Self-learning search creates new opportunities for online retailers to bring machine learning into their marketing. Here’s why you should pay attention.

Picture this: You’ve researched your audience. You’ve got a great marketing campaign and the best software for the job. You’re already using innovative marketing techniques to connect with consumers and get them onto your site. And once they arrive, all they need is some product recommendations and sales are as good as made, right?

Well ... not quite.

You can have the best tools dishing out targeted campaigns to your audience. But if your on-site search isn’t delivering that same intelligent experience, then you’re missing out on a major opportunity.

Search is an Untapped Resource

The on-site search bar is often neglected by online retailers. Think about how many times you’ve shopped with a major online brand whose search engine didn’t help you find what you were looking for. Perhaps you couldn’t locate the filters you needed or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of results?

It’s an experience so common, it’s practically the norm. 

What Does This Have to do with Marketing?

The marketing funnel looks different for different shoppers. Some want to be reached on social media, some prefer traditional email while others respond to viral videos or influencer campaigns. And there are tons of tools to choose from to help you cater to these customers.

Many of these tools are essential. But do you have everything you need for a complete marketing strategy? When you take a look at your existing toolkit, you may find you're neglecting a key stage in the customer journey: product discovery.

Are you optimally targeting consumers who want to shop around for their next buy? What about those who already know exactly what they want? Once these shoppers start searching, they enter a new phase of the buyer journey. All the marketing you used to get them here won’t help them get to the checkout — this stage requires its own, dedicated, marketing approach. It’s the final point of attribution in your marketing strategy — converting the customers. 

This is where on-site search steps in. 

An Essential Part of the Buyer’s Journey

To understand how important on-site search is, think about how people shopped before the internet.

Retailers relied on billboards and TV ads to get customers into their stores. But what happened when they arrived ... did marketing end as soon as they came through the doors?

Of course not. What happened — and still happens today — is that retailers doubled down on their marketing efforts. Discount stores would direct shoppers to all the best deals using big, bright posters. And luxury stores would send a sales assistant your way to learn your wants and needs and match you with the products you were most likely to buy.

If social media and targeted ads are the billboards of e-commerce, then smart on-site search is the sales assistant.

The Power of Self-learning Search

At Klevu, we built our search to be smart. Powered by Machine Learning, it never stops learning to create better, more relevant recommendations over time.

We’ve transformed the humble search bar into a tool to suit the way your unique customers shop online. The self-learning nature of our algorithms creates a deeply personalized experience for shoppers while they are engaged with search — displaying promotions and products that are far more relevant than simple ‘top product’ recommendations.

This technology has allowed us to personalize every part of the search process. Our Advanced Category Navigation automatically optimizes product merchandising, and even personalizes the filters customers use to narrow down their search.

A Better Shopping Experience

Self-learning tech has brought new opportunities to the table. And now that on-site search is utilizing this technology, its capabilities as a marketing tool have grown far greater than most people realize.

By unleashing the marketing potential of on-site search, you can deploy smarter personalized promotions and show more relevant products to shoppers during product discovery. And the icing on the cake? It’s pretty great at boosting conversions, too.

To find out more about Klevu’s Smart Search, take a look at our blog. To see it in action, check out our live demo.