Algolia Report: AI Search Emerges as the Cornerstone of Digital-First B2B eCommerce Strategy

Algolia data reveals insights from global B2B eCommerce decision-makers on their business models, search strategies, and desired outcomes 

April 9, 2024 at 11:00 AM Coordinated Universal Time

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9, 2024-- Algolia, the world’s only end-to-end AI Search solution, today released its B2B Ecommerce Site Search Trends report, based on a study by data analytics and advisory firm Escalent. The report reveals insights from 700 global B2B ecommerce decision-makers, shedding light on their priorities, challenges, and aspirations in the dynamic landscape of B2B ecommerce and the role of AI search in achieving these objectives. 

John Stewart, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Brand at Algolia, stated: “This report underscores the transformative impact of AI search on the B2B ecommerce industry. In today’s digital age, B2B buyers increasingly expect a superior experience that rivals the personalization they’ve come to know and love with in-person sales teams. As a result, 86% of B2B ecommerce organizations are ready to embrace innovative AI search platforms that truly understand buyer intent to successfully increase online market share and stand out in a fiercely competitive industry.”

Key findings from the B2B Ecommerce Site Search Trends report include: 

Scalable, ecommerce models drive success in a shifting B2B landscape 

  • Most (69%) of respondents identify scaling revenue and profitability as a core business goal for the year ahead, and over half (53%) aim to shift revenue from in-person to ecommerce channels. 
  • B2B decision-makers indicate that 58% of their customers who opt for online channels buy frequently, making purchases through ecommerce portals at a cadence of once a week or more. 
  • These findings mark a notable shift toward digital-first strategies. Ecommerce websites have infinite reach and potential to outperform in-person channels in building a loyal customer base.

Search motivators and top priorities reaffirm ecommerce dreams 

  • About half (45%) of respondents believe search will help them stand out in increasingly competitive markets; 41% say it will help them meet growing customer expectations. One-third (34%) want to leverage search to expand their online presence and increase ecommerce sales.
  • Forty-three percent (43%) plan to leverage search solutions for “searchandising,” which blends the functionality of search with merchandising techniques across a catalog of items for purchase.

B2B ecommerce businesses are catching up to their B2C counterparts

  • There is a perception that B2B businesses are somewhat behind compared to their savvy B2C counterparts. However, it appears B2B organizations are turning to AI to bridge the divide, as a strong majority of respondents (86%) rank AI as a top focus of their search solution purchase initiatives.
  • Upon surveying B2B decision-makers on their top reasons for adopting AI search, the study finds that 46% identify personalization as their top motivator, followed by reducing manual labor and associated costs (42%) and improving the accuracy and relevance of product discovery results (38%).

Erin Smith, vice president of the technology practice at Escalent, noted: "We’ve entered a pivotal year in the evolution of the B2B ecommerce landscape. Our report provides an inside look into forward-thinking B2B leaders’ 2024 roadmaps and reveals that these industry players are optimistic that AI search will deliver the next-generation shopping experiences needed to not only remain relevant but emerge as frontrunners.”

To learn how Algolia’s AI Search can help B2B ecommerce organizations meet top business priorities, try Algolia AI Search free here or request a demo here. Download a free copy of the B2B Ecommerce Site Search Trends report.

Report Methodology
Algolia partnered with Escalent to conduct 700 telephone interviews with key decision-makers at B2B ecommerce companies in manufacturing and distribution in both North America and Europe (EMEA) in June and July 2023. The majority (70%) of the interviewees occupied business roles and the remaining (30%) occupied technical roles within their organizations. Everyone we spoke to was in a director role or higher.

About Algolia
Algolia is a leading provider of AI search solutions, serving over 17,000 businesses and 500,000 developers globally. Renowned for its user-friendly API-First platform and the fastest AI search technology, Algolia is the largest hosted search engine, trusted by businesses and developers for 1.75 trillion searches per year. Backed by a decade of innovation, expertise, and growth, Algolia continuously redefines the search landscape with its commitment to user-friendly solutions, significant scalability, and unmatched speed. Learn more: