E-Commerce Site Search and Merchandising

5 Examples of Winning E-Commerce Site Search (and Merchandising)

By Kait Spong

Nov 14, 2022

E-Commerce Site Search and Merchandising

5 Examples of Winning E-Commerce Site Search (and Merchandising)

What does a winning e-commerce site search experience look like? Many product discovery vendors have different ideas on which technologies should be prioritized to increase revenue and improve bottom lines. Machine learning, historical data, semantic understanding — all these checkboxes that you might (or might not) have on your list of e-commerce site search requirements can start to blur together after a while. 

Sometimes, it can be helpful to look at customer success stories and step away from all the technical jargon that comes along with shopping for a new e-commerce site search provider. Bloomreach has helped many companies across geographies and verticals with their search engine problems, from fashion and grocery retailers to industrial distributors. 

WIth every single one of our customers, Bloomreach works toward a common mission to address poor site search functionality and performance, remove strain from your team, and make room for additional e-commerce initiatives (merchandising, anyone?) as your business continues to scale its operations. Clearly, it's our goal to be the best in a market full of e-commerce site search solutions.

Let’s delve into Bloomreach Discovery — particularly our search and merchandising modules — and show you how it helps commerce brands with their search bar issues.

N Brown Optimizes Site Search Across Its Entire Portfolio

Headquartered in Manchester, England, N Brown is an innovative retailer that sources, designs, and creates its own products through its various retail brands. These include JD Williams, Simply Be, and Jacamo. 

Woman Trying to Decide Between Two Tops While Clothes Shopping

The Problem

Finding the right product for your needs can be difficult as a customer. That’s why N Brown wanted to do its due diligence and address its site search engine and digital merchandising toolset. The brand believed that its online store needed to be tailored toward user searches (i.e., customer intent) so it could deliver highly personalized experiences that convert. The search function of its previous solution was underperforming, however, since they were required to do so much rule-based searchandising. Therefore, N Brown sought to find a more automated product discovery solution that would allow them to be proactive vs. reactive.

The Solution

N Brown went with Bloomreach Discovery’s site search and merchandising solutions to solve its pain points surrounding search results and category pages  — and the team did it one brand at a time to ensure each was given the attention it needed to hit important key performance indicators (KPIs). Not only did N Brown build its internal technical knowledge of Bloomreach's advanced product with this step-by-step implementation ideology, but it also immediately gained over 13 years of historical data right off the bat, as each respective brand launched its brand-new e-commerce website. 

Now, N Brown’s merchandisers are empowered by a commerce-specific AI search engine with natural language processing and machine learning that better understands search queries. Its new e-commerce search engine, powered by Bloomreach, can retrieve the most relevant search results and rank them for maximum business impact — no one-size-fits-all approach here! All in all, the way Bloomreach upholds the value of both customer and product data has paid off for all of N Brown’s brands in a big way.

The Results

5 Winning Examples of Site Search - N Brown Results

The Vitamin Shoppe Boosts Add-to-Cart Rate and Search Revenue 

The Vitamin Shoppe, one of the top wellness lifestyle brands in the United States, is a subsidiary of Franchise Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FRG). The company’s mission is to provide the products, guidance, and services that customers need to succeed in their lifelong journeys to better health and wellness. 

Woman Taking Vitamins and Supplements

The Problem

The Vitamin Shoppe was very familiar with Bloomreach’s capabilities as an e-commerce solution after having a positive experience with our SEO module. Because of this, the company decided to invest in Bloomreach’s search and merchandising solutions to improve its category pages. Since most of its customers have previously made similar purchases, The Vitamin Shoppe knows that they shop with strong purchase intent. However, the vitamins and supplements powerhouse wanted to provide more resources to customers who were focused on browsing and learning about products.

The Solution

By investing in a worthwhile search and merchandising solution, The Vitamin Shoppe sought to not only improve the performance of its category pages, but also better connect the personalized experience of its 715 brick-and-mortar locations to its online store. As the brand began to evaluate site search tools, Bloomreach stood out to them from the beginning. The retailer could use Bloomreach’s algorithms to serve its vast range of audiences with various wellness goals.

Our site search and merchandising solution turned out to be exactly what The Vitamin Shoppe needed to capture missed revenue opportunities on its category pages. Working in tandem with merchandisers to help them become more data-driven and make impactful ROI decisions, Bloomreach allowed the wellness company to deliver more relevant search results to improve conversions and increase revenue per visitor (RPV) and add-to-cart rate.

The Results

5 Winning Examples of Site Search - The Vitamin Shoppe Results

HD Supply Proves the Impact of Good Site Search in B2B Distribution 

HD Supply, an industrial distributor of products for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO), serves a broad range of 500,000 professional customers in the United States — particularly ones in the infrastructure, power, and specialty construction sectors. 

