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B2B commerce digital transformation: What are the essential search and discovery components for building a best in class B2B ecommerce site

Oct 29th 2021 ecommerce

B2B commerce digital transformation: What are the essential search and discovery components for building a best in class B2B ecommerce site
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The essential elements for ecommerce sites include fast, relevant, and contextual search and navigation experiences, as well as business-logic implementations through merchandising features and AI optimizations such as dynamic re-ranking of search results, synonyms suggestions, and personalization based on unique user profiles. This should not be different for B2B as users expect to be able to order fast and conveniently.

In addition to the standard ecommerce elements listed above, B2B sites have unique challenges and requirements that are critical to a successful ecommerce platform solution implementation:

Core requirements

Data Personalised catalogues

  • Catalog management and entitlement policies at the buyer account level
  • Per customer stock availability

Personalised prices

Search
  • Search end-customer own references (alias for a bulk product order), title, description, technical information, features (part number, manufacturer, brand, item functionalities)
  • Search with special characters for dimensions — abbreviation, hyphenated attributes, symbols “(“, “=”, “/” ), facets for units of measures (m, cm..)
  • Strong & fast facetting
  • Long tail query (beyond the most popular results)
UI B2B Quick Order (quickly place order based on SKU or product name)

Advanced requirements

Federated search Including multiple result types: FAQ, product reviews, or specification sheets
Sort by

(Note: implementation of sorting by price feature for B2B depends on each unique use-case and tech stack / architecture) Below are some suggestions and ideas

  • Public price: Can be useful if the per customer discount is in percentage.
  • Per customer price (virtual replicas)
  • Per customer segment (virtual replicas)
Query suggestions Query suggestions can be implemented on B2B sites under some conditions. 

Note: Query Suggestions only include the most popular queries and not those on the long tail.

Behavioral Personalization Personalizing results based on the user interactions

https://www.algolia.com/doc/guides/solutions/ecommerce/b2b-catalog-management/

The digital transformation plan needs to seamlessly blend together the unique B2B  requirements with the essential ecommerce features, to achieve the goal of having an efficient and easy-to-use omnichannel B2B ecommerce platform. You want to make it as easy and as efficient as possible for your buyers to buy from your platform – easier than calling your sales rep or customer service. 

The implementation plan starts with configuring the search; designing the filtering, sorting, and navigation flows; applying merchandising strategy; and amplifying the design with AI optimizations, including B2B-specific personalization features. For Algolia, the relevance layers are structured and designed to give you full control over how your products and content should be displayed to your customers.

 

 

About the author
Tanya Herman

Product Manager

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