How can we search better?

How can we search better?

Consumer-facing websites such as Amazon are first class when it comes to customers easily finding what they need, so what can we learn from them?

When it comes to customer experience, it’s clear that the business-to-business channel still has a lot to learn from consumer-facing platforms, not least when it comes to finding products in the first place.

Few things can be more frustrating than searching for a product that can’t be found. Whether your customers search for category, brand or variant, the search function is an essential element to get right.

B2B channels see higher levels of online participation than other channels and yet despite this, wholesaler websites can be littered with pain points.

So what do we know? We know that B2B customers shop differently to the average consumer:

  • they don’t browse, they have a focused mission and shop specifically for products
  • they repeat their shop often and want to quickly filter what is of interest in order to check-out swiftly
  • the search function is their number one tool to find products.

All B2B customers use B2C websites in their daily lives and so expectation is high. We all expect a customer-first experience, and the search function is critical. If it lands on a ‘no results found’ page, baskets will be abandoned.


To emulate the success of the B2C customer experience, here’s our guide to the ways to improve your search and win with ecommerce.

  • Make search immediately visible
    We know customers are looking for this so help them to locate it easily.
  • Include category search
    Within B2C channels, searching by category will lead you to a category landing page. This enables discovery and streamlines the path to purchase, and you can optimise individual landing pages.
  • Automated search
    Make suggestions based on shopper habits. These suggestions let customers know what their peers are commonly searching for and eases the journey.
  • Use artificial intelligence (AI) to personalise and automate
    AI and search are a match made in heaven. A search solution with strong machine learning capabilities can aggregate information on shopper behaviour and identify patterns to provide personalised results and recommendations. These suggestions let customers know what their peers are searching for which eases the discoverability journey.
  • No dead ends
    Rather than reaching a ‘no results found’ page, provide a solution that will encourage shoppers to continue their session, such as ‘did you mean…?’ or ‘commonly bought’.
  • Tag well
    The tags, titles and descriptions you apply to your products are the bread and butter of search. Make sure that the keywords your customers most often use to describe products are included such as category terms, commonly searched terms and commonly misspelt words.


Learn how to master the basics of content and search with the eWholesale Collective’s free virtual masterclass. With presentations on the importance of content and search, the session will also include expert tips and advice for all wholesalers looking to provide a great online experience for their customers.

  • Virtual masterclass 2pm–3pm, Tuesday 19 March
  • To secure your place, simply email us at to register