We’ve all been there - browsing an ecommerce site, selecting our preferred item, and then finding out it doesn’t ship to the country we want it to. It’s a frustrating experience, and one that greatly disrupts the shopper journey.
In the past, merchants have solved this issue by creating multiple, localized stores - one store for the US, one for the UK, and one for France, for example - with each store offering a regional-specific experience in terms of products, currency, language, and spelling.
But this solution does not marry well with another growing ecommerce trend - the single URL solution.
This hugely popular method is exactly what you think it is - it’s one single URL for your website that you direct all your traffic to, regardless of the customer’s geographical location.
There are huge benefits to this path - having a single URL ensures higher Google search ranking and better SEO, not to mention the substantial saving on time, effort, and resources when not having to create & manage multiple stores.
When it comes to managing the assortment, merchants have traditionally had to choose between either providing tailored, localized experiences, or reaping the benefits of a single URL solution.
If going with the latter, the workaround was usually to redact some products shown in the product feed - so if a UK customer searched for “jeans”, their resulting product feed would show all products, but with the products unavailable for purchase in the UK either blurred, faded out or carrying a sticker like “Currently Unavailable in Your Area”.
As you can imagine, this creates an extremely poor user experience. Human nature often dictates that we want what we cannot have, so if a shopper sees an item in their search results that is unavailable, they will most likely be frustrated and annoyed by that.
An ecommerce bolt of lightning
Findify, a leading site search and personalization software company, has a rich experience of international commerce from working with more than 1,800 merchants from almost all the continents of the world (Antarctica still pending), but it wasn’t until teaming up with Reach, leveraging the complementing technology and know-how, that a solution was developed.
“Reach has a great team, with experts in international trade. Matt Steinbrecher has a lot of ideas, and the capabilities of their platform made the development easy,” said Findify CCO, Joakim Amadeus Olsson.
“Reach’s popular ecommerce tool gives international shoppers a frictionless local currency experience with an API that opens up relevant local pricing and payment methods - essentially showing customers the correct currency based on their geographical location, even with merchants using a single URL solution.”
It soon became clear to both parties that Findify and Reach were well placed to work together on the issue of product feeds frustratingly showing customers items of geographical irrelevance to them.
Two state-of-the-art solutions working together to increase ecommerce revenue
“When consulting with our merchants on international strategy through a single website, native currency and payment methods are just one piece to the puzzle when we’re talking about hyper-localized shopping experiences,” explained Mr Steinbrecher.
“Oftentimes geo-targeted merchandising is a huge part of the global strategy, as factors such as shoppers wanting to focus on different collections based on the season, country specific brand restrictions, and/or inventory availability. Partnering with Findify solves a critical part of our clients international strategies, allowing merchants to further localize the shopping experience.”
“We are very happy with the fruits of our labour and the expertise of Reach's team,” added Mr Olsson.
“Working together, we were able to solve the issue - now, with both Findify and Reach installed, merchants can ensure that none of their customers will see products they cannot have. In optimizing the product feed in this way, merchants are boosting conversion by providing better customer experiences, and providing shopper journeys that are superior to their competitors.”
On a basic level, the solution works like this: Reach’s script reads where in the world the customer is, based on their IP address, in order to show the correct currency for that region. Findify’s software then accesses this extracted information, to determine which sales cluster the customer is included in. This could, of course, be a country, but most commonly a region: North America, The Nordics, Europe, etc etc
This information is loaded only once, on the landing page of the ecommerce website, and does not need to be loaded again - meaning it is already there when shoppers get to the product pages, causing no additional loading times and maintaining the current rapid site speed enjoyed by Findify merchants.
While this is the solution to the aforementioned problem of merchants showing unavailable products in their feeds, the method has a secondary benefit.
“This could also be used on an operational, merchandising level. We know many merchants have different tactics and collaborations in different regions, so with this method merchants could also boost certain products to specific markets,” explained Mr Olsson.
“Above all, we at Findify pride ourselves on showing customers only the products that are the most relevant for them - using our unique personalized search algorithm and overall personalization software, and now also utilizing geo-data. So we’re immensely happy that we were able to work with Reach in solving a problem that so many merchants were experiencing. It’s been a fantastic collaboration which is going to benefit countless merchants and shoppers across the globe.”
* Findify, an advanced AI solution and personalized search ecommerce tool which uses machine-learning algorithms to change the order in which each individual shopper sees each product, creates an optimized and personalized journey for online shoppers. For more information, book a demo here.
* For more information on Reach, a leading provider of ecommerce currency conversion solutions, go to www.withreach.com.
