Guest Column | November 4, 2016

Man + Machine = The Ultimate Product Discovery Team

Troy Winskowicz, VP of product, Edgecase

By Troy Winskowicz, VP of product, Edgecase

These days it feels like “big data” is everyone’s new favorite bad word. E-commerce retailers are trying to manage big data to support large online product catalogs, monitor e-commerce performance, and craft awesome merchandising campaigns.

Not to mention, they have to get these things right in order for their e-commerce experience to be effective. At the same time, shoppers are becoming more accustomed to leveraging digital tools to find what they are looking for and answer the same questions they ask in-store. This leaves retailers struggling to bridge the gap between how customers found the perfect product before, (asking a human being) and the rising expectations of shoppers in the digital age (“Why doesn’t this website have ‘boyfriend jeans?!’”).

Case in point?  According to a recent survey by RichRelevance, 73% of consumers say they are extremely likely or likely to leave a retail site that doesn’t produce good search results. As well, 84% of e-commerce search engines don’t understand simple attributes like “cheap”, while another 60% don’t support thematic searches like “office chair,” according to the Baymard Institute.

So what’s a retailer to do?