Solution and early successes
Jeff and Diptendu set out looking for a new provider who was already best-in-class, yet continuing to grow and invest in the search experience. With Algolia, Staples Canada found the perfect balance: not too manual, yet not too automated, and with a strong product roadmap.
After implementation, Staples Canada started to see immediate results, with increases in key metrics such as add-to-cart rates, click-through-rates from results, and revenue. Diptendu became a big fan of the visibility Algolia provides into their key metrics, as well as having visibility into queries with no clicks (providing visibility into potential problem areas on the site to look into).
Expanding functionality and adopting advanced features
With increased visibility and positive impact on key metrics, the Staples Canada team further expanded their use of Algolia with the adoption of advanced features such as Rules, Personalization and AI.
Rules: when basic relevance is not enough
Staples.ca sells many different but related types of products on their site (e.g., laptops and laptop bags, chairs and chair mats) where basic text search would not alone be able to provide an outstanding user experience. The team utilized Algolia Rules to fix this. The search query “Paper” is a good example: customers are looking for printer paper when they search for “Paper” — yet, before Rules were implemented, such a query would return “paper towels”, likely leading to a missed purchase.
Using AI for automated yet transparent relevance
The Product Management team also saw immediate uplift from Algolia AI, utilizing Dynamic Re-Ranking and Dynamic Synonym Suggestions to automate the work of increasing relevance. The team still wanted control of relevance algorithms, and Algolia AI provided the right balance: reducing manual relevance labor while offering transparency on relevance changes.
“What really worked miracles for us was the dynamic re-ranking algorithm - that was a real game changer.”
Personalization: finding the needle in the haystack
With so many products, the challenge for Staples.ca is to help those millions of visitors “find the needle in the haystack” and surface products that they are most likely seeking or are more likely to purchase. The team added Algolia Personalization to find the “sweet spot”: balancing exploration with items the shopper had previously shown interest in. Personalization combined with AI helps to automate this discovery process, freeing up engineering time to work on more strategic initiatives, saving the company time and money. Says Jeff “the thing that I love about Algolia tools in general, especially around Synonyms and the Dynamic Re-ranking, is that they really help me find the things that are problematic, and in many cases, just take care of them for us.” The results mirror the elation the team had for the products:
- 65% of their issues are now automatically solved through building synonyms
- Double digit increase in conversion rate using AI and the Dynamic Re-Ranking.
“It’s really hard to figure out what is and isn’t performing well when you’ve got millions of people coming to the site doing multiple searches each. I love Algolia AI tools because I don’t need a team of people to constantly tweak search.” Jeff Serota, Senior Director of Product Management @ Staples Canada