April 22, 2020

Optimizing Your Site for Your Wholesale and Distribution Customers

In this article, we will cover a number of small strategy projects to help optimize your store through the HawkSearch Workbench:

•Focus on your customer personas so you can cater each customer journey efficiently

•Boost your stock products and high margin products over featuring non-stock items at the top of your results

•Optimize your site regionally through GeoIP lookup

•Enhance your cross selling by utilizing wisdom of the crowd

With all the craziness happening all over the world right now, a lot of our customers have taken this time to work internally and optimize a lot of their internal processes to prepare when businesses start opening again and orders begin to roll in again. However, optimizing your website, and especially your customer experience, has not been prioritized. There are a number of small projects that require a small-time investment and can provide high impact results using the HawkSearch workbench and customer data.

Below are some sample projects that can be completed in just a couple weeks and help prepare your website when your customers log in and start ordering and restocking again.

Understand and identify your audience types so you can capitalize on your visitor targets

Many of our clients know there are many different kinds of customers ordering on their sites:

•Contractors / project-based customers

•Facility / Maintenance Managers


•End Users  

Each of these audience types will typically be ordering different types of products from your site. By tagging these customers with a visitor target and then setting up boost and bury rules based on these audience types, you can make sure the products they are searching for are front and center on your category pages, at the top of the search results, and showing up in your recommendations slider. All you need to do is to go through your customer data and tag each customer with a flag that HawkSearch can consume. Once this is done and HawkSearch consumes this data, you now can start updating your relevancy in more ways than simply boosting your top products. You have the opportunity to start segmenting based on the markets and industries you serve. By setting up these market/audience segments, we have seen not only an increase of up to 14%, but also increasing click through of segmented marketing messaging by over 40%. Customers are more likely to buy from you when your marketing messages are relevant to their circumstances and interests.  

Promote your stock and capitol products before non-stock and special-order products

When you are selling a complete system and a customer searches for it, and your top results are replacement parts and accessories, you need to look at optimizing your product offerings. Typically, many companies have already built into their taxonomy products identified as a sellable product and then their parts and accessories. With that data alone, you can go into the HawkSearch admin and setup boost rules to assure those products will always appear before replacement parts and accessories.

By promoting your stocked products, you are assuring your customers can easily find your core products instead of having to filter through your non-stock offerings. This process also provides streamlining internal order processes, as more incoming orders will contain stock products ready to ship instead of having your account management team setting up drop ships and special orders.

Define and Configure Regional Products

When it comes to your online presence, you need to strategize beyond your normal operations. While your offline clients may be focused in your immediate geographic region, you have potential customers around the globe. These customers could have completely different priorities than your customers in your region. Defining product priority by region is a way to start earning business from outside your immediate area.  For example, the HVACR industry in Chicago, there are 2 peak seasons for different products:

•February through May for air conditioners and condensers

•September through November for heating equipment  

Now regionally speaking, you will want to boost your AC equipment in early springtime and then bury it at the beginning of fall. This will assure your local customers can easily find the right motors, belts, and complete units easily by searching with general terms. However, customers shopping on your site for AC equipment in November from Phoenix might not find your site usable, as they are not looking for anything related to heating equipment. Within the HawkSearch workbench, you can identify these various regions and build relevancy based of their specific requirements rather than needing to choose which customers to prioritize over others.    

Take advantage of the “Wisdom of the Crowd”

HawkSearch is built from the ground up to utilize each customer journey to enhance their own personal experience, but there is more benefit of each customer’s action than helping them in the future. HawkSearch has the ability to leverage all of this inbound data and provide all customers automatic recommendations. We are able to record what products were purchased in a single order, the top selling products on the site (and for each segment), what products were ultimately purchased after researching a specific type of product, and more. By taking the time and setting up the HawkSearch recommendations, placing them on product details pages, the cart, and interstitial pages, you can improve your site’s average order volume by up to 50%.

Related items and cross sells have always been a high priority project for many ecommerce departments, but manually configuring these lists can be extremely time consuming and even worse to maintain. By using the wisdom of the crowd, once the HawkSearch recommendations strategies are configured, maintenance and review can be completed in less than 30 minutes per week. HawkSearch offers more than a dozen strategies currently and is releasing new strategies to utilize on your site on an ongoing basis.

Stay safe and seize the opportunity

Right now, it is unclear if the shutdown will continue for a few more weeks or a few more months. As a result, it is difficult to commit your team to a large project without knowing when things will shift back to business as usual. This is where these projects are capable to be completed in a couple weeks and allows for your team to stay agile. Most of the product and customer data is already in your CRM, ERP, or on your site and just need to be utilized. Take the time now to prepare for business as usual and take advantage as currently only 40% of all ecommerce are utilizing these strategies, with only a small fraction of them being Manufacturing, Wholesale, and Distribution. Stay Safe. Stay Busy.

Ready to talk to a HawkSearch expert? Contact us today.


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