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Turn Shoppers into Customers with SearchAI SmartSuggest

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Guide your customers’ ecommerce journey with smarter search.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything from the way we learn and work, to the way we shop. In fact, online retailers have seen Black Friday-like sales since states issued stay-at-home orders in March. It’s no wonder that McKinsey & Company dubbed it “The Quickening” in a recent quarterly report. As a result of the pandemic, according to McKinsey, ecommerce achieved 10 years’ worth of growth in 90 days, displacing physical shopping channels (see chart below).

In this crowded, competitive market, an intuitive online shopping experience is more important than ever. And a great user experience starts with great search. Shoppers don’t always know what they’re looking for, so they struggle to use the right search terms. And if they don’t find what they want, they bounce.

We developed SearchAI SmartSuggest to improve the ecommerce experience by providing more relevant and targeted search results. If you think of ecommerce as a journey, SmartSuggest is your customers’ GPS.

Auto complete technology is limited. It merely suggests search phrases that start with the keyword the shopper uses. So, if a user types “doorbell,” autocomplete technology offers phrases that begin with doorbell. SmartSuggest, on the other hand, suggests search phrases associated with the keyword the word “doorbell”, guiding the customer journey.

“We build a machine learning model using your content, not search logs” explains Timo Selvaraj, VP of product management at SearchBlox. “This helps you provide more relevant search results from day one and allows you to provide the kind of customer service people expect from the brick-and-mortar store they might not shop in right now.” And because SearchAI SmartSuggest offers more relevant search results, it outperforms matches based on typeahead technology or regular expression. “SearchAI SmartSuggest often knows what the shopper is searching for before they do,” he adds.

This is especially important as brand loyalty shifts. In that same report, McKinsey says that 75% of US consumers have tried different stores, websites and brands during the COVID-19 crisis. And 60% of these consumers expect to stick with these brands and stores in their post-COVID-19 lives. “So our current situation presents both great opportunity and great risk,” says Selvaraj. “With more relevant search results — as much as 60% higher search relevance — you can capitalize on the opportunity and minimize the risk.”

This specificity allows you to hone in on your target audience. You can even promote search results with “bestseller” tags (see below) to provide navigation signposts within the user interface.


And SearchAI SmartSuggest is platform agnostic; you can use it with any vendor’s search product. “Typeahead technology and regular expression are a thing of the past,” says Selvaraj. “Our artificial intelligence makes search smarter.”

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