial in B2B platforms where complex and technical terms may be difficult to spell or remember. With fuzzy search, users can input a term close to what they seek and still receive accurate results. Users save time and find more value in browsing your site as the number of failed searches minimizes.
3. Auto-correction for misspelled search terms
Have you ever needed help finding the information you need on a B2B platform because of misspelled search terms? If so, you'll be happy to know that with auto-correction, your search tool can use advanced algorithms to detect and correct misspelled search terms, providing visitors with more accurate results.
4. Extended synonym search
Extended synonym search expands the words visitors can use to find what they want. By widening the range of synonyms available to users, they can more accurately and efficiently search for the products or services they need.
With such a streamlined experience, you prevent miscommunications and misunderstandings. Incorporating extended synonym search helps B2B eCommerce platforms foster stronger relationships with customers, as it provides a more precise and nuanced way of communicating about products and services.
5. Targeted routing to selected product or content pages through redirects
B2B platforms use Targeted Routing to direct users to specific pages based on their search queries or pre-defined rules. It involves setting up redirects that automatically route users to the most relevant product or content pages.
By using targeted routing, you can ensure that visitors are directed to the most relevant pages, increasing the chances of them converting into paying customers. That is especially beneficial for businesses with large product catalogs or complex websites, as it allows you to personalize the user experience and make it easier for visitors to find what they want.
6. Search results weighting
Search results weighting is a strategy used in search algorithms to allocate different levels of importance or relevance to specific search results.
It involves setting weights or scores to individual search results based on relevance, popularity, recency, or user behavior. Search results weighting aims to ensure that the most relevant and valuable results are displayed prominently to users and reduce bounce rates.
7. User-definable filters for displaying search results
User-definable filters for displaying search results are customizable options that allow users to filter search results based on their preferences. You can apply these filters to search parameters like price range, product category, brand, etc.
For B2B eCommerce platforms, user-definable filters provide customizable search options that help site visitors narrow their search results and find exactly what they want.
Standard Best Practices for Successful Intelligent Site Search Implementation
Now that we’ve covered all the vital aspects of what you should look for in an intelligent site for your B2B platform, let’s look at some essential best practices for implementing your intelligent site search.
Customizing the search interface for maximum effect
Research shows that the search bar is one of the most critical tools on your website. A study by Baymard Institute states that the average onsite search usage across eCommerce websites is approximately 30% of total site visitors. That means many users actively search onsite to find products or information they seek.
A similar report by Think with Google finds that users interacting with the onsite search are 2-3 times more likely to purchase than those relying solely on browsing or navigation.
The design of your site's search bar will make or mar it. Take a look at successful eCommerce websites, especially those with many products. Notice how they prioritize the search function by carefully designing its placement and taking up a significant portion of the page.
Pay attention to your product data
Accurate and detailed product data is non-negotiable if you want to offer your customers a seamless online shopping experience.
Here are some surefire ways to enhance your product data:
Be specific and relevant with your product titles.
Customers need to know exactly what they're looking at, so make sure your product titles accurately reflect the product's features and purpose. Avoid using vague or generic titles like "widget" or "gadget."
Provide detailed descriptions.
Help your system match search queries to results with comprehensive product benefits, features, and specifications. This includes dimensions, materials, and any other relevant details.
Use high-quality images.
We can say enough about the importance of using high-quality images for products. Show your customers what the product looks like with clear and accurate images that represent the product.
Organize products into categories.
Group your products into relevant categories to make finding products that match the buyer’s intent easier for your algorithm.
Intelligent site search depends on a pre-defined function to be most effective. Optimizing product data helps the system quickly find products that meet the customer’s needs, helping them have a more enjoyable site search experience.
Ensure scalability and performance
We’ve discussed all the beautiful benefits of intelligent site search for B2B eCommerce. While all those points are factual, there’s a caveat you also know.
Not all site searches are designed equally.
Some solutions only work best when your site traffic is minimal. But as you grow, things begin to fall apart. It'll cost you severely if you don’t plan for that from the get-go.
Like every aspect of your business, you must plan for scalability and consistent results. Such proactive decisioning ensures that as your customer base grows and demands increase, you don’t have to overhaul your entire infrastructure to meet expectations.
That’s why HeyDay partners with platform owners to create the best onsite search that works for their business model. Whether you’re a startup or a well-established platform owner, HeyDay can give you an edge against the competition in today’s volatile digital marketplace. Contact our team for a quick demo.
About the Author
Tom-Chris Emewulu is HeyDay’s Digital Evangelist. With 8+ years of digital marketing and business development experience, he crafts high-intent, high-converting, data-driven SEO articles that put brands on page 1 of Google search. Forbes, DW, Business Insider, Businessss2Community, and many other publications have featured his works. You can find him on Social Media via @tomchrisemewulu.