Check out the latest Findify clients
Experience the Findify effect
The brand-new default merchandising feature makes it easier for merchants to optimize sales by pushing products in all locations on their website in line with their strategy (e.g. including items that are on sale or that have higher margins) WITHOUT sacrificing the power of personalized product rankings.
Smarter Selling Made Simple
While there are many differences between online and brick-and-mortar stores, some aspects can, and should, remain the same.
Say, for example, you want to order 100 red dresses… but you accidentally order 1,000. What do you do with the excess? In a brick-and-mortar store, you would start heavily merchandising the dresses - maybe putting a sign in the window, maybe creating an offer around the item, and definitely placing them in prominent areas of the store so they can sell quicker.
Giving these items the same treatment online can be trickier, depending on the solutions you use, but it can (and should) be done.
Using solutions without personalization (using AI to learn what your shoppers want, then reorder your products in real time to appeal to each individually) you can perhaps feature the dresses prominently on your website. But this is risky - you could lose sales if the dress doesn’t appeal to shoppers who might have purchased other items, had you pushed them instead.
Use a solution with personalization and you likely won’t be able to push the red dresses at all - the algorithm will continue to optimize only the products your shoppers are most likely to buy. This is better than the previous option, as sales are optimized, but it still doesn’t help you move those dresses.
This limitation is exactly what prompted the developers at Findify to create the new Default Merchandising Rule feature. With this capability, you can easily push the products you most want to sell, WITHOUT sacrificing the power of personalization thereby improving your conversion rate without any manual coding or tweaks.
How does the Smarter Selling aspect of the Default Merchandising Rule work?
'You can use this capability in a multitude of scenarios. You can apply any dimension to the field, utilizing any property that best fits your strategy - including the boosting of products with higher margins, and those that are on sale, for example.
With the Findify dashboard, you simply go to ‘Merchandising Rules’ and click either 'Create Default Rule' or ‘Edit Default Rule’. You can then select the ‘Rule Type’ and the ‘Variants’, input a ‘Value’, and hit save.
Deleting the rule is equally simple. Again go to ‘Merchandising Rules’ and click ‘Edit Default Rule’. Then press the trash icon, and hit save. The rule is now deleted.
Anders Gullander, Findify Head of Product, further explained that retailers who already utilize Findify solutions may wonder what the difference is between this new feature called Default Merchandising Rule and a feature Findify already has, called Merchandising Rules.
“While a standard Merchandising Rule applies to a defined search term, the Default Merchandising Rule applies to ALL search terms. This is great if you want to create a rule that spans across every single search term,” he said.
“A Default Merchandising Rule does NOT affect any of the standard Merchandising Rules that you have created. The standard rules will always take priority over the default. This ensures that you are not promoting items at the expense of maximizing sales.”
Another great aspect of this new feature is that you can apply it not only to search, but also to recommendations and smart collections. As these are three different shopper journeys, the optimal strategy would be for a merchant to create default merchandising rules across all three solutions.
“This really is a fantastic new feature, which I think a lot of merchants are going to be happy with, and will use a lot,” said Mr Gullander.
“It’s very exciting to be a part of a team which can focus not only on developing the big solutions, but also on rolling out smaller features like this one which helps make our clients’ lives easier, and helps them continue to sell more online.”
- To read more about our clients, click here. For more information about how Findify personalization and optimization can increase revenue for your ecommerce business, book a demo with us here.
While major breakthroughs in product innovation are always welcome, the smaller steps - the tweaks that make life a little easier - should not be overlooked.
Have you ever created a merchandising rule and pushed it live, for example, only to realize you then needed to go back and change something?
Findify’s newest preview feature fixes this potential problem by allowing users to view their merchandising rule in action before it is published.
The update can be found, in the Findify dashboard, under Merchandising > Merchandising Rules. Once you have tailored your merchandising rule to you needs, you can then hit the new ‘Preview’ button at the bottom right of the screen. This allows you to see what the rule will look like for your customers once you publish it.
“In talking to a few of our clients, we realized some were having issues with the creation of merchandising rules. They would create one, push it to live, check it, and then notice an element they wanted to change,” explained Anders Gullander, Findify’s Head of Product.
“So instead of having them go back into merchandising on their dashboard and make the change, we decided to implement this new preview feature. It’s a change that will make our clients’ lives that bit easier, and that’s important to us.”
While the Findify team continues to work on creating innovative new solutions, it is also working on improving the current offering, thus ensuring clients continue to receive the best in smart search solutions.
Is there anything you’d like to ask us about the new feature? Is there any other feature you’d like us to implement? Email us on email@example.com.