8 key considerations for Product Discovery success

12 May 2023
Posted by Crownpeak
8 key considerations for Product Discovery success

Product discovery is a crucial consideration for brands selling online in an increasingly competitive ecommerce environment. The right technology offers companies the chance to improve conversion rates, increase average order values and win more repeat business.

The Product Discovery Engine Buyer’s Guide, produced by London Research in partnership with Crownpeak, contains a range of evaluation criteria, use cases and examples drawn from real companies to help you prioritise your requirements.

The report, written by Ecommerce consultant and replatforming specialist James Gurd , will help you choose the right vendor for on-site search, merchandising and personalised recommendations.

Here are eight of the most important product discovery considerations for your business.

#1 Managing algorithms and business rules

An effective product discovery solution should come with a flexible set of algorithms, with the ability to create and apply specific business rules to influence product-ranking decisions across your ecommerce site.

Must-have use cases include the ability to boost visibility for own-brand products and replication functionality so you can utilise the same business rules across multiple digital shelves to save time and effort.

#2 Testing and reporting

You need the right reporting capabilities to measure the impact of your product discovery engine. Check whether your shortlisted technology platforms allow you to report on a range of areas such as popular searches, product views and conversion rate uplift for boosted products. And does your technology make it easy to A/B test on different ranking rules?

#3 International and SEO

Business inevitably becomes more complex for ecommerce brands when they are trading across multiple markets. Your product discovery technology needs to help duplicate and customise local strategies as necessary with the aim of minimising your overall workload.

As an international merchant you may well need to apply different algorithms to different country storefronts, and control which product shelf URLs can be indexed for search.

#4 On-site search

The quality of your on-site search is likely going to be the biggest contributing factor to the success of your ecommerce strategy. Key use cases in this context relate to areas such as indexation, search results accuracy and ‘type ahead’ search features.
An example use case contained in the guide is the ability to recognise commonly used special characters and abbreviations, for example 32” instead of 32 inches in the context of a television-related search.

#5 Online merchandising

Brands need to be able to control their visual real estate and use a mix of algorithmic and business logic controls to determine product sort order and merchandising campaigns.
Will your technology enable you to preview merchandising campaigns before they’re live in production? And can you easily create hero product layouts?

Crownpeak have produced a case study based on their client Forever New which outlines how the company achieved a 135% uplift in conversions, with 7% of total sales accounted for by click-throughs on visually similar recommendations.

#6 Personalisation and product recommendation

Retailers need the ability to insert recommendation blocks throughout the buying process, controlling the rules for what is shown at each step, and fine-tuning product selection based on who is shopping on your site, and the stage they’re at in the buying journey.

Use cases here include being able to tailor the products shown based on the shopper’s prior and in-session browsing and purchasing behaviour, as well as the behaviour of similar shoppers.

#7 Performance and integration

It is important to understand the impact your product discovery engine is going to have on website speed and performance.

Your chosen engine needs to dovetail with your ecommerce platform, so check to see that integrations with vendors such as BigCommerce, Commercetools, Shopify and Magento are available.

#8 Operational impact

Adoption is always smoothest when end users are involved in the evaluation of vendors because they will be more prepared for the new solution.

As the guide spells out, product discovery is part of your ecommerce ecosystem, so you need to be sure new technology fits with your overall technical and ecommerce product vision and provides tangible benefits, such as process efficiency and faster execution of merchandising campaigns.

Product Discovery Buyers Guide

Download the guide