Online trade is growing rapidly. This is borne out by the results of the current study “Interactive Retail in Germany”, which was carried out by the GIM Institute on behalf of the Federal Association of German Mail Order. According to this, in 2013 already 39.1 billion euros were achieved with online trading, which corresponds to a growth rate of almost 42 percent. This does not include any digital goods such as e-books, software or services.
Provide search suggestions & information to customers
But how can small and medium-sized companies take advantage of the boom without having the extensive resources (personnel, money) of the current online giants? Given the multitude of possibilities, SMEs should carefully examine which possibilities the market offers and which solutions are suitable for their industry.
One approach is, for example, to intelligently link the extensive content of websites, portals, blogs or online shops and to let them work more efficiently for you. New products, remaining items or promotional goods can always be displayed in the correct context (context) for the visitor (adaptively). Ideally combined with further suggestions for refining the search or further information. Always with the aim of offering visitors added value and, ideally, generating higher sales.
Implementation with intelligent search solutions
Intelligent search solutions offer more than a search field. They recognize the search term, understand it and use semantics and relevance models to provide further information on the term being searched for. Search appliance or cloud service solutions act as the technological basis. They read all available information from the data sources such as websites, analyze and categorize them and create and update an index from it. This is like an index. If a visitor searches for a necklace on the website, the data from different areas are linked and displayed. As a result, the reader automatically receives a suggestion for suitable earrings, rings or suitable items of clothing.
Fast & easy integration
The subject of integration is particularly exciting in this context. Modern software solutions and services enable “visual programming”, for example with a construction kit that contains predefined modules that can be placed by dragging. This allows dynamic landing pages to be created easily and professionally. In this way, the person responsible has an overview of how the results are displayed at all times. He can make changes immediately and create the perfect application for him within a very short time.
The integration takes place with an embedding code that is generated automatically by the solution. Once the index has been created, the application is immediately ready for use. The results fit seamlessly into the respective page and it is not recognizable that a search is showing the results.
Search results with added value
For example, an Austrian IT magazine uses these options to automatically generate the start page. Based on the defined search parameters, the system knows that a new article belongs on the start page. Another usage scenario is the “Top Topics” tab. Here the topics are ranked according to relevance. If articles in a subject area are accessed more often, they are ranked higher. This use case can be easily scaled to online shops, recommendation pages or news portals. To do this, the correct search query must be defined once.
A recipe database could also be linked to an online wine shop. If a visitor is looking for a recipe on the website, he will receive a list of the recipe ingredients as well as a wine recommendation with a short description and the option to order. This scenario could be perfected if the website visitor also has the option of ordering the ingredients for the recipe found online immediately and receiving everything as a “complete delivery”.
In view of the increasing online trade, this is no longer a dream of the future. A grocery chain in Austria is already offering a “drive in”, whereby the goods are ordered online, stating the pick-up time. The market prepares them, you drive to the drive in and collect your shopping bag.
Intelligent search software solutions today offer endless possibilities to relieve marketing or online sales, save money and time and at the same time offer significant added value for website visitors. These often inconspicuous little things can decide whether a visitor makes a purchase or not.