Recent customer tests have revealed fascinating insights: relevance is not enough when personalising search results. Customers seek greater understanding and explainability of results to build trust with brands.

Gaining context from experience 

Today’s products previously purchased by customers are automatically positioned on top of search results lists. However, nothing indicates that these items have been bought before.

Understanding the difference between your customers’ current experience and the one they want to have is crucial to improving any user experience. You must design and deliver a buying experience based on customers’ wishes and expectations. An experience that focuses on moving the customer to the next step by supplying them with what they need.

An enjoyable and understanding experience?

Customers are familiar with the items that appear in the first line of results, but it is not always clear whether they have purchased these items before.

Some Usability Tests have revealed that customers prefer items they previously purchased to be clearly differentiated from the rest of the results at the top of the grid.

Increasing transparency

This means that we are assuming that giving more relevancy to the items they have previously purchased is enough to help them find the products they want. However, usability testing proves they expect a more personalised experience when assembling their cart.

So, how can we meet their expectations?

We can give them more transparency by showing a clear message/label on the product card that says ‘Buy it Again’. But what if we take it another step and differentiate the space for those products?

The benefits of personalisation

As a result, with this enhancement, retailers will provide a more personalised, transparent and trustworthy experience for their customers, adding an easy-to-understand item presentation that delivers improved findability performance and greater customer loyalty.

Providing the potential impact of a personalised experience, it makes sense that retailers begin testing and learning about personalisation efforts for greater explainability and always with a privacy-first mindset.

This post is an inside look into our creative process for a more private, customer preference-centric ecommerce. Stay tuned for more stories about prototypes to improve the Search & Discovery process.