2017 was another year of high growth for Coveo, and Coveo for Sitecore contributed its fair share. We expanded our team to support the growth, and I am the latest addition to this exceptional team. We are working hard to lay the groundwork for 2018 as it is going to be another exciting year with tons of opportunities.
Coveo is invested in its product and committed to delivering the latest innovation to its customers. The product management team has spent the last few months talking to our vast network of partners and our customers to determine your needs. I sat down with Coveo for Sitecore Product Manager and 2017 Sitecore MVP, Simon Langevin, to find out what he’s excited about in 2018.
Q: Where do you see Coveo for Sitecore expanding in 2018?
Simon: If you have attended Sitecore Symposium this year or read about it, you would have probably heard about Sitecore’s investment in their Commerce platform. In 2018, our developers will focus on providing more out of the box controls for Sitecore Commerce.
A modern site search with AI capabilities is critical, since up to 30% of your site visitors will use the internal site search, according to a study done by Demac Media. The same report claims a 216% increase in conversion rate if the customer finds the right product through search. Once the buyer sees the product, online merchants need to use the cross-sell strategy to increase the average order value (AOV).
With Coveo for Sitecore, online merchants have access to powerful machines learning models to provide an accurate product recommendation based on the buyer context, intent, and sales history. For instance, if womens boots are often bought with wool socks in Canada, and regular socks in New York, Coveo Machine Learning™ will suggest wool socks to whoever buys women boots in Canada, and regular socks if the purchase is made in New York. Not only does our machine learning help to personalize the shopping experience, it self-learns and re-adjusts every time to consistently deliver relevance in the context of each shopper.
Q: Is this a new area for Coveo for Sitecore?
Simon: We supported ecommerce projects in the past year, including a project that our CMO Mark Floisand spoke about at Symposium. Our partner, Redweb, used Coveo for Sitecore with a leading British health and wellbeing retailer. Coveo for Sitecore helped them achieve a 14% increase in organic revenue & transactions and a 16% increase in conversion rate. We are very proud of the results:
In addition, site search enabled this retailer to reach a new market of customers – without having to abandon their loyal, current customers. The company knew that a new market of health conscious consumers wanted more content to improve their overall health and fitness, rather than the “fix my illness with an auto-renewing monthly subscription” approach of their current customers. These two groups had vastly different content needs. To simplify the solution, with Coveo for Sitecore, once Sitecore identified a website visitor as in one group or the other based on their behavior, the website provided them with the relevant content and experience they needed.
Q: What were the other highlights of 2017?
Simon: 2017 was a big year for the Coveo for Sitecore team. On a small technical note, in late 2017, we launched Coveo for Sitecore Hive Framework. It was well received by our customers as they were able to manage each component independently. In the next few months, we will adapt the Hive rendering to be SXA compliant. It will allow your experience to be even more consistent between Sitecore and Coveo.
Few weeks ago, we announced the early access of Coveo on Elasticsearch. It is a thrilling product launch for Coveo as we allow organizations to accelerate their search deployment and improve results from day one with out-of-the-box, best-in-class relevance. Users can leverage their existing open source Elasticsearch index, which can also be used with Coveo for Sitecore. It will allow the Product Management team to expand the family of products during the summer of 2018.
We also added quite a few exciting use cases to our roster. Our customers and partners are innovating and pushing the envelope of what can be done with Coveo for Sitecore. For example, Fishtank Consulting used Coveo to deliver personalization at scale on the new website of Enbridge, a Canadian energy transportation company. For instance, Enbridge detect the user’s location and delivers pieces of information that are meaningful to the user. One of our partners, TechAspect, also built a chatbot using Coveo for Sitecore and debuted it at Symposium. Chatbots and virtual assistants are really taking off in both the enterprise and external websites, so this was very awesome to see! Check out a video from the President of Fishtank Consulting.
I am also very pleased with the content that we were able to provide to our partners and customers on our tech blog. I wrote a series of blogs on how to apply the Site Search Best Practices to help with your Coveo for Sitecore projects.
Q: What other exciting advancements can Coveo for Sitecore developers expect in 2018?
Simon: At Coveo, we don’t only think about delivering great products but great support as well. The product management team is working on a standalone diagnostic application for your Coveo for Sitecore deployments. We decided to develop it as a standalone product to support all the version of Coveo for Sitecore. It will have advanced tools to help you troubleshoot. Expect it mid-year!
Last but not least, the next Coveo for Sitecore version is already underway! Expect to hear more at a later date, but we are definitely working towards streamlining the installation process, using the power of Cloud Computing and leveraging the popularity of Elasticsearch open source platform.
According to Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Officer at Salesforce, by 2020, 51% of consumers and 75% of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions. We are working tirelessly to develop the product that will enable you to go beyond a simple site search and provide relevance and recommendations to your customers
What would you like to see from Coveo for Sitecore in 2018? Share your thoughts on our roadmap by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting @Coveo!
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