Product Discovery

Product discovery pertains to how your customers find and explore your products. The goal of implementing an eCommerce product discovery strategy is to display the most relevant products at the exact moment shoppers are looking for them.

There are many ways to encourage a successful product discovery journey. Some of the most effective methods include easy-to-use text and visual search, smart merchandising, and personalized recommendations.

Why Is It Important?

Product discovery is essential to brands and customers alike for several reasons:

  • It sets the tone for the entire customer experience. Shoppers will remember that they found the item they were looking for on your site and will try to repeat the experience in the future when they have to make another purchase. As a result, you get consistent opportunities to boost revenue and customer loyalty.
  • On the backend, effective product discovery and the data that comes with it are vital for having a deeper understanding of your customers. You’ll know which products perform well and which items should be removed on your next inventory replenishment. More importantly, having the data to back it up is also a key foundation for hyper-personalization.
  • When you show shoppers the most relevant products according to their unique interests, context, and intent, the customer journey turns into a frictionless and personalized experience that truly reflects your customers’ preferences. They’ll remember your site not only as a positive and valuable shopping destination but also as a brand that simply “gets them.”
  • Showing relevant products that are in tune with customers’ interests can inspire spontaneous purchases, which can lead to a larger basket size, more conversions, and, in the long run, increased average order value.
A screenshot of a visual search feature that encourages product discovery
Kay Jewelry’s visual search tool encourages product discovery on their website.

Product Discovery Best Practices

Whether shoppers are intent on finding a product or just browsing, here are five general tips you can follow to ensure an effective product discovery experience:

  • Catch the attention of every shopper persona on your homepage You can showcase your best and trending collections, new arrivals, as well as user-generated images and videos that shoppers will find relatable. Each of these options will encourage shoppers to discover more of your items.
  • Keep product discovery going by removing dead-ends – Hitting a 404 or zero results page is a frustrating experience that can easily lead shoppers to jump off your site and onto a competitor’s page. But brands can easily create new pathways to product discovery through clever redirection. Try offering alternative search methods (e.g. uploading a photo or screenshot so they can explore visually similar products) and alternative product recommendations that are related to the shoppers’ current browsing behavior.
  • Make sure that merchandising is relevant and engaging – Optimized product tags and smart merchandising techniques ensure that the most relevant items turn up every step of the shopping journey. You can be strategic with search results, show product recommendations based on the current intent, create dynamic product collections based on selected parameters, and more.
  • Take advantage of other sales channels – In addition to your site, customers should be able to discover your brand and items anywhere they choose to look for purchase inspiration and product ideas. This can include social media, online marketplaces, niche communities, and even digital publications.
  • Don’t forget about mobile – Make sure that the exceptional product discovery experience you create for desktop users is just as seamless for mobile devices.

For an in-depth list of product discovery best practices and tips, you can read more here.

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