Hawksearch recently held our 2nd annual client forum, which brought together our customers, partners and in house subject matter experts for an exciting day full of insight, learning, thought leadership and strategy creation. In addition, we also gave our valued clients a chance to take a good look at what we are planning for 2019 to not only enhance and expand the quality of their website’s search capabilities, but also help them accomplish their marketing and merchandising goals through the continually evolving, robust dashboard tools that Hawksearch offers.

Opening Remarks

The day started out with a personal welcome by Hawksearch principals, Mike and Tony Svanascini. They discussed the many accomplishments that Hawksearch experienced in 2018 and are looking forward to improving the product much further in the new year with additional capabilities and advancements.

Mike Svanascini, President of Hawksearch commented; “Our goal has always been and will continue to be to provide our great customers with the highest quality and fastest search experiences for their online audience that the industry has to offer. We are constantly investing in new technology and innovation to help our clients grow on the web by enhancing their ability to use on site search as a powerful, strategic tool.”

Keynote Address

The Forum’s keynote speaker this year was Ken Au, Director of Ecommerce for Abt Electronics, headquartered in Glenview, IL. Founded in 1936, Abt Electronics is a leading, online retailer for home appliances, electronics and computers. With over 50,000 skus on their website, Ken spoke about how Abt Electronics has worked with Hawksearch to not only provide extremely relevant and personalized search experiences for their online shoppers, but also how the marketing and merchandising tools that Hawksearch offers such as category/facet control, synonyms, boost & bury rules and banners have had such a big impact on their online success. He also discussed that Hawksearch’s ability to be customizable to their specific business needs has been extremely important. Ken sees Hawksearch not as a search tool vendor, but a true business partner.

Session Topics

The Forum’s agenda for the day moved forward with a variety of lively, interactive seminars on many strategy topics including:

  • Measuring & optimizing search speed performance.
  • Leveraging metrics data found in the Hawksearch reporting suite
  • Elevating search strategies to the next level
  • The power of a recommendation engine within search
  • Search user experiences
  • Use of keywords and synonyms
  • Optimizing SEO with Search

2018 Achievements & 2019 Roadmap

The last presentation of the day was an exciting look into what’s in store for Hawksearch in 2019. Shreyas Kamath, Chief Technology Officer and Tim Ahlenius, Chief Experience Officer gave our audience a sneak peak of the projects taking place in the new year.

Shreyas presented a summary of some of 2018’s achievements, including considerable usability improvements, a refreshed design of the marketing tool preview feature, a new look for the dashboard tools and further mobile UI enhancements.

One of the most significant changes to Hawksearch in 2018 was the partnering with Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch is a powerful, data agnostic, open source, search indexing technology that provides exceptionally fast searches, even from extremely large data sets. Search queries that previously took a few seconds can be now processed within milliseconds. The first Hawksearch client was launched to production with Elasticsearch last year, with many more to follow in the near future.

2019 will be another exciting year for Hawksearch. Shreyas and Tim laid out a summary of the following initiatives being worked on for this year.

  • New Tracking and Recs Architecture
  • Reports for Search
  • Reports for landing pages
  • Reports for Recommendations
  • Image Search
  • Voice Search/NLP
  • Relevancy Tuning
  • New Recommendation Strategies Based on Search and User Behavior
  • And much more!

The 2019 roadmap was influenced by a wide variety of sources, including internal initiatives, customer & partner requests, consulting with industry-known, global research firms, as well as the findings of competitive product analysis.

Everyone at the Forum had a great day and came away with a lot of new information that can be put to practical use on their Hawksearch powered websites. The only good part about the 2019 Client Forum being over is that we are now starting to work on 2020’s event. Don’t miss it!