The world is obsessed with personalization, so much so, that it is virtually present in everything these days. Personalization has become a minimum expectation trend and is here to stay. If you are not personalizing, you are lagging behind your competitors. The brands that are relying heavily on their user’s search behaviors such as Amazon and Netflix, drive hyper-relevant experiences well beyond the search results page.
Intelligent search technologies
Intelligent search has been identified as marketers’ top strategic priorities based on its potential value to both their audiences and their businesses. As business owners, how to make smart choices about search technology that supports any business’s vision of individual experiences. This is a question most marketers would have in them.
Default search technologies provide a solid foundation for search capabilities. But then there are a few other tools that go beyond the blocking and tackling of search to deliver ‘experience intelligence’ capabilities. These capabilities make your users’ behaviors work to your mutual advantage. Search tools excel at scalability, performance, and seamlessly indexing data and content from disparate sources, and they are highly customizable.
Some search tools such as Solr have a limited scope as it has reservations when it comes to certain kinds of cloud-based implementations, while Azure Search has its limitations. However, both of these search solutions are extensible and flexible.
Coveo search solution
Coveo boasts of being the state-of-the-art fully realized solution. Generally needing far less time and cost to implement, Coveo puts many of its powerful capabilities directly in the hands of marketers for them to execute their tactics without having to rely on developers or other technical resources. It reduces both operational costs and time-to-value.
ONPASSIVE, the AI-driven smart business solutions have been developing a similar search solution and should be available to its users shortly. Getting back to Coveo, it positions itself as an ‘experience intelligence’ platform as opposed to search technology. Coveo believes in a paradigm that goes beyond the typical rules-based personalization – ‘If the user clicks on X link, put them in Y pattern and show them Z personalized content.’
Any search platform is built on an index of all your content. Coveo connects a layer of artificial intelligence, allowing marketers to get more value out of that index.
- It studies from every query your users make to return with increasingly relevant results over time.
- It can return more relevant and different results to individual users based on its understanding of their specific needs.
- It identifies gaps in content and keywords that can help you optimize your content strategy.
- It works in concert with Sitecore to deliver search-driven personalization throughout the experience, not just on the search results page.
Coveo can help you achieve the highly personalized results that previously have relied on separate testing, analytics, and recommendation engines. This is why Coveo calls it as Experience Intelligence.
Though both Solr and Azure have some machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities delivering similar outcomes, they are not as advanced as Coveo’s. And some of these capabilities are not supported by Sitecore; whereas, Coveo is fully supported.
Any Sitecore customer looking to compete with digital disruptors should consider implementing Coveo. Before you plan your search strategy, it is recommendable to discuss with your technology partners about:
- How you host/manage Sitecore: Are you on-premise or in a cloud, and what kind of cloud configuration you’re using?
- Will your end-users need to search only for content stored in Sitecore or will search need to access content that might live in other systems?
- Will you require a custom search User interface? Coveo, for example, has a default UI that is configurable up to a point, but changing the UI beyond that will require customization effort. Azure Search and Solr offer no out-of-the-box UI, so you’ll be starting from zero.
- Are you using Sitecore SXA? Coveo’s renderings are SXA compatible.
- How mature is your customer experience strategy? Coveo is a great tool to ‘grow into,’ but you’ll get faster time to value from its more advanced features if you already have personalization tactics in place or at least in planning.