When was the last time you searched for something online? Or, let me rephrase that; when was the last time you did not search online for something you were looking for?
Whether you’re seeking the meaning of life or just trying to find the best deal for the brand-new headphones you’re dying to buy, the ultimate desire is to find the exact thing you’re looking for – at least the best next thing possible.
This is how Google works and why it is optimising its algorithm and features further and further to provide you with the most related answer. It is becoming almost the sole source of all kinds of knowledge on earth, and whether you admit it or not, it is ‘‘the one’’ that knows you best according to your search queries. 👀
This situation raises another question: What does “knowing your customer better” mean in eCommerce?
It is personalisation. (If you want to know more about website personalisation, here is the list of 6 tips for starters)
At this point, please let me bring these two crucial topics together and explain the importance of personalised search in eCommerce, especially in the consumer electronics industry.
According to a recent study, the consumer electronics eCommerce market size is expected to grow from $539.46 billion in 2022 to $614.98 billion in 2023. The driving factor behind this is more and more consumers prefer online shopping, creating a massive potential for brands.
First things first: On-site search is the solution to give your customers what they are looking for on your website. It depends on the keywords typed in the search bar and the products your online store offers.
And here is proof of its usefulness: According to research, 43% of website visitors go straight to the internal search bar when they first visit a site.
Therefore, personalised search is one of the most effective on-site personalisation tactics to recommend the right products to your visitors. It uses any available data, such as users’ online behaviour and purchase and search history, and tailors the results accordingly.
For online shops, search personalisation is essential for increasing revenue in the long run. That’s because it has a huge potential to optimise the consumers’ shopping experience, which is now one of the key reasons why a random consumer becomes YOUR customer and continues to be one. In the language of eCommerce, we call them some really important metrics, such as conversion rate and retention, and their closest friends: engagement (as opposed to bounce rate, in a way) and customer lifetime value (LTV).
You can imagine personalised search as a salesperson who is really good at their job, let’s say at a consumer electronics store. Walk through with me.
For first-time visitors, that experienced salesperson shows the right aisle according to the buyer’s intent. When they arrive in the right aisle, let’s say right by the vacuum cleaners, understanding the customer’s needs & interest gets more critical.
So many questions, right? And we haven’t even finished it yet.
What about the shopping behaviour & purchase history of a customer who shopped from you before? Does your salesperson know the answers?
In addition to all the questions above, we now ask:
This is the exact case when it comes to websites, but it is better to use personalised search.
On-site personalisation for eCommerce businesses is a journey of discovery that goes both ways. The better the brands know their visitors, the richer the customer experience gets. And more and more personalised experience is provided to the customers, the more clicks on your website turn into purchases.
Personalised search helps the shopping experience get better by:
1. Using data to make the customer journey meaningful for both the brand and the consumer with one-to-one targeting
2. Providing brands with the opportunity to promote the categories and products they have in their store properly and effectively with the right attributes
3. Providing consumers with the right products they love or need with personalised recommendations, filters and browsing history
4. Preventing misunderstandings with auto-correction
5. Creating engagement and value with personalised content such as buttons and banners
Feeling curious? Talk to an expert to learn more.
Consumer electronics consists of so many different categories such as TV sets, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, wearables, VR headsets etc. The appliances & white goods category has many subcategories itself. Therefore, these websites should have an easy navigation process which includes personalised search.
The search data on your website and your customers’ browsing and purchase history are great sources to build your search personalisation. You’ll get a great insight into what both visitors and customers want, what triggers them, or what breaks the deal in terms of poor search experience. This is not as complicated as you’d think, thanks to AI-powered personalisation solutions.
In this case, the journey starts when a user clicks on the search bar. Before the user even starts typing, you can instantly show your search box that showcases personalised recommendations according to their history or most popular products/categories/brands if they are first-timers with a basic level of personalisation. You can also use real-time data to create dynamic personalisation, instantly enriching the experience starting from the first click by curating what you get from the visitor’s behaviour.
When they begin to type, capabilities such as auto-correction or search as you type get important to give the users what they are actually looking for. Don’t forget to optimise your search terms, as your customers might use different languages and phrases.
When the visitor reaches the result page, it is vital to provide them with filters and sorting options. Because as said earlier, the consumer electronics industry has many subcategories and brands. So your job is here to make life easier for your customers and help them decide and buy.
You can also personalise the result page with banners and editorial content and use different page designs and listing types. A/B tests are also a great way to see these kinds of personalisation implementations.
UX always matters. Make sure your internal search bar is easy to find. And, of course, whether it is your search box or result page, bear in mind that it is essential to be straightforward and to the point with eye-friendly visuals.
