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Why the future of retail is the hybrid shopping experience

Algolia CEO Bernadette Nixon will be at the eTail East Conference to discuss how retailers can better adapt to further improve the online and in-store shopping experience for their customers.

You can read the session summary here and join us at the panel on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. You can also visit Algolia at booth #504 and speak to our search experts on how to craft the best hybrid retail experience for your business. 

The top minds in retail will be meeting at eTail to explore the most pressing issues in the industry, including what disruptions organizations will need to adapt to now and in the near future. Algolia will be there to lead a panel with Party City, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Lowe’s Companies on how the lines between physical and digital have blurred and what steps businesses are taking to ensure that they can succeed in this constantly evolving environment.

eTail Algolia booth information

Defining hybrid retail for brands 

While the pandemic has forced retailers to accelerate digital innovation, it also has altered how customers shop. The lines between physical and digital are now less defined, with more consumers searching and purchasing via mobile and desktop, while also seeking out retailers near them through online searches. The commonality: making decisions through search. 

Once a consumer has found the item they want or the retailer that they want to shop at online, search is the make-or-break moment in their decision making process. How quickly and easily can a product be found? Is this the right variety of product being presented? Does this retailer appear to have what the consumer is searching for in stock? Once a consumer finds what they’re looking for, does the product look as appealing online as it would in person? 

Hybrid retail must address these types of questions to guide customers digitally while engaging them as much as a physical shopping experience. Search merchandising, or searchandising, drives sales through curated search results for ecommerce retailers. Organizing products with a searchandising approach demands a search as a service solution that puts marketers and business owners in control of what appears in their search. 

The online search experience also impacts traffic to physical locations in buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) scenarios. The right mobile search experience lets brands better differentiate themselves and improve conversion rates. While the end result is a buyer visiting a brick-and-mortar location, the mechanisms driving the sale are digital.

Create the future of retail experiences

Retailers now struggle to build an online presence that can provide a modern experience, accurate inventory, and an engaging discovery experience. Brands are also challenged to balance physical retail and grow margins with online engagement, all while facing rising labor and commodity costs, leading to rising cost of goods sold (COGS). 

With competition from well-established online platforms plus new, niche, online-only retailers, the competitive landscape is pushing brick-and-mortar vendors to evolve and adapt if they are to maintain and grow market share. Retailers now need to strategize around search concerns that include:

  • Delivering a modern user experience — Show users the most relevant results first
  • Making room for typos — Don’t make users retype and rethink their decision. Instead, let the search function correct or interpret mistakes and spelling errors as users enter search queries 
  • Anticipating what your users want — Deliver search-as-you-type results plus search query suggestions to help users find what they want faster

Algolia is joining leading retail innovators at eTail East to discuss how they are shaping the future of the industry with cutting edge technology, and examining the role of stores in this new environment from ecommerce fulfillment options to high tech enhancements. Our experts at booth #504 can help you discover simple and actionable ways to implement the future of your hybrid retail experience, whether you’re a CTO, CMO, or merchandiser:

  • Learn about the Algolia Search & Discovery platform that powers blazing fast results, and how you can add personalization with Algolia Recommend 
  • Discover ways to increase cart value with hybrid retail experiences and Algolia Recommend
  • Discuss strategies for a winning hybrid retail solution – including buy online, pickup in store 

Algolia creates deeper personalization by enriching the customer engagement experience in-store or online. With a hybrid approach, Algolia is driving a new frontier for omnichannel retail that extends customer conversations and connection between digital and physical.

Catch our panel and visit our booth to learn how our API-first approach and advanced developer tools simplify powerful search implementation into any tech stack, power any experience anywhere, shape the experience to retailer-specific needs, and easily adapt when necessary.

Built with scalability and reliability in mind, our customers trust Algolia Search and Discovery:

  • Lacoste mobile conversions increased by 62%
  • Gymshark returning customer order rate increased by 13%

Book a meeting with us at eTail East

Not coming to eTail East in Boston?

Experience Algolia solutions with a personalized demo and secure a free audit of your site’s search with one of our search experts. 


About the author
Andy Jones

Marketing Campaign Production Manager

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