Back to School this season is quite different from other years. When it comes to making the shopping list for school, electronic items are now the star products. This year, searches for printers and laptops rose 93% and 89.1% respectively. Backpacks, however, lagged from previous years; they were searched 36.6% less this season.

As predicted, consumers are preparing for kids’ return to class in a virtual or blended manner. And consequently, parents are settling in for extended remote work, too. This changing pulse of demand beats strongly in search patterns, as families modify their shopping carts to include items that allow kids to access the schools’ virtual platforms or make their study area at home an optimal space for concentration.

In times of uncertainty and difficulty, it is critical for retailers to make things easier, carefully observe the search patterns and behaviour of your consumers and offer them, in the most human way, the products best adapted to their needs. Here’s how does it:

Notice: Lots of discovery possibilities with just one query, “laptops.” Considering how strange, and sometimes even difficult, this back to school is… Could you imagine the frustration caused for consumers by not allowing them to easily find the catalogue options that best fit their requirements?

Carrefour offers different filtering and discovery elements to guide their customers to what they need and introduce them to must-have products that they were not aware of. Here are two key elements:

  • Type-ahead suggestions, recent searches and search trends. As a starting point, some suggestions are populated to assist shoppers and drive them through an experience that requires little typing.
  • Related queries based on people’s past search session history. ‘Related Tags’ help shoppers to refine their search with just one click on the tagged word that best aligns with the search intention. Then ‘Next Queries’ are shown once the consumers comes back to the search box after surfacing the results for a given query.

By storing data about consumers’ behaviours and queries, Carrefour provides the best suggestions to nail down shoppers’ intentions and guide them through the huge catalogue. After analysing back to school data, Carrefour detected a change to new necessities for consumers, and the ecommerce site swiftly adapted to consumer patterns. In short, Carrefour uses their own data to create expressive and meaningful interactions with the catalogue, either refining the search intention or encouraging the discovery of new products.

Learning from shoppers’ behaviours, and driving this data towards aesthetics and beauty in Search & Discovery, is the decisive step to transform consumer interactions into an experience in which people feel like part of an art form. Let’s have, as much as possible, an easy-going return to school!