We are all familiar with eCommerce search boxes. When implemented correctly, it employs search-as-you-type functionality, instantly displaying results and suggestions as the customer starts typing.
The search results usually encompass several elements:
- Categories matching the search terms.
- Relevant products and personalized recommendations.
- The search results may also include product-related content such as landing pages, manuals, or blog posts.
AI-powered search engines would utilize natural language processing (NLP) to process and comprehend queries. That enables the search engine to understand the meaning behind the query and present the most relevant and highly ranked search results.
These advancements in Generative AI will revolutionize eCommerce Search and reinvent the search user interface. Let’s discuss how this can fundamentally change the search interface and user experience.
Presently, eCommerce websites have separate areas for search bars and chatbot interactions. It makes sense since product search relies on keyword matching, while chatbots respond to a limited set of natural language queries.
This separation often results in a clunky user experience, with chatbots typically placed in the bottom corner of the screen while the search bar is at the top of the page.
However, with the advent of generative AI, the search bar and chatbot can respond to the same set of natural language queries. This integration allows for a seamless union of the chatbot within the search bar, enabling it to assist in finding products as well as answering general, non-product-related questions.
Users would be able to utilize natural language in the eCommerce search bar. For instance, Amazon search now may not fully understand a query like “What books are in the Harry Potter series?”. It may return irrelevant top results like a LEGO Marvel Spider-Man toy or a Star Wars encyclopedia. With generative AI, the search results will list the individual Harry Potter books in the correct sequence, eliminating the need for users to search for this information on external platforms.
Next-generation search will deliver advanced product recommendations. As discussed earlier, generative AI-powered eCommerce search will seamlessly integrate both on-platform data, such as product and user data, and off-platform data, such as social media signals and influencer product reviews.
While currently, eCommerce recommendations heavily rely on the retailer’s own data, with generative AI, merchants will gain access to an extensive range of external data sources, augmenting on-platform data to provide significantly more relevant and personalized product recommendations. With these advancements, next-generation eCommerce Search will make the shopping experience seamless for customers, allowing them to find products tailored to their preferences.
Get the book to read about more examples of innovative use of product search to get a taste of upcoming advances enabled by artificial intelligence.