eCommerce Best Practices Online Merchandising Visual AI Blog How to Increase the Findability and Buyability of Your Online Products Lihi Pinto Fryman September 24, 2017 7 Min Read As customers are increasingly turning to e-commerce to scratch their shopping itch, modern retailers found themselves faced with the need to help shoppers find their products more intuitively. The goal is to spur the efficiency of online retailing business, together with ensuring better visibility of their products online. Since today’s ecommerce market offers numerous opportunities at the price of increased competitiveness, improving the findability and buyability of your products becomes a priority that demands much of your attention and time, so let us ease the burden a bit for you and offer valuable advice on the matter. The Product Search Factor You can argue about the precedence of the chicken or egg in philosophy, but things are rather clear in the world of e-retail: every buyer’s journey starts with a search for products and it ultimately impacts the outcome of each decision on their purchase. As a retailer, your goal is to find out the answer to an age-old trader’s dilemma: what prompts the buyer to go after your (or, heaven forbid, the competitor’s) product over another option on offer? Product searches frequently act as the first bridge that you build towards your customer and serve as the basis for future interaction. Yet, let us tell you a little secret: in reality, only a small fraction of buyers actually come to your online shop with a clear idea what they actually want to buy from you. According to verifiable research, only 30% of your e-customers embark on their buyer’s journey with a well thought-out search plan involving a specific product. Accordingly, 70% of them are simply going through various options in order to find the best one and that’s how they actually stumbled upon your awesome web retail website. Be mindful: this is actually a good thing. Implement Product Filtering and Updating System The reason for this is that you can use the presence of these valuable guests to drive your sales, provided that you implement some of these simple measures. First of all, make sure to devise an advanced filtering mechanism on the site, which will help you categorize offered products based on their prices, types or warranty status. It is imperative to regularly check if the algorithms you use for filtering offer accurate information, as well as detailed enough descriptions that help the customers make sense of each segment of your offer. Another important thing to consider is to establish a procedure by which the system you use to filter the items is regularly updated with new products you offer, in order to ensure its accuracy and relevancy. Maintaining a healthy and comprehensive information update system will also improve your chances of scoring a higher position on the search result list for a particular product category. In addition to this, make sure to invest enough in designing visible links to product promotions and discounts, as these are bound to garner much attention from your customers. Merchandising with Panache Next, pay attention to the merchandising of your product in the manner which will make the buyers stay longer on your retail page. Once again, your main tool in securing better conversions is the fusion of information and visuals. For starters, do not underestimate the power of the bullets in which you describe the features of your products. Instead of boring lists of product features, you can turn your bullets into spellbinding descriptors that will keep your readers glued to the screen. The same goes for coming up with laser-like accurate and informative titles for your products. Their titles should contain every descriptive attribute that a shopper may look for, while balancing out the need for linguistic economy of description and avoiding being uninformative. Ken Evoy is the guru on the subject, advising retailers to use the magic of their words to sell products, instead of trying to impress others, as they taught us in school. “Teachers teach us to write to impress, not to communicate,” he writes in his book “Make Your Words Sell”. The key component of this “spell” is an appeal to buyer’s emotions, as exemplified by Evoy: a car can have 1600cc engine as a feature that appeals to logic, but it is the promise of $1,000 yearly savings in fuel that ultimately wins over the customer. The same philosophy can be applied in the case of the need to offer quality images of your products. As the online shopping experience needs to emulate what the brick-and-mortar offer by default in terms of the “feel” of the product, the image you show is often your first ambassador that greets the incoming customer. Consequently, these images should be high-res, as well as empowered by quality zoom functions, as shoppers need to have a clear (you may say “high definition”) idea of what they can expect from your products in terms of their appearance. This is particularly important if your e-retailing business involves products which traditionally rely on visual appeal among other things, such as those related to home decoration or fashion. Easier Finding and Buying with Visual Search Speaking of fashion, the findability and usability of the apparel your offer for sale online will rest heavily on what you offer to the customers in terms of their visual shopping experience. As customers for these products predominantly shop with their eyes, their desired user experience will produce the best outcomes for both you and them if you approach it with intuitive and visually appealing design paired with advanced AI capabilities. Take, for example, what fashion retailer Boohoo did with Syte’s proprietary technology in order to increase the findability and, even importantly, the buyability of their products. Its visualized inventory allows the shoppers to search for pieces of clothing which are similar to those they are observing at any given moment. Syte’s visual search engine is based on deep learning technology, allowing the buyers to conveniently hover over an image of an item in order and get an offer of a whole range of similar products based on their color, design, fabric or price range. Syte’s technology does not stop there. This platform is designed to offer customers even more than “just” the convenience of presenting them with the products which are compatible with their initial shopping choices. To the benefit of both the shoppers and retailers, it sends to the ash heap of history the problems related to unavailable item sizes or out-of-stock products in the retailers’ inventories. As the solution, Syte’s visual search engine offers the shoppers the closest matching alternative products for the look they shop for, as shown on the image below. Informative and personalized visuals are key to ensuring better product findability and usability and Syte’s solution will help you improve these in no time [Credit: Screenshot] Conclusion Improving shoppers’ experience online has become the focus of e-retailers’ efforts which are aimed at maximizing sales and offering both memorable and convenient shopping experience for the customers. The key areas of interest here are related to streamlining the product’s findability and buyability through application of simple techniques, such as by implementing quality filtering and product information update systems, or by offering stellar product visibility and “feel” by means of visual search technology. In any case, your future online retailing strategies will need to integrate these concepts and solutions in order to secure higher conversions and drive more revenues your way.