A Group of Distributors Working to Pack Shipments

The Problem

The HD Supply e-commerce team wanted its buyers to have a more seamless, frustration-free online experience, where they could make purchases quickly and reliably before moving on with their workdays. Since product discovery lies at the beginning of the purchase journey, HD Supply knew it had to help buyers find the right products at the right time, which is easier said than done in the distributor space with millions of stock-keeping units (SKUs) to keep organized and optimized. 

The Solution

Since the MRO distributor knew buyer intent was already high, HD Supply decided to redirect its e-commerce efforts to site search. The brand fully realized that it was missing conversion opportunities without the ability to “add to cart” directly from the search bar, for example. Since most purchases were being made within a work environment, its buyers were looking for this sort of convenience. 

Now, HD Supply's professional customers can view the product image, part number, and price directly in the search bar — all with the option to add to cart whenever they make a final purchase decision. Not only are its buyers more pleased with the digital experience, but HD Supply’s e-commerce team can also leverage Bloomreach’s algorithm to meet its KPIs. Leveraging the 80/20 rule of merchandising, the distributor can now drive meaningful impact by letting automation do 80% of the work, so its team can focus on the 20% of tasks that need a human touch.

The Results

5 Winning Examples of Site Search - HD Supply

Staples Improves Its Approach to B2B and B2C Product Discovery

Staples is an American retailer and a leading provider of products and services designed to support working and learning. Ranking at #5 on the Internet Retailer 500, Staples boasts multiple websites in North America, including the consumer-facing and the B2B-oriented

Teacher Asking a Question in a Classroom Full of Students

The Problem

Staples wasn’t about to surrender to its competitor, Amazon/Amazon Business, as the e-commerce entity continued to proliferate the North American market. In fact, Staples knew it had to act quickly and was committed to meeting its customers' new expectations. The answer to the problem at hand was seemingly simple: personalization and relevance at scale. But Staples needed help, especially since its legacy system didn’t take customer behavior into account —  meaning its search relevance was seriously lacking.

The Solution

Completing a head-to-head-to-head test across its various sites, Staples compared Bloomreach Discovery’s search and merchandising module against its current legacy system and another product discovery competitor. At the end of the test, Staples realized that it could create more relevant and personalized shopping experiences for its B2C customers and B2B buyers with Bloomreach Discovery — and without sinking tons of time and effort into building its own search solution. 

Staples was also able to increase its number of SKUs on and to two million — a 10-fold increase. With ambitious plans to increase stock throughout its portfolio and make itself known for its selection online, Staples knew it also had to compete on customer experience and tailor its product discovery approach to accommodate the vastly different needs of its numerous audiences. The retailer had faith in Bloomreach Discovery, which champions commerce data (a combination of product and customer data) more than any other search vendor in the market, to meet its expectations.

The Results

5 Winning Examples of Site Search - Staples

Albertsons Uses Personalized Site Search To Beef Up Grocery Baskets

Founded in Boise, Idaho, Albertsons is a well-known grocery store chain that can be found across the United States. With 2,250+ stores and 270,000 employees, Albertsons is the second-largest grocery chain in America. 

Woman Looking at Product While Grocery Shopping

The Problem

Albertsons' aim to provide a consistent and distinctive omnichannel customer experience both in store and through digital channels led it to its early e-commerce innovation in the 2000s. As the world moved into another phase of the internet, however, Albertsons had to think beyond speed and convenience. It wanted customer experiences to be even more personalized and valuable, so the grocery brand was also looking to address its poor site search to better meet the needs of customers shopping online in increasing numbers. In other words, Albertsons had to improve its search relevance, which contributed to the high bounce rates on its site, to take its business to the next level.

The Solution

Since the grocer has always been ahead of the curve in e-commerce, Albertsons wanted to continue setting the bar higher for its online shopping experience. The company knew that it was missing out on up to 50% of e-commerce revenue stemming from search and opted for Bloomreach Discovery to remedy the issue. 

Grocery shoppers are another subset of customers who are shopping with clear intent. Because of this, Bloomreach’s semantic search, or ability to parse product attributes from product types, delivered more accurate results for Albertsons' customers to improve conversion and revenue. The product search and merchandising tool also leverages past visitor behavior, natural language processing, and machine learning to continue to improve results over time, and in turn, create a more personalized and relevant experience with the brand.

The Results

5 Winning Examples of Site Search - Albertsons

Ready to get started? Let us show your brand what site search (and merchandising) can do to grow your revenue — all we need is your product data to get started. Click below to learn more. 

5 Winning Examples - Search Impact Validation Next Steps


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Kait Spong

Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach

Kait is a Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach and is passionate about delving into the technology solutions that improve a business' end goals. Once earning their BA and MA in English, the seasoned writer delved into the world of content marketing, branding, search engine optimization, and social media marketing and has helped numerous companies across all industries with their content and thought leadership strategies.

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