Read More: How to Optimise UX for Search
A website’s search function equals having an inside search engine. So let me take you where we started: Google. And what matters & works for Google, the world’s biggest search engine, will matter & work for personalised on-site search, too.
In other words, know your visitors & customers, be their ‘‘the one’’ if they land on your website as if you read their mind and don’t forget to personalise.
Well-prepared product pages enable customers to browse the website for longer periods and eventually make faster, less hesitant purchases. Learn how to create the best product pages for consumer electronics stores.
If you ever searched which generation type you belong to on Google, I think it is fair to say you are obviously not a Gen Zer. While Google is the world’s top search engine and is undeniably followed by YouTube, right now, we know that TikTok is not only an entertainment platform but also a search engine for Gen Zers.
For those still a few steps away from understanding the appeal of TikTok and willing to learn how this social media platform actually works and, again, HOW Gen Z is literally becoming the “TikTok generation,” let’s begin with the content strategy and algorithm behind it.
This is the trillion-dollar question that needs to be answered to truly understand how TikTok beats out other social media platforms among Gen Z.
Let’s summarise why TikTok is so popular with Gen Z:
Gen Z will be the ones who will reshape the social media world we are used to—and we’ll let TikTok be the emblematic case study that will show us how.
TikTok is a social platform where video content is the queen and creators are the gold mine. But more importantly, among this non-stop content production and consumption, TikTok has a powerful algorithm that personalises your For You feed in a very successful way. And in today’s world, personalisation affects our perception, behaviour, and consumption more than ever.
According to TikTok, we can list three factors to understand how it recommends videos on For You feed: User interaction, video information and device & account settings.
According to Chris Stokel-Walker, author of TikTok Boom, TikTok just does not sit back and wait for users to interact with the content they see to improve the experience. It also “pushes boundaries and seed in new videos” that it thinks may be entertaining, testing its own predictions and gauging the response.
We are not the only ones saying that TikTok’s algorithm is unlike other social media platforms. AI researcher Dinesh Raman told The New Yorker, “It’s data being transmitted at a scale I’ve never seen before. The system is doing billions of calculations per second.”
While the trends change really fast, at a place where all the creators are also consumers and all the consumers are potential creators, there is no stopping.
On the one hand, people are creating their own personal brands on TikTok. On the other hand, brands are trying to be a part of this Gen Z world by playing along. At this point, TikTok’s way of content production is also shaping the dynamics of content marketing.
TikTok runs short-form video content which is simple, authentic, and organic. Contrary to Instagram, users are not trying to look perfect with high-quality visuals or excessive production effort.
It is not always about giving useful information; you may just want to catch a trend when creating content on TikTok. However, there are great accounts that focus on sharing tips and tricks on specific topics, which’s why Gen Z searches on TikTok. They know what they want and how they want it: short, funny and in video format.
When a new Gen Z joins TikTok, that user is building an online experience based on what they see in their news feed and through their interactions with friends. Therefore, brands must learn how to effectively promote their products or services to Gen Zers on TikTok.
Let’s start with a few facts about the current situation.
According to Cloudflare’s Top Domains Ranking 2021 list, TikTok was the most visited site in 2021, jumping to the top from the 7th place in 2020 when Google was in first place.
Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president in charge of Google Search, said that their studies (based in the USA) show that young people, 40% to be precise, are using TikTok or Instagram when they are looking for somewhere for lunch. It is not Google maps or Google Search, as most of us expected.
A social media strategist also conducted a small research and shared the results on Twitter. According to this mini-survey, here are the results:
This situation not only affects Google but also forces the world’s most popular search engine to make changes and improvements to meet Gen Z’s needs and interests.
So, what has Google been working on?
So, what Google is prioritising: Search that will provide more visuals, an experience which is personalised and, of course, more shopping features that affect both users’ and brands’ way of benefiting from Google.
Read More: How Will Customers Search in the Future?
Where your audience spends time on social media is important. That is why brands should consider TikTok if they know there is potential for their branding and boosting sales. However, you may only know what outcome you can achieve by trying.
We know that Gez Z is on TikTok. But also we must acknowledge that Gen Y and Gen X are also becoming crowded on the app.
As a brand, you should consider being active on TikTok because:
TikTok has been downloaded by over 3 billion people to date, and it has over 1.5 billion monthly active users in the third quarter of 2022 across 154 countries. In light of this information, using this app also as a search engine is not so surprising.
We cannot get tired of emphasising that Gen Z is taking its social media influence and using it as a tool to learn, buy, share, communicate and connect. And, Tiktok has plenty of room for brands to make their mark with Gen Z.