Poor Product Discovery is Losing You Business. A Lot of Business.

April 19, 2024
Michael Hughes
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We've all experienced the frustration of not being able tofind what we're looking for, whether it's something misplaced at home or a product we want to purchase. This frustration is magnified in the digital realm, where poor product discovery can lead to lost sales and dissatisfied customers. New research from AI-powered discovery technology, Klevu, reveals just how significant this issue is for eCommerce websites.

Complex Search Queries or Just How People Shop?

 Klevu's research into product discovery methods on retailers websites highlights significant usability and accessibility issues, with 80% of UK eCommerce websites failing to deliver results for complex search queries. These queries, which account for 17% of all searches, often involve price ranges or specific product attributes, posing a challenge for retailers to accurately process and respond to.

For instance, 26% of eCommerce websites couldn’t process simple misspellings, leading to irrelevant search results, while 30% failed to return relevant results for queries like ‘mens jacket under £100’. This inability to handle complex search queries indicates a lack of preparedness for the future of product discovery, including voice search and other zero-interface interactions.

The eCommerce Discovery Report by Klevu also reveals that 17% of all searches are considered complex, costing retailers with poor user experience £8 million per year in lost revenue. This estimation is based on factors such as the average number of sessions per month, average order value online in the UK, typical search-led sessions, and conversion rates.

The eCommerce Discovery Report

The Klevu Ecommerce Discovery Report, encompassing a comprehensive review of 50 major UK retailers across 40 criteria, sheds lighton the state of product discovery in the e-commerce landscape. The report covers various sectors and enterprise eCommerce technologies, including Oracle,Salesforce Commerce Cloud, IBM, SAP Hybris, and more.

You can download the report to gain deeper insights into the challenges and opportunities for improving product discovery on your website.

Offline and Online Convergence

The convergence of offline and online product discovery is becoming increasingly relevant in today's retail landscape. Many consumers initiate their product search offline, through methods like word-of-mouth recommendations, in-store browsing, or traditional advertising, before transitioning to online platforms for further research and purchase. This seamless transition between offline and online discovery channels is crucial for retailers to capture these potential customers effectively.

Understanding Customer Journey

To ensure a smooth transition from offline to online, retailers must understand their customers' journey and provide consistent experiences across all touch-points. This involves:

1. Consistent Branding: Maintain consistent branding and messaging across offline and online channels to reinforce brand identity and recognition. This includes using similar imagery, tone of voice, and messaging in both offline marketing materials and online platforms.

2. Omnichannel Integration: Integrate offline and online channels seamlessly to provide customers with a unified shopping experience. This may involve offering services like click-and-collect, where customers can order online and pick up their items in-store, or providing in-store digital experiences such as interactive displays or kiosks.

3. Data Utilisation: Leverage data from both offline and online interactions to personalise the customer experience. By understanding customers' preferences, purchase history, and browsing behaviour, retailers can tailor product recommendations and marketing messages across all channels.

Tips for Getting it Right

- Invest in Mobile Experience: As more consumers use mobile devices for both offline and online activities, ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimised for local search. This includes providing accurate store information, directions, and inventory availability for nearby locations.

- Utilise Geotargeting: Use geotargeting to deliver personalised content and promotions based on customers' location. For example, a customer browsing products on their mobile device near a physical store could receive a notification about an in-store promotion or event.

- Enhance In-Store Experience: Create engaging in-store experiences that complement the online shopping journey. This could include interactive product displays, in-store events, or digital signage that directs customers to online resources for more information.

- Offer Seamless Returns: Make the returns process seamless for customers, whether they purchased items online or in-store. Allow customers to return online purchases to physical stores and vice versa, providing convenience and flexibility.

Examples of Brands Doing it Well

1. Nike: Nike seamlessly integrates its offline and online channels through initiatives like the Nike app, which allows customers to reserve products online and pick them up in-store. Nike's physical stores often feature interactive displays and experiences that complement its online presence, creating a cohesive brand experience.

2. Starbucks: Starbucks utilises its mobile app to enhance the offline coffee shop experience. Customers can order ahead through the app and pick up their drinks in-store, earning rewards and personalised offers along the way. The app also features a store locator and integrates with the Starbucks Rewards program, providing a seamless transition between offline and online interactions.

3. Warby Parker: Warby Parker, known for its eyewear products, offers a seamless omnichannel experience for customers. Customers can try on glasses in-store or use the virtual try-on feature on the website. Warby Parker also provides free shipping for home try-ons and offers in-store appointments for eye exams, catering to both online and offline preferences.

Next Steps

By understanding the convergence of offline and online product discovery, retailers can create a cohesive and engaging shopping experience for customers. If you suspect that your website is experiencing issues with product discovery, it's crucial to take action. Perform a few searches on your site to assess the user experience and identify any potential obstacles.

If improvements are needed, reach out to us at Eclipse. We have experts in UX who can help you evaluate the extent of the challenge. You can also register your interest in our latest piece of tech which is a game-changing add-on for search and user experience.

Our AI-enhanced search technology utilises machine learning models to create real conversations with customers, offering the best possible product discovery and conversion rates.

Michael Hughes
Experience Growth Director