Reinventing retail with conversational AI search

Traditionally, consumers visited retail stores to purchase products, but with the rapid growth of digitization and e-commerce stores, the retail industry has witnessed a massive transformation. This was a necessary shift as the pandemic forced many offline retailers to adopt a digital strategy as more and more shoppers went online to purchase products.

Since this global shift, consumers have had a harder time finding the right product through the array of new online retailers. This is exacerbated as shoppers often struggle to get relevant product search results, leading to a frustrating shopping experience. The aggravating process begins with buyers entering queries related to the desired product in the search bar or asking questions through a virtual chat assistant, checking or removing filters, comparing product descriptions, and navigating through hundreds and thousands of irrelevant search results that lack context and personalization. . It is critical for retailers and e-commerce players to think beyond traditional search and reinvent their online search strategy for a better, more enjoyable shopping experience.

We’ve previously delved into how conversational search overcomes the limitations and challenges of traditional search and offers more natural, contextual and human-like answers to search queries. Let’s explore it further.

How does conversational search differ from traditional search?

Unlike traditional keyword-based search, conversational search allows users to submit their queries using complete sentences or natural-sounding phrases. It uses AI to understand customer intent from conversation or voice expressions and returns contextual and personalized search results to consumer queries in a more humane and conversational way.

These days, shoppers are increasingly using natural language to search and discover products online.

An example of a traditional search request from a buyer


In contrast, a conversational search query might look similar

Can I get laptops under $3000?

In the above example instead of “L:aptops:“, the consumer searches for “Can I get laptops under $3000?.According to Googleover the past few years The use of “I” in search queries increased by 65%. showing that shoppers are now searching with words and phrases like can, should, must, etc.

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In other words, retailers need to deploy technology like conversational search that can understand natural language search queries and instantly provide consumers with the products they’re looking for. This seamless product search and discovery experience not only saves the buyer time, but also gets them closer to the sale—infinitely faster. Conversational search deciphers user search intent and guides consumers through their shopping journey, delivering a relevant, contactless and personalized product discovery experience that helps retailers turn searchers into buyers.

How does conversational search help improve guided shopping and e-commerce experiences?

Customers usually leave online stores because they can’t find the right product or it takes too much time to search. Having too many results takes the joy out of online shopping, resulting in lost customers and lost business. So what’s an eCommerce store to do?

Conversational AI has consistently proven to be the best tool for understanding customer needs, and guided shopping and conversational search is the most effective way to sell online.

Guided shopping aims to replicate the in-store consultation experience for online shoppers. Shoppers begin their experience with a few questions, such as who the product is for, what their budget is, or what color they want, and based on their answers, they are shown the most relevant products to suit their needs. This experience creates a smoother online shopping experience and encourages customers to make faster purchasing decisions.

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As more customers move to digital channels for their interactions with brands, the adoption of conversational marketing is growing rapidly. Chatbots are now increasingly seen as an important tool for effectively managing the flow of conversations.

The Rise of Conversational Search Usage in Retail Chatbots

The use of retail chatbots has become increasingly popular over the past few years. However, when search and chatbots operate independently of each other, they simply do not provide a satisfactory user experience. Users often feel confused or frustrated by irrelevant product information due to the lack of context sharing between the two channels. SearchAssist, An AI-powered cognitive search assistant with conversational search capabilities solves these problems. It offers a unique search experience where users can ask questions or search for information through natural language dialogs. SearchAssist can understand user context, behavior, preferences and intent and resolves queries through a unified interface.

When using spoken search, AI-powered chatbots with spoken search capabilities intelligently guide customers to the right products while providing a personalized online shopping experience. In this way, it helps increase conversions and reduce the overall sales cycle. In addition, machine learning capabilities enable them to better understand customer needs, share the most relevant product recommendations, and upsell and cross-sell products.

AI-powered chatbots with conversational search capabilities also assist shoppers with all aspects of order fulfillment. Customers can use this technology to effortlessly search for and order a product, and track the status of their shipment without needing the help of an agent.


Take the example Belcorp.

Belcorp faced a huge challenge to support advisors and consumers in tracking online orders. Belcorp leveraged’s conversational AI and search capabilities to create complex use cases such as order monitoring and tracking to digitally deliver a superior, personalized and seamless experience to Belcorp’s advisors and consumers.

We chose because it has established itself as a world-class conversational AI platform. Its sophisticated NLP engine and its ability to spread rapidly across channels are key factors in our success. and vertical solutions for retail The capability offered by has allowed us to bring a personalized experience to both our consumers and advisors. The speed with which we were able to move to market is a testament to the value of the platform.

Venkat Gopalan, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Belcorp

Benefits of implementing conversational search for online retailers

1. Increases cart value and increases revenue by helping consumers shop
Conversational search not only enables customers to find, search and explore the right products based on their needs and preferences, but also guides them with personalized product recommendations, which is growing even cart value and increase revenue.

2. Increases customer engagement by bringing the human element online

Conversational search brings the personal and physical experience of online shopping in-store. It allows chat bots or virtual shopping assistants to have two-way conversations with shoppers to understand their needs and preferences. Shoppers can ask questions or request product offers and pricing through a single conversational interface, resulting in increased customer engagement, trust and brand affinity.

3. Promotes online shopping by reducing shoppers’ search efforts

It takes a lot of time and effort to search online and find the right product before finally buying it. However, online consumers are always looking for quick and easy shopping options. Conversational search provides more relevant and contextual search results that help users make quick purchase decisions.

4. Improves conversions using powerful insights into user search behavior

By analyzing user search behavior, valuable insights can be gained about what users are searching for and how they interact with search results. Using key metrics, including top searches, search results, clicked searches, or most clicked positions, retailers can make the necessary changes to improve users’ search experience, which will further increase conversions.

Final thoughts

The future of commerce is conversational, and conversational search is playing a huge role in transforming the online shopping experience. With the growing adoption of online shopping over the last few years, e-commerce companies are finding ways to deliver a pleasant, seamless and personalized shopping experience to their consumers.

As an experienced technology partner for leading retailers, is excited to help clients leverage a conversational search strategy. You explore ways to create unmatched shopping experiences, reduce cart abandonment rates, and improve online conversions. Look no furtherclick here to learn more About the SearchAssist solution, an AI-powered conversational and cognitive search assistant that provides a unified experience by combining both search and assistance in a single interface, or try it yourself for free or request a demo.

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