User-generated content and search combine to personalize the online customer experience
July 13, 2017 | Shares:

How to Improve Your Customer Experience with Personalized Search

Today’s consumers expect a personalized approach to shopping, both online and off. Find out how combining customer content and personalized search gives shoppers the individualized experience they are looking for.

When you shop in a brick-and-mortar store, a salesperson usually offers to help you find what you’re looking for.

They may ask some questions about your size, budget, and style. With this information, they can personalize their suggestions. 

If it’s not what you’re looking for, the salesperson can reevaluate and offer alternatives. 

Online, this experience is replicated with personalized search.

How Personalized Search Works

In a store…

1. The salesperson responds to your input in real time and updates their suggested products in response to your request (or “search”).

2. You are pleased with your shopping experience because you feel that the salesperson genuinely wanted to help you find what you were looking for.

Online…

1. Search results give you real-time responses based on contextual information they have about your shopping habits and preferences.

2. You are satisfied with your experience because you received relevant, helpful suggestions that helped you find the right product.

In this way, personalized search mirrors the live shopping experience.

Although only 18% of eCommerce site visitors search, those who do generate up to 28% of total revenue.

18% of eCommerce site visitors search, but they generate up to 28% of the revenue

Personalized search shows consumers products that match their individual preferences by automatically considering all of the previous data the store has about them. This can include:

  • Where they came from
  • What kind of device they’re using
  • How much time they spent looking at which products
  • The characteristics they care about most (e.g. category, size, price, etc.)

Digital Natives Crave a Personalized Customer Experience

With the rise of digitally native vertical brands, this level of personalization and attention to detail has come to be expected as a part of an excellent customer experience.

By definition, digitally native brands are born online and prioritize a seamless and intimate customer experience on their websites.

A “one-size-fits-all” approach does not cut it for Millennials, who make up the majority of customers for digitally native brands, and who have come to expect individualized and efficient service when shopping online.

To further enhance the customer experience and meet Millennial expectations, personalized search can be taken a step further by including content that speaks directly to shoppers.

Potential customers are most interested in content from their peers, making user-generated content the most powerful way to reach them. User-generated content also provides social proof for shoppers.

If one of your friends recommends a restaurant, you’re more likely to try it. And, if that same restaurant received 4.8 stars on TripAdvisor from 700 people, then you’re definitely going to try it.

UGC builds trust, and trust increases sales. On average, across all industries, there is a 166% uplift in conversion rates between shoppers that interact with UGC and those who don’t.


User-generated content increases CVR by 166% across industries

Findify + Yotpo: Combining UGC and Personalized Search

Yotpo teamed up with personalized search and product recommendation solution Findify to integrate UGC directly into search results and search algorithms. This combination delivers UGC in three ways:


1. Customers can see product ratings from the first letter typed into the autocomplete overlay and in the search results.

2. Customers can filter results based on the average rating.

3. The average rating score and review velocity (the rate at which a product receives reviews) are factors within the ranking algorithm.

The Findify search engine includes user behavior – in addition to text – to create a trend for the ranking algorithm.

This translates into:


1. Products that rank higher if they are more popular at a given time.

2. The range of products shown differs between users, based on their preferences.

Taking advantage of search capitalizes on an enormous opportunity to capture intent in real time. By incorporating UGC into search, you instantly influence the consumer experience and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Of all the visitors to your site, those that search are 2x more likely to buy from you, and searchers are 40% more likely to convert with the Yotpo integration enabled.

Conclusion: 

Implementing search on your site directly affects what customers see. Incorporating UCG directly affects how they feel.

We make decisions based on our emotions first, and our rationale second. If customers like what they see and have UCG to emotionally influence their decision, the path to purchase breaks wide open.

Learn even more about how personalized search and UGC can help you boost revenues and ace your customer experience in this eBook.

 

Ruthie Berber
Ruthie Berber, Marketing Project Manager at Yotpo
Ruthie is a London expat living in Tel Aviv. She loves crossing items of her To-Do List and kicking off awesome marketing campaigns.
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