April 11, 2002, 12:00 AM

The new frontier in search: Customized results

One of the next frontiers in site search could be presenting customized search results based on what a retailer knows about the customer doing the searching.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

One of the next frontiers in site search could be presenting customized search results based on what a retailer knows about the customer doing the searching, says Stefanos Damianakis, president of site search provider Netrics Inc. “The more a retailer knows what you like and dislike and factors it into the user experience at a site, the more comfortable you will feel about shopping and buying there,” Damianakis says.

Netrics is preparing a search product that can weight the responses to a search depending on a variety of criteria, one of which is knowing what a customer has searched for or bought in the past. That information is gleaned by the sign-in process for returning customers who have registered at a site or by the use cookies. The latter technique is not in wide use yet, he says. “It’s an important emerging trend,” Damianakis says.

Results can also be sorted by criteria that the retailer chooses, displaying, for instance, best sellers or the highest-margin products at the top, he says. That display can then be refined even more by customer groupings based on customer characteristics. “Retailers need to tailor their search by leveraging what they know about customers,” Damianakis says.

 

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