Personalized search and recommendations are smart ways to ease the customer journey. State-of-the-art technology makes this easier than ever. As a result, customers will more quickly find the right products in your online store. Plus, it also offers a lot of nice things for B2B sellers. In this article, you will read about how the customer benefits and how your organization benefits as well.
The e-commerce expectations of business buyers are growing. B2B customers want to be able to quickly find the right products. They expect personalized and relevant navigation and recommendations on the homepage, product pages, in the shopping basket, on category pages, and, well, the entire website really. To help your customers quickly find the right products, you can use an on-site search & recommendation tool. Such a tool autonomously takes all the user’s available background information and uses it to provide the most personalized and relevant buying experience.
On-site search and recommendations and the power of personalization
Why is it smart to utilize personalization in your on-site search? Because website visitors often use the on-site search bar when they already know exactly what they want and have a clear purchase intent. This is especially common in B2B, which means that in B2B e-commerce, a well-functioning on-site search function is very important. Because if customers cannot easily find the product they need, they will leave your web store and look elsewhere. Whereas if they find the right product at the top of the search results list because you have personalized it, conversion is pretty much guaranteed. Consider this example: your fasteners product category is dominated by two main brands. Half of your customers prefer A, the other half B. If you set the ranking starting with A, half of your customers would have more difficulty recognizing and finding their products. The same is true if you set it to B. The only viable solution is to personalize, so that the ranking of the fasteners matches the preferences of each customer.
Personalized recommendations also significantly increase your conversion rate, after all, a personalized recommendation has a much higher probability of converting than a hard-coded recommendation. And they have the additional benefit that the average order value also increases because additional products are added to the cart. A win for your customer and a win for your organization.
Personalized search and recommendation: with AI it’s as easy as pie
The good news is that improving (read: personalizing) your on-site search and recommendations has never been easier. In fact, more and more state-of-the-art e-commerce websites are using artificial intelligence (AI) for this purpose. Algorithms leverage data that you already have in-house to create unique user journeys for each visitor that seamlessly match their preferences and context.
By utilizing personalization in your search & recommendations with the help of AI, your customers will start to benefit from smooth, pleasant, and fast ordering experiences. And the nice thing about AI-driven personalization is that the returns that your organization receives on this investment can be very easily measured. By setting clear KPIs in advance and constantly testing whether your algorithm is doing what you have in mind, you can very closely monitor and optimize your ROI.
How does personalized search & recommendation benefit your organization?
1. Higher conversion rate
A good, AI-driven online search and recommendation tool ensures that customers find exactly what they are looking for. And that is great, because your conversion rate is largely determined by good findability. After all, you can only buy something if you can find it. Personalized displays therefore increase conversion by an average of 20%.
2. Higher average order value
Order value also increases by an average of 5%. One way to achieve this is with AI-driven ty-in sales, which results in more items being bought and an increase in order value. AI-driven personalization also enables the display of alternative products, e.g. when a product is unavailable, or the promotion of new products or private label alternatives.
3. Greater average revenue per visitor
Due to the higher conversion rate and higher average order value, revenue per user increases by an average of 27%.
4. Higher customer lifetime value
Personalization is helpful at all stages of the customer journey. You can support and advise customers in their own business operations, suggesting maintenance or replacement, prioritizing documentation that match the installed base, etc. This leads to greater customer retention, and as a result, higher customer lifetime value.
5. Lower cost per visitor
By providing a better, personalized user experience, the portion of returning visitors also grows, which will reduce your cost per visitor/acquisition by an average of 18%. What's more, personalized search and recommendations ensure that your customers order exactly the right products for them, which will reduce the number of returns, complaints, and support requests.
6. Higher share of wallet for key customer segments
Personalization ensures a better customer experience, and makes you the preferred supplier for online ordering. Customers who have multiple suppliers will fill a greater portion of their requirements with you. This is how you gain market share over your competitors. The one who offers the best experience is the first in line to get the business.
Want to read more about personalization in B2B e-commerce and how AI can help your organization perfect your customer journeys? Then download this whitepaper: