AI-Powered Search Tool Helps Brands With Product Discovery

Arthur Zaczkiewicz and Madeleine Streets
·3 min read

Cart abandonment could happen at many consumer touchpoints during an e-commerce shopping experience. Often, though, consumers don’t get as far as even adding an item to the cart in the first place. Online retailers and brands are continuing to look for ways to bolster product discovery and search systems to better help shoppers and increase conversions.

In response to these challenges, a new AI-powered provider called Klevu launched a solution to address this need for improved search functionality.

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Unlike in brick-and-mortar, the online browsing experience is more clearly signposted, most popularly by the search bar function. Yet shoppers aren’t always being shown the most relevant results for their searches. This can sometimes be due to inconsistent tagging of item details, or due to limited filters that overload the searcher with too many results.

“Search and discovery remains the most overlooked aspect of the e-commerce experience and more than 30 percent of online shoppers will ‘bounce,’ or leave a site quickly, if they can’t find what they want,” said Nilay Oza, chief executive officer and cofounder of Klevu.

The process of search does not just occur in the designated box, but also through a consumer’s selection of product categories or curated edits. While this can complicate a brand’s search experience strategy, it also provides additional opportunities to engage with the shopper and suggest the right product. In order to best serve the customer, brands need to be able to reach them at all parts of the discovery journey.

With Klevu, data is collected on all demonstrated shopper intent as they navigate a digital commerce channel — not just through their search bar entries. This data is then leveraged by AI technology to inform personalized search results or product suggestions. These might take the form of similar products, trending products for you or promotional offers, depending on the consumer’s behavior.

“Search isn’t limited to just the search box; it encompasses every part of an online shopper’s experience, from using filters and navigation tools to receiving product recommendations and even chat — all of those touchpoints are part of search,” Oza said. “Our Discovery Suite is a holistic solution that enables brands to personalize the entire search and discovery experience to drive sales and relevancy, while also gaining data insights that can inform merchandising and product development decisions.”

The data collected from these customer journeys can also be deployed elsewhere in a brand’s retail strategy, such as in marketing efforts or in-store ad campaigns. If a brand can identify which customers shop a certain size or style, it can target this group when it has extra inventory in that market; product that is popular across segments might be the most impactful on store billboards.

Current customers of the newly launched platform include athletic brand Puma, which has reported an average increase of 52 percent in search-led conversion following its integration of Klevu. By enabling shoppers to find the right product more quickly, brands can eliminate any friction in the customer journey and reduce the risk of them closing out before making a purchase.

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