Searchandizing: How Group BMR Drastically Improved Their Online Customer Experience

Hand holding a cellphone with a BMR webpage of a kitchen faucet

Group BMR is one of Canada’s top DIY retailers with over 300 home renovation centers run by independent members.

With 4 banners, hundreds of independent store owners and 17 corporate stores, Group BMR has a lot of complexity to manage when it comes to their customer experience. Yet, this forward-thinking DIY retailer continues to innovate. In the past year, BMR has made important adaptations to meet customer needs, especially when it comes to finding products.

Pressure to get products online

“Since most of our suppliers are local, we were less impacted by changes in the supply chain than other DIY merchants,” explains Hamza Mghafri, Director of eCommerce and Technology at BMR. “Nevertheless, we felt the pressure to get certain products online as people started home renovation projects during the pandemic.” 

        Read our benchmark on changes in the building materials industry.

A springboard to enrich supplier data

Before the pandemic, BMR was creating product descriptions and enriching product information from scratch. To speed up the process and get more products online faster, the team started using data from suppliers. 

BMR has high standards when it comes to their product data. With support from Absolunet, BMR makes sure to fill in the gaps between the product data that is provided and the level of product information needed to create informed customer journeys on the website and in-person. 

Searchandizing: leveling up the onsite search experience

The concept of searchandizing (“search” + “merchandizing”) is about promoting products when users search for certain keywords or phrases, also called multi-faceted search.

“We allocated a budget and invested resources to improve searchability on the site,” Mghafri explained.

In collaboration with Absolunet’s Customer Experience and Product Information Management teams, BMR worked to:

  • Analyze industry standards 
  • Identify key attributes for comparing products and prioritize attributes that were not currently on BMR product pages
  • Add more than 150 attributes to their current PIM on inriver and clean the data
  • Add more than 100 filters on the page categories

BMR has added more than 10,000 products on the site!

“We continue to take a pragmatic approach, category by category,” said Mghafri. “It is all about putting the customer at the heart of each and every decision.”

How does a merchant know if they should improve their onsite search? 

Conversion rates (CVR) from sessions in which a user is using the search function should be double those without search. For example if CVR without site search is 0.5%, CVR with search should be at least 1%. This can be further improved with searchandizing. 

You know you can benefit from improvements to your product information and online search if: 

  • Onsite search gives poor quality or irrelevant results
  • You have a vast catalog with 10+ categories 
  • +25% of website visitors use the search engine (information available in Google Analytics)
  • Facets, upsells and cross-sells are not logically linked across categories (ex: a replacement part is not linked to the main machine). 
  • The recommended products don't change based on customer behaviors.
  • You have a PIM or are planning to invest in one. Product information plays a huge role in search engine efficiency.

Want to follow BMR’s lead to improve your customer experience with searchandizing? 

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