[Pt. 3] The Technologies That Support Effective Discovery Design

Learn about four proven tools that put product discovery front and center on your eCommerce site.

discovery design technology

In our first two installments of this series, we dug into the definition of Discovery Design as well as the four principles behind it. 

Now, to fully integrate Discovery Design principles into your customer experience strategy, you’ll want to take advantage of technology that is designed to enable it at scale. 

In this installment, we’ll cover four proven tools that put product discovery front and center.

1) Enhanced and Automated Product Tagging

Manually tagging products — although the norm for many brands and retailers — presents many challenges. Human error and overhead costs, partial and subjective product descriptions, lack of time, and poor standardization can all compromise the accuracy of tags. By using technology that enables enhanced automated tagging at scale, you can avoid these issues and create a stronger foundation for Discovery Design. 

Visual AI enables brands and retailers to enhance product tags and metadata at scale not just by automating product tagging, but also by accurately identifying and labeling the most minute visual details in each product image and adding them to your database. This lays a brilliant foundation for search, merchandising, deep analysis, personalization, and more — the key to effective product discovery. 

Discovery design technology: AI-powered product tags describe a green maxi dress

Accurate search is critical for connecting high-intent shoppers to the products they want to buy. A smart search experience uses the visual-AI-enhanced product tags described above in combination with natural language processing technology. This way, when a shopper enters a search query in their own words, you can immediately process and understand their requests, even if they’re not directly aligned with the product names in your catalogue. For example, you’ll be able to return accurate results for “navy bell-bottoms” even though you may have them labeled as “Midnight flares.” This is fundamental not just for product discovery, but also for creating a smooth and intuitive customer experience overall. 

You’ll also want a search solution that gives you the flexibility to prioritize search results based on the criteria you choose. In addition to accuracy, you may want to promote sale items, personalized suggestions, or a particular collection, in order to expose your customers to the products that are most likely to convert. 

Discovery design technology: augmented site search dissects a query for white dressy sandals

3) Visual Search and Inspiration-Led Tools

Often, shoppers arrive at your site without knowing exactly what they want. Even those that do know what they want often have a difficult time articulating it.

Product discovery via visual search is highly impactful for shoppers who prefer image-led journeys. With visual search, users simply upload an image to identify similar items within your inventory, allowing them to skip text search altogether, and move straight from an image that caught their attention to items just like it on your website. 

By applying the same image search capability to all the photos on your website, including UGC or social inspiration galleries and product images, you can help shoppers click on products and follow their aesthetic tastes until they find the right items. This prevents them from flipping through endless category pages to find and pick out the items that inspire them. 

Discovery design technology: a laptop displays visual search

4) Deep Personalization 

Truly personalized product recommendations, search results, and category pages ensure each shopper is exposed to the products that best fulfill their needs and style requirements. When shoppers feel like a brand or retailer truly understands their unique needs and tastes, they are more likely to convert and come back in the future.

Integrating a visual-AI-powered personalization engine into your eCommerce site allows you to leverage your detailed product metadata to achieve hyper-personalization at scale. You can combine information on shoppers’ real-time behavior and the visual attributes of the products they interact with to understand exactly what each individual wants, even as their contexts change. 

Discovery design technology: a personalization carousel

Integrate Discovery Design Technology into Your eCommerce Experience

With Discovery Design at the heart of your UX and CX strategy, you will be positioned to provide a truly personalized, engaging, and differentiated customer experience for every type of shopper. 

In the world of eCommerce, where consumers have virtually endless options for where to shop, catering to their preferred methods of shopping — not just their style — is essential to winning them over and making your website a go-to destination. 

Brands and retailers that have made this a priority are already experiencing profound gains in terms of increased revenue, brand perception, and customer loyalty. Now’s the time to shift your customer experience into high gear.