Complex machinery invariably means complicated part options. For manufacturers, publishing well managed product information data allows distributors, dealers and end-users to search online catalogues to find and buy what they need.

Producing a factory part right first time keeps the supply to sales outlets flowing and rework costs down. The same is true for aftersales. Give customers what they need, when they need it, and they will return.

Making the right data available is the foundation of any easy-to-use system. Bringing together legacy parts, print-format catalogues and interactive diagrams can be complex, but it is achievable. Epitomy Solutions facilitates that digital transformation.

Getting all product elements together and accessible via the organisation’s website is a major step in the right direction, but sometimes not enough to convert site visits to sales. Some customers require the equivalent of an attentive assistant to guide them through to checkout.

 

Assisted search functionality

How data is presented makes all the difference. A never-ending page of parts is daunting, akin to browsing aisle after aisle of produce in a supermarket. A clear interface with visible search box puts the customer in control.

An intuitive search gives users a real-time view of available parts. Autocomplete and predictive text drawn from successful product matches offers a path to valid items. One click reveals what the customer wants, so they can proceed to checkout or add to the shopping cart.

Guided searches increase order accuracy, and linking to actual parts held within the system reduces user error. Allowing manual entry with no predictive look-up risks drawing a blank, leaving customers frustrated.

With an accurate and successful search completed, related parts can be offered. Those results are driven from user history or items associated with the latest purchase. Increased options lead to higher value conversions.

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Enriched buying experience = increased sales

Equipping visitors to a site with comprehensive product information doesn’t necessarily overload them; they are empowered to complete transactions at their own pace. There is no need for time-consuming phone calls to office-based advisors, just a straightforward online process that gives them everything they need.

With any part search, there is potential to offer a range of feature-rich options. This means providing information that equips the buyer with valuable data to reassure them ahead of completing the purchase.

The digital assets held within your system should be exploited. Searches should not be limited to text-only results, and being able to choose from product documents, part diagrams and attractive images adds immense value to the user journey.

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Quality visuals guide the customer

Fully integrated e-commerce platforms give users a truly immersive experience. Informative 2D graphics will display on any platform without additional software, and video can also be offered if its content adds value during decision making.

With links to all aspects of product data, giving access to exploded diagrams of built assemblies enables customers to visualise the part they require. Technical barriers are removed and parts are displayed in their simplest form from original CAD data.

On screen schematics then offer knowledge transfer options. Hotspots embedded within each base part generate pop-up information boxes that list part reference numbers, photos from different angles, and the opportunity to read further technical details if required. It’s a one-stop shop where the customer follows clearly defined paths to get what they need.

At each point of the process the user is making decisions: from searching available parts and checking compatibility, to assessing fitting options and ongoing care of components. Every potential query has an answer, whether that is visual or text-driven as part of a product manual.

Armed with multiple sources of data and reassured that the sourced part is correct, the rate of successful conversion increases.

If you would like to talk about making your products easy to find, understand and buy, call Epitomy Solutions about building an e-commerce site that is right for your business and your customers.