Whether you’re an online retailer, a bank or news site, there’s a good chance that one of the very first things your site visitors do when they land on your site is search for something. In fact, we know that search remains the primary means of navigation for most visitors, and we also know that bad search experiences are still the one of the main reasons visitors (aka potential customers) abandon early in their journey. And think about mobile experiences: smart phone users are apt to use search even more, so delivering experiences that get users closer TO their desired outcomes is especially important.
So what’s changed in site search? Well, a lot. And today, Adobe Search&Promote, powered by Omniture, proves it. Adobe Search&Promote is the first enterprise-class SaaS site search application built for marketers who want to ensure their visitors have optimal search experiences — efficient and relevant ones that shorten the path to achieving their goals, whether they’re looking to equip their kids for the coming ski season, get a car insurance quote, rent a car or obtain a instructional video on how to make a roux. That’s really what it’s all about isn’t? Every visitor has a goal and it’s your job to help them — to understand his or her intent and act on it.
But what about your goals? Certainly you have key business requirements (KBRs) and corresponding KPIs. You measure what’s important to your business, so why not harness everything that you know as a result of your disciplined measurement and analysis to influence what you deliver to site visitors. Adobe Search&Promote represents the state-of-the-art in metrics-driven relevance. Today’s search engines today provide pretty darn good natural relevance, no argument, but leaving your conversions in the hands of, well, math — at least entirely — may be a mistake. Today’s business sites should be determining relevance at least partially based on their KPIs or metrics. Number or orders, conversion rates, revenues or even product views — data our customers capture through Adobe SiteCatalyst — is a great indication of what might drive more business. Let’s face it, past behavior is a great indicator of future behavior. Why not put this knowledge to work? We’re seeing amazing results with customers using Adobe Search&Promote to automate relevance tuning by leveraging their metrics: one retailer reported a 100% increase in conversions from search when they used order data to rank search results (boy, people really do tend to buy this set of skis more often THAN alternatives when they search for ‘junior racing skis’…). I’m going to be writing a lot more on this topic over the next few weeks, and will be exploring the impact, for example, of social media metrics.
While developing Adobe Search&Promote we consulted companies in a variety of industries, but what we heard most often was: “create a marketing application — make it easy for our lines of business to point their customers in the right direction, and easily promote — or merchandise — their products and content”. We took this request to heart. Adobe Search&Promote breaks the mold, allowing business users to build, simulate and test search-driven experiences like no other product on the market can. Early adopters and industry analysts have commented on how easy it is to work within the Adobe Search&Promote marketing interface — and that it enables “unfettered experimentation” that turn site search scenarios into marketing opportunities.
Did I mention Adobe Search&Promote is a SaaS application? Okay I did, but why SaaS? The marketer wants to focus on delivering continual innovation when it comes to customer experiences, rather than worry about whether the site is on the latest version of the software. The merchandiser wants to watch the sales roll in during the Holidays, rather than worry about whether search queries will get fast responses when traffic peaks. And customers expect that they will always have access to the latest products and information when they go searching for it. Your time is better spent focusing on driving the top and bottom lines, and thinking about the next strategic initiatives. As the second-largest SaaS company in the world, processing over a trillion transactions per quarter, Adobe understands how to deliver mission-critical applications.
Adobe Search&Promote represents a new way of delivering rich, personalized site search experiences to your customers and allows you to focus on your competency (while allowing us to focus on ours).
I welcome your comments and suggestions for other site search topics — watch for new posts in the New Year.