Product

VTEX Intelligent Search: give your business an AI-boost

Lucas Bacic
Lucas Bacic April 15, 2020
VTEX Intelligent Search: give your business an AI-boost

Over the past ten years, the world has seen a complete transformation in user experience (UX) – from mobile-first to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) optimizing daily tasks. The way users interact with digital interfaces has changed, therefore now is the time for the storefront to change as well. And so without further ado, I’m happy to announce VTEX Intelligent Search, an advanced search service that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to understand shopper intent and return more relevant search results.

But before we jump into the new service, let me tell you how we deliver new technology to our customers.

The first auto-updatable and modular storefront

Since the early days of VTEX, we’ve set out to make the adoption of new technologies easier. In other words, we want to bridge the gap between new business capabilities and the experience you deliver every day through your sales channels. To that end, a couple of years ago, we started VTEX IO, our cloud-native development platform.

With VTEX IO, we brought a new idea to the table: what if every store could be automatically up-to-date with the best technologies and close to a bug-free performative experience? We know that maintaining and evolving a storefront is expensive and requires a lot of time and effort. That’s why we’ve created the VTEX IO Store Framework — the first auto-updatable and modular storefront framework.

With it, you can quickly develop in the cloud using our modular components to create a store that is always up-to-date and easy to manage (with our CMS and native A/B testing tools). When we improve a component or release a new feature, all stores benefit from it. That’s the idea, and that’s what makes the new VTEX Intelligent Search possible. 

For clients using VTEX IO, installing our new search engine is as simple as installing an app. If you are not a VTEX IO store yet, check out the VTEX IO Store Framework announcement and find out more.

That being said, let’s get back to the announcement:

A new search-as-you-type experience

To understand how important the search engine is in the online experience, we should look at the shopping experience as a whole. 

For example, the experience of buying in a drugstore: your doctor may prescribe a long-named, strange medicine that you forgot how to spell. Or you have a headache, but don’t know what medicine you should take. In a good experience, someone will promptly understand the misspelled medicine’s name and quickly suggest a couple of products that match. That’s the experience we want for the online store too.

With VTEX Intelligent Search, you will have a “search-as-you-type” experience. While consumers interact with the new search bar, our AI-powered algorithms will deliver autocomplete, spell-check, synonyms and even suggest terms and products. Instantly and in the same place, all configurable through our merchandising tools.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Then it is time to come up with intelligent search results.


Results in your own terms

The key to boosting conversion lies in delivering personalized and relevant search results. In a huge catalog (yours or from third-party sellers), how do you prioritize and show the best option to the customer? That’s when machine learning comes into play and this is where VTEX Intelligent Search can help drive conversions and sales.

When a customer searches for “red shoes”, even if the product doesn’t have “red” in its name, the search should be able to show only red shoes to that customer. On the other hand, if the customer searches for “water”, it shouldn’t show “coconut water” or even “water mattress” in the first place. The search engine should be able to understand shopper intent to display plain water when customers search just for “water”.

How do we handle those scenarios? By both mapping and learning from user interactions (as in the water example), and defining attributes that can be searchable. In the “red shoes” scenario, we enable the search engine to map your catalog’s “color” attribute and use it as a variable. It can do the same with other fields such as category, brand, pricing and so on. With VTEX Intelligent Search, you can easily add and optimize results based on custom attributes. But that’s just the first step.

For us, artificial intelligence shouldn’t be a black box. You should be able to both understand why a result is shown and have the power to fine tune it to best fit your business goals and strategies.

We do that by allowing our customers to configure the relevance behind our algorithm. With our search merchandising tools, you can give attributes a certain weight, or reorder and prioritize those that influence the relevance of a product, such as number of orders, number of clicks, if it is a new product, if it has an applied discount or promotion, and so on. In other words, you can define the rules that our AI algorithms will learn and apply to your own strategy.

Context-driven merchandising strategies

After defining the rules behind the algorithm, you should have the ability to customize it for specific scenarios. As in a brick-and-mortar store, where you can easily change and create your own merchandising strategies by reorganizing products to highlight and drive sales for specific brands and products, we want you to have the same power in the online experience.

With our merchandising tools, you can define context-driven strategies to promote specific products, brands or categories. For example, you can define that if a customer searches for “shampoo” and/or “soap”, the search engine will promote a specific “brand”. Just like a promotion, you can set up a start and end date and run multiple strategies at the same time. That’s a simple example, but you can sum up multiple contexts and customer behaviors to trigger the strategy. 

It’s a powerful tool that is simple when it needs to be, but complex when you want it to go deeper. Be creative and explore new merchandising strategies easily with VTEX Intelligent Search.

Spot-on navigation pages

In addition to a good experience in the search bar and good results, a search engine should help customers drill down to find the product they are looking for. To do so, VTEX Intelligent Search automatically generates spot-on navigation pages that can be configured and customized for your needs. 

You can define, rename and reorganize facets that can be used as filters. From product-specific attributes such as size and color, to generic facets such as price and brand, the navigation pages can be customized to help your customers find what they want faster.

Redirects, banners, SEO and much more

VTEX Intelligent Search is ready for the needs of the enterprise to quickly configure redirects and specific synonyms. You can also leverage our content indexing and canonical URLs to perform better in SEO, and even add banners to appear in specific results pages. All that to help you boost results and conversions. If you want to learn more, check our documentation.

Ready to start? 

VTEX Intelligent Search is available at no additional charge for all stores in VTEX IO. Get in touch with your account manager and install it now.

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