Today, 70% of time on the internet is spent finding information (ecommerceandB2B.com). And according to Multichannel Merchant, 60% of business buyers chose enhanced search functionality on the website when asked to cite the top features they would most like from suppliers in the selling process. Having “computers” in our hands and pockets at all times of day has programmed us to “just google it” for just about every question we have. Consumers today expect to be able to search for what they are looking for and find it just as instantaneously.

Having a search box that doesn’t suck is vital, even in B2B eCommerce today.

OrderCloud.io Customers Choose the Algolia API for a Customer-Friendly Search Experience

With Algolia, a search API that delivers instant and relevant results, you’re able to build unique search experiences into any kind of eCommerce or order management scenario you’ve developed on OrderCloud.io. Developers enjoy Algolia’s extensive documentation, library of SDKs and frameworks, and developer tools.

Algolia is capable of full-text, instant faceting, multiple languages, geo-search, mobile search, and more all search features that will enhance the buying experience for your customers immensely.

Full-text search

Full-text search engines examine all words within full-text fields in order to find the most relevant records. Here’s an example from the OrderCloud.io docs of how this works:

Algolia

Instant Faceting

With instant faceting, you can provide “as-you-type” filtering so that people can find your products no matter if they search by brand, type, category or price.

Multiple Languages

No matter what language your customers speak, Algolia still offers the same speed and ranking performance.

Geo-Search

Use geo-search capabilities already built into the Algolia API to provide search results that are optimized on the go.

Designed for Mobile-Search, too

Algolia starts working from the first keystroke to help your searchers find what they are looking for. Don’t worry about fat fingers either; their spell checker has your back.

How to get started with Algolia

There are 3 simple steps to get started using the Algolia search API:

  1. Sync your Data
  2. Ranking & Relevance – Configure your index for optimal operation
  3. Implement the Search Interface

Use Algolia’s docs to follow along. Your customers will thank you later.

Expert Tip #1: Configuring Webhooks to Automate Syncing of New Products with Algolia

An important step in configuring a strong search experience is remembering to continuously sync your data as you continue to add new products, new product descriptions, new categories, etc. If you don’t sync this new data, your customers won’t be able to find these new items.

In order to automate this step, our customers have used Webhooks. Webhooks allow you to subscribe to any event on any API endpoint. When a webhook is triggered, a JSON payload will be sent to the configured webhook URL. They can be used to perform follow up tasks such as updating an external CRM system when a user updates their profile, or send an email through a 3rd party system when an order is submitted. Webhooks are fundamentally designed to provide maximum flexibility within the integrated solution.

You can use Zapier to configure your webhook. Zapier is an UI that helps you connect apps and automate workflows. For example, you could set-up a “zap” where every time you got an email in Gmail, it would trigger an action to download the file in gmail and upload it to your Dropbox file, and then notify you in Slack that the action had taken place.

To set-up your Webhook to sync data with Algolia, you can follow the step-by-step instructions in the OrderCloud.io docs here.

Expert Tip #2: Algolia’s REST-API + OrderCloud.io’s REST-API = Ability to Combine Administrative Views

One of the most unique things about an eCommerce platform that is a REST API, like OrderCloud.io, is that you get to design your administrative dashboard to serve whatever purpose you so choose. You’re not limited by the creativity of the eCommerce software provider.

With this in mind you can also integrate, design and customize Algolia’s administrative functions and view as needed along with any OrderCloud.io admin controls you’ve created so in the end you have one seamless, master admin view in one window. No need to remember multiple usernames and passwords and have multiple tabs open on your browser at all time!

 

 

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