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Product Discovery | 5 min read

How Next-Gen Product Discovery Boosts Customer Loyalty

June 14, 2023

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No matter whether they are shopping B2B or B2C and regardless of age, today's customers have come to expect a convenient, optimized shopping experience - and product discovery plays a huge role in this. At a time when customer loyalty and retention are in decline, Next-gen product discovery boosts customer loyalty by delivering hyper-personalized search results and recommendations, providing a seamless omnichannel shopping experience and putting the desired products into the customer's hands fast. Brands that can deliver such an optimal customer journey are rewarded with sales revenue and loyalty.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience (CX) is determined by how a company engages with a customer at every touchpoint along the buying journey. From providing a mobile-optimized website with easy-to-use filters to dispensing the most buyable search results to delivering on fulfillment promises, these touches all work together to deliver a positive customer experience.

Current Customer Expectations

When using your eCommerce website, customers of all varieties want one critical thing from you: convenience. Modern customers demand a convenient shopping experience that lives up to the following expectations:
  • An Online Presence and Engagement Options
  • Having an online storefront where customers can engage with your brand is critical, as well as the ability to engage via other avenues, such as social media, review platforms and third-party marketplaces like Amazon.

  • A Highly Functional Website with an Intuitive User Interface
  • If a page takes longer than three seconds to load, 57% of shoppers will simply leave your site. A modern, mobile-optimized eCommerce website with fast page-load times will keep customers engaged with your brand. From intuitive search navigation and filtering to well-organized category pages and more, your interface design plays a major role in the customer experience and can dramatically influence shopping habits and conversion rates.

  • Personalization and Tailored Search Results
  • Shoppers expect a personalized customer experience, including tailored search results, not generic. They are also looking for curated product recommendations based on previous buying patterns, browsing history and other relevant data - not one-size-fits-all.

  • An Omnichannel Shopping Experience and Flexible Fulfillment
  • Providing an omnichannel shopping experience is now “a requirement for survival,” according to McKinsey. A true omnichannel experience provides a seamless, integrated customer journey, whether on desktop, mobile, landline, in store and more. Multiple flexible fulfillment options, such as in-store fulfillment, buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup and delivery, are also critical to a positive omnichannel customer experience - one that provides convenience and nurtures engagement across all channels and touchpoints.

  • Detailed Product Descriptions and Availability Data
  • To make up for the inability to touch and feel products in person, Forrester reports that customers want extensive product detail pages to inform their purchasing decisions, including images, reviews, customer ratings and product comparison tools. Availability data, such as whether a product is in-stock, available online only, available in store or out of stock, also heightens the convenience of online shopping to keep customers returning to your site.

Meeting the above mentioned customer expectations goes a long way toward ensuring customer loyalty and avoiding the dreaded search abandonment. Google research shows that search abandonment has a lasting effect on brand loyalty and costs US retailers more than $300 billion each year.

How Product Discovery Boosts Customer Loyalty

Product discovery has a direct relationship to customer loyalty. Nearly 80% of US consumers say that they are less loyal to brands whose websites make it difficult to find the products they want.

GroupBy's Product Discovery Platform powered by Google Cloud Vertex AI Search for Retail was made for the job of boosting customer loyalty, by powering eCommerce sites with Google-quality search experiences. Google-trained advanced machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) models, combined with GroupBy's state-of-the-art merchandising platform, improve conversion, increase customer engagement and drive loyalty. Here's how:

  • Next-Generation Search & Product Discovery
  • Beyond simple keyword matching, today's semantic search uses AI and ML to divine customer context and intent. Next generation search, however, provides even higher quality results tailored to the individual customer, using a combination of semantic search and additional calculations for relevance, buyability and personalization, to conveniently serve up the products individuals truly want.

  • Holistic Omnichannel Shopping Experiences
  • Omnichannel capabilities shouldn't just be focused on front-end promotional marketing and sales efforts, they should also provide seamless, integrated experiences on the back end. Order fulfillment, as well as any post-purchase customer engagement, such as customer service and flexible payment schedules (split payments, buy now pay later), will go a long way toward increasing convenience and driving loyalty. Integrating with other key departments, like fulfillment, customer service and finance is, therefore, essential to providing the holistic, omnichannel experience customers want.

  • Loyalty Programs
  • Loyal customers are less likely to churn, and over 80% say a positive experience increases their likelihood of making another purchase. They spend 67% more, on average, than customers who are new to your business, so loyal customers are valuable. Loyalty programs are a great way to show your appreciation, but many existing programs need revamping/retooling for the digital era. As part of an omnichannel experience, loyalty programs need to follow the customer, no matter where they choose to purchase, and so they need to work both online and in store.

  • Promotions
  • Another way to delight customers and keep them loyal to your brand is with promotions, such as flash sales or special time-of-day pricing, which add a sense of urgency and excitement to your marketing. Such promotions are also a great way to move overstocks or soon-to-be-obsolete products, while at the same time improving the customer experience.

  • Hyper-Personalization
  • While personalization is already a customer expectation in eCommerce, hyper-personalization is rapidly becoming the norm. Hyper-personalization leverages AI and ML models to go beyond simply adding a customer's name and showing “commonly purchased together” products. It delivers unique and hyper-relevant results by dynamically updating in real-time, adapting to a customer's behavior and activities - such as clicks, product views, previous orders and add to carts - to deliver the most relevant and buyable products for that person.

Ready to provide your customers with all of the above and more? GroupBy's next-gen product discovery boosts customer loyalty with fast, high-quality, hyper-personalized search results and an omnichannel experience that delights shoppers and drives conversions.