Our RealDecoy and Lucidworks joint webinar yesterday covered a topic that I care about deeply: how to elevate digital commerce platforms with AI-powered search. In fact, I co-founded RealDecoy in 2000 with the goal of improving e-commerce search experiences, at a time when most of those experiences were rudimentary and AI was a scarce and poorly understood option (by today’s standards).

On the webinar, I had a conversation with Justin Sears from Lucidworks, and we discussed some of these questions:

  • What are some important differences between the search needs on B2C sites, versus B2B sites?
  • What is the difference between plain old “personalization” and “hyper-personalization”?
  • How does artificial intelligence create uniquely personal e-commerce experiences?
  • What are the cost-benefit trade-offs between investing one dollar in replatforming e-commerce technology versus investing that same dollar enhancing the search experience?

You can watch the entire webinar recording here, or access the slides here. For those who care about this topic and couldn’t join the webinar, I wanted to post about three key takeaways on what the market needs for hyper-personalized e-commerce search and how Lucidworks Fusion helps meet those needs. We hope these insights help e-commerce leaders think about how to take their next step on their e-commerce journey (whatever their stage of maturity).

Remember These Three Things

First, search can be far more than a little text box. If you watch the full recording or look at the slides, you can see a few examples that we shared, showing how modern e-commerce search is far more sophisticated than what we might see when we use Google or Bing.

Today’s online buyers simply expect to find all the information they want on a company’s website. To think beyond the search box you must think of search in terms of product discovery experience. The best product discovery experience drives higher conversion rates, order sizes and loyalty by presenting the right results to users without them having to ask.

Secondly, e-commerce personalization is a journey, not a final destination.

Even companies doing many of the right things- returning relevant search results, offering seasonal promotions, boosting and burying results (all of which are not examples of personalization, by the way) are just scratching the surface when it comes to personalization. In fact, 30% of companies are not collecting meaningful metrics around their website search experience.

AI and Machine Learning search platforms like Lucidworks Fusion give your site the ability to scale personalization to understand and predict your user’s intent.

Finally, search is about efficiency (shoppers finding what they need quickly), but it’s also about experience (the most important driver of customer retention).

Site search and personalization play a key role in creating inspired buying experiences. Now’s the time to leverage predictive analytics and user behavior to engage customers with experiences that speak to their individual preferences.

Winning in digital commerce isn’t just about acquiring new customers: It’s also about investing in ways to grow your sales with the ones you already have. Hyper-personalizing search experiences are how the leaders in digital commerce are doing both.

Lucidworks and RealDecoy are already planning future webinars to drill down into two more specific topics:

  • Improving loyalty and conversion rates in B2B: This webinar will discuss the fundamental difference between B2C shoppers and B2B buyers and how companies targeting B2B buyers can leverage best practices to identify high-quality content and improve the ease of transaction.
  • How to enrich content data from structured and unstructured sources will explore new ways to personalize online and offline customer experiences, syndicate high-value content across an ecosystem and drive industry-leading online conversion optimization.

Links to additional information:

Richard Isaac is CEO of RealDecoy Consulting, a Lucidworks partner for implementation of digital commerce solutions for AI-powered search, based on Lucidworks Fusion. Isaac wrote this post to recap the Lucidworks webinar that he co-hosted on June 12, 2019, with Lucidworks VP of Product Marketing, Justin Sears.

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