B2B Experts Community Digest: Search management in B2B digital commerce (March, 2024)

A public knowledge platform on B2B digital commerce


In this digest we introduce a new Search management collection on our portal.

The success of digital commerce depends a lot, among others, on how easy it is for customers to find the products they need. Business needs to constantly analyze and improve Product discovery functionality.

Search functionality is one of the most important parts of a bigger product discovery process. According to our experience poor search functionality may be subtle, but extremely dangerous for online B2B businesses.

Here we introduce the materials that are included into the first "Search management" collection release and are now available on B2B Experts Wiki for everyone. According to our research there are not so many public qualitative materials on on-site search management for B2B. So, if you have have somerelevant materials, please use the contribution link to share it with the community.

Improving on-site search

15 best practices for ecommerce on-site search (with abstract), by search industry leader, explains the general approach to search quality management and contains a good overview of basic best practices that may mostly be applicable for both B2C and B2B. It is a good overview that might be used by companies as an input for analysis of their existent search capabilities and making decisions on further improvements (Algolia, 2023).

Deconstructing E-Commerce Search UX: The 8 Most Common Search Query Types (with abstract) by Baymard Institute, is devoted to the analysis of search query types, including its examples, frequency, and key issues. This information might be very usefull for product owners, UX designers, or any employee who is responsible for product discovery experience. (Baymard Institute, 2022).

A Guide to Mastering Site Search Functionality for Your B2B eCommerce Store (with abstract) presents an effort to give a holistic overview of site search functionality in B2B eCommerce context. Includes quite wide while quite superficial overview of site search purpose, challenges, best practices, search providers and considerations on selecting a B2B search platform (Virtina, 2023).

The Top 6 B2B eCommerce Challenges in Search and Product Discovery (with abstract) is devoted to the analysis of some on-site search challenges which are specific for B2B digital commerce, how it impacts B2B customer journey, its difference comparing with B2C. The articel also describes some requirements that should be met to improve B2B customer journey (GroupBy, 2023).

B2B Search best practices: 3 ways to increase the lifetime value of your buyers (with abstract) is a short but quite interesting article by Algolia. It describes three ways digital leaders can use data to optimize their site’s search engine functionality and create a delightful online buying experience (Algolia, 2023).

E-Commerce Search Needs to Support Users’ Non-Product Search Queries (with abstract) by Baymard Institute, touches the problem of non-product search on eCommerce websites. Even though all companies are aware that customers expect using search for any type of data on the site, some eCommerce platform providers ignore this requirement. The artice helps quantify this problem and demonstrates examples of such non-product queries (Baymard Institute, 2019).

2023 On-Site Search UX Benchmark Research by Baymard Institute (with abstract) is the result of a research conducted in 2023. 30 core benchmark sites (both B2B and B2C) have been manually reassessed across 46 most important guidelines. As the result 1400+ worst and best practices were updated and created, new search UX performance scores registered, and new design examples appeared.

The future of on-site search, expected AI revolution

Discoverability in 2024: 3 Predictions for the Future of Search (with abstract) describes in details the expected seismic shift in search since the mid-2000s. Even though this perfect document is mostly focused on web search trends, it definitely useful for companies that are focused in site-search improvement since the new trends will create new customers' expectations in both B2B and B2C. On slide is devoted to specifically to B2B brands insights (VML, 2024).

Is ChatGPT the New Site Search in B2B eCommerce? (video, with abstract) is a very important question which is discussed on a webinar organized by MasterB2B team. On this 1 hour video you may see how industry experts from such sound companies like HP and Algolia are discussing this question which might change the reality of B2B world a lot (Master B2B, 2023).

Enhancing B2B online search through AI-driven innovation (with abstract) The article highlights the evolving landscape of B2B (business-to-business) online purchasing and the importance of advanced search systems in meeting the complex needs of customers. This short article explains some mechanics of smart search systems in B2B context and underscores the increasing importance of AI in facilitating smart recommendations and enabling companies to offer more personalized options in the B2B ecommerce landscape (B2B eCommerce Association).

Basics: understanding search from scratch

Some articles that might be useful for people that just started their professional growth in digital commerce area.

Product discovery on the site (with abstract) was published by Michael Vax, a digital commerce expert who worked as product manager at such companies as Elastic Path, Hybris and Spryker. The article gives a good overview of product discovery in digital commerce context and explains the role of on-site search in product discovery context (All Commerce Is Digital,2023).

How does e-commerce search work? (with abstract) is a very short and well structured article that explains the basics about search in eCommerce.This article doesn't contain any valuable information for experienced readers, while it might be usefull when you need to explain someone why search is so important for eCommerce and are the key challenges of it (Tech Target, 2022).

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