Before we were sheltering in place and forced to make most purchases online, I only went shopping in-store a few times a month (aside from Costco and Total Wine).  Since I’ve been in the ecommerce business for almost seven years, I actually prefer shopping online vs. shopping in-store. When browsing or searching on a website, I usually know what I’m looking for and how to find it. 

However, that’s not the case for all consumers.  

As an online shopper, zero results pages are my ultimate peeve. It’s extremely frustrating to be faulted for making a simple spelling error like fress, or when search isn’t able to recognize that I’m searching for womens dresses or women’s dresses

Since finicky shoppers like myself are turned off to zero results pages, merchandisers should optimize for suggesting alternatives rather than the dreaded ‘No Results’ dead end. However, merchandisers have very little time to react to no results pages. In fact, most have a process that requires creating an Excel doc that IT manages or creating JIRA’s to fix the issue, which at best, only get addressed on a weekly basis. 

While Lucidworks Fusion has recommendations modules and machine learning algorithms that reduce false-negative zero results cases, sometimes even the best models fall down. In that case, merchandisers need to be able to react quickly to avoid no search results.

Predictive Merchandiser on Lucidworks Fusion helps merchandisers swiftly react to shopper behavior and moderate against zero results pages. Merchandisers can manage rules through a visual interface, create rewrites in the dashboard, and easily add products to zero results pages. 

I love this example where there is an upcoming event for Spring Sale 2020 and there aren’t any results for this particular search term in the analytics dashboard. Merchandisers are able to react in real time by inserting products for this search term, allowing them to be self-sufficient and eliminating their reliance on IT.  

The recent circumstances and increased volume of online shopping introduces a greater need to evaluate and improve your search technology. Give more control to your team to ensure a more personal shopping and browsing experience for customers. Your search doesn’t have to be superb, but it should return results for basic misspelled words and give business users the ability to react in real time. If you’re not able to tweak your search to avoid a zero result page, you should at least add a recommendation zone to show recommended products.

Learn more about improving your customer experience with Predictive Merchandiser on Lucidworks Fusion, or contact us today to try it out.

About Liz O'Neill

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