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Maximizing Ecommerce Onsite Search

4 Configurations for Optimizing Znode’s Search

According to Forrester, "92% of B2B purchases start with search." The B2B buyer desires to find the right products right away. 

Time is limited for B2B buyers. Working with multiple vendors and purchasing through a complex ordering process that involves multiple decision-makers takes time. The time it takes to scroll through pages of a product catalog or search results to find the exact product needed is a luxury modern buyers do not have. According to Perficient, “54% of online shoppers will abandon a purchase if they can’t find what they’re looking for.” If a buyer hits this wall during a product search that order line item or entire order is typically not placed.

To prevent losing customers, B2B sellers must prioritize ecommerce search best practices. Making product discovery easy for the buyer builds credibility. Optimizing search involves understanding how buyers search and how ecommerce search features can be used to personalize the experience for buyers. 

B2B buyers use search differently than B2C buyers who typically search by product name. B2B buyers want the ability to search for products based on more complex criteria, such as part number, model compatibility, unit of measure, manufacturer, options and attributes, and more. Znode’s enterprise site search capabilities allow B2B sellers to optimize the search process for buyers.

Search Optimization Preparation

The key to a successful search experience is having the data that is being searched. Determining which data points are most pertinent to buyers can improve optimization effectiveness. 

A customer searching for yellow hard hats” could bring up relevant results from multiple fields. Product specification fields, such as product color, category, and description may all be triggered by the query. This means the products that have such field values need to rank in the results appropriately.

Optimizing site search to be successful can be challenging. Configuring synonyms, keyword redirects, boost and bury, and search profiles serve as the foundation for delivering a buyer’s desired ecommerce onsite search experience.

Ecommerce Site Search Terminology

  • Search profiles: Personalized results on web stores associated with a specific catalog. Search profiles indicate searchable product data fields, define query properties, and control the facet filters displayed on product list pages.
  • Facet filters: Derived from product attributes and can be used to narrow products displayed on the product list page or in the search results.
  • Boost scores: Numeric values between 1-999 that can be applied to a searchable field, promoting the position of products with that field. Products with higher boost scores for a particular field will appear higher in the search results for that particular keyword.
  • Bury scores: Numeric values between 0.01 and 0.99 that can be applied to a searchable field, demoting the position of products with that field. Products with higher bury scores for a particular field will appear lower in the search results for that particular keyword.
  • Multi-match queries: Ensure a product matching for multiple searchable fields is ranked higher than products matching for just one field.
  • Default operators: Determine whether searches with multiple keywords will display products with both keywords in the searchable fields (‘and’ operator), or just one keyword or the other (‘or’ operator).
  • Autocorrect: Finds all possible variations of the search term so that keyword misspellings still show relevant results.

Configuration #1: Configure Synonyms

Discovering how buyers search will uncover new keywords. These keywords are different from what a seller uses to merchandise a product in either the product name, category, description, or other fields. Without synonyms in place, shoppers that use alternate terms for products will not find the needed products.

To combat this, B2B ecommerce sellers can configure synonyms. With certain products, the product name may have many common synonyms. Znode administrators can set up synonym search terms to produce the right product instead of “no results found” for a query. For example, if a buyer is searching for “jackets,” but the web store product catalog features more products with the name value of “coat,” the word “coat” can be synonymized with “jacket”. The synonym configuration in Znode allows for the replacement to work bi-directionally. 

Multiple keywords can be added to the synonym section and can include words that exist in other fields. It is important to configure synonyms when shoppers are not familiar with a particular offering, such as a new product type. Providing users with accurate results from a search is key, regardless if searching with alternate product terms or looking for a product category offering.

Configuration #2: Configure Keyword Redirects

Consider a manufacturer that has a large library of product category pages. A shopper may not have the patience to look through a long list of categories to find “faucets”. In this case, the shopper will most likely go to the search bar to enter “faucets”. Normal search results for this query may populate all the products that have “faucets” in the data fields, but it may not display faucets in the hierarchical order that the faucet category page offers. 

A simple solution to this problem is sending shoppers to the desired category page when searching the keyword “faucets”. This search configuration is called keyword redirects, and it can increase product discovery. Keyword redirects specify certain keywords that will take a shopper to a defined landing page (e.g. Warranty) rather than a typical search results page. Sellers ensure that buyers find the needed products and pages more efficiently.

Configuration #3: Configure Boost and Bury

If a distributor has a higher margin on a specific brand of item over others in a catalog, it can make sense to merchandise those products to increase product views. Manipulating ecommerce onsite search to deliver those items above others in search results is referred to as “boosting”. Alternatively, if a manufacturer would like to lower an item’s prioritization in search results, e.g. due to no inventory, this is referred to as “burying”.

Boost and bury configurations for ecommerce onsite search can help B2B sellers ensure the most profitable products rank higher than those that have a lower profit margin. 

Znode allows administrators to create boost and bury rules for catalogs. An administrator can specify the triggers for the rule or make the rule apply no matter what. Boost and bury can also be applied at the search profile level, which allows for more personalized search.

Configuration #4: Create and Configure Search Profiles

Enterprise manufacturers and large distributors requiring digital transformation to support multi-channel ecommerce strategies benefit from personalized search to create a more efficient shopping experience. Creating and configuring search profiles enables personalized search. 

For example, a manufacturer needs search queries containing numbers to display products with the number in the SKU field on the search results page. The manufacturer can configure the search profile to boost products with matches in the SKU field over products that have the number in other fields.

Another capability of search profiles is ranking search results by relevance. Znode’s site search administration module allows for native ranking configuration by price, rating, or total reviews in either ascending or descending order. This configuration allows a seller to promote top-rated products first at all times. 

Most commonly, B2B buyers search for product names along with SKU. This means a search with both terms should result in a product that matches for both name and SKU. Setting up a multi-match query ensures the product matching for both fields is ranked higher than products matching for just one field or another. 

Other ways to configure search profiles include selecting a default operator (and/or), setting up autocorrect, and associating facets. Once a search profile has been configured, it can be associated with web stores, personalizing product discovery for buyers.

Better Search = Better Business

As manufacturers and distributors learn how B2B buyers search, configuring the product discovery experience becomes practical and intuitive. It is not worth losing business because of weak search capabilities.

Ecommerce search best practices in Znode like configuring search profiles for catalogs and subsequent web stores will allow products to rank appropriately for buyers. Configuring synonyms, keyword redirects, and boost and bury rules further enhances search by combining the needs of buyers to find appropriate products and sellers to increase profit.

Ecommerce onsite search is native within Znode, providing search features to manage query results and catalog-faceted organization. The search configurations possible in Znode are designed to improve customer experience and drive conversion.

Ready to turn ecommerce onsite search into a conversion tool for all sales channels? Request a Znode demo today!

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