What is
Conversational Search?

The evolution of search: from keywords
to intent-based assistance

Conversational search definition

Conversational search is the ultimate way to guide consumers to the perfect products with authentic, educational conversation. It enables brands and retailers to create conversations that increase conversions while driving personalized experiences.

"Conversational search is the best way to guide consumers
to the products they'll want to buy."

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How conversational search is changing the way customers
find products to buy

Remember back in the day when you sat down at the computer and only fired up your dial-up internet to research the latest news? Well, the internet isn't just for information research anymore.

search over time


Did you know that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine and that 79% of all product-related searches start on Amazon? More than 90% of consumers use search during different stages of their customer lifecycle.

But every second, businesses are losing millions of dollars because traditional search capabilities are not helping consumers find what they want.

A keyword-based search for something as simple as "electric toothbrush" will overwhelm the shopper with thousands of results. Consumers crave an increased level of assistance and personalization throughout their shopping journey.

And, conversational search is THE solution to combat the overabundance of choice online.

Using a dialog to help consumers find what they're looking for has vastly better results than a traditional keyword search—for consumers and businesses alike.

How does conversational search work?



Conversational search intuitively guides consumers through an overabundance of products and transitions the customer experience from a tedious journey to a personalized search experience. Consumers are also 3x more likely to engage in interactive experiences than static ones.

Example: Trek's bike finder leads customers through a series of carefully chosen questions before matching them with the perfect bike. Confusion is down and conversions have doubled.
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One of the biggest reasons for product returns is a lack of consumer knowledge. By designing conversations and educating consumers on product specs and product selection, brands and retailers can influence how shoppers discover products.

Example: Microsoft leveraged Zoovu’s expertise to help create and scale a guided, conversation-based experience. Integrated at Microsoft retailers and partners, the assistant helps shoppers find the perfect Microsoft office laptops, resulting in $6M in incremental retailer revenue.
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Conversational search simplifies and shortens the purchase journey, driving up conversion by 211%. By better-educating consumers about product benefits, it’s easy to bundle and group complementary products together, resulting in an AOV increase of 47% on average.

Example: KitchenAid's mixer assistant adapts to each buyer and asks the right questions to guide them to the perfect mixer and accessories. The assistant is currently live in 7 different languages and generates a 65% uplift in average order value.
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When consumers are pleased with their search experience, they are more likely to make that experience their new standard and will return for future purchases. Conversational search increases customer lifetime value by meeting each individual’s wants and needs. 

Example: Moroccanoil engages shoppers in a personalized conversation and recommends a highly curated hair regimen, resulting in a 20% increase in order value and repeat purchases
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Conversational search methodology

Typically, not many people enjoy the online search experience. It's the finding process that consumers appreciate.

  • Keyword-based search offers a shopper thousands of product options. However, only a fraction of results will truly fit their needs.
  • Conversational search replaces the traditional keyword search with an interactive relationship between the user and the business. It offers a level of assistance, using needs-based questions, to help shoppers find what they are truly looking for.

This solution ultimately simplifies the path from intent to the transaction. 

The four different types of intent-based search personas:

  • Informational intent – It’s a common misconception that anyone who opens a browser has a particular objective in mind. A person with an informational search intent is not looking to make a purchase, they are simply browsing the web, hoping to stumble upon interesting pieces of information and learn something.
  • Navigational intent – The Navigational searcher isn’t necessarily looking to make a purchase either. They already have a specific website, brand or product in mind and want to quickly access information to find out more about it.
  • Investigational intent – The investigational searcher is looking for a specific product but wants to weigh their options. They aren’t necessarily looking for the best price, but the best search experience. They are going to have a lot of questions and whichever business can best assist them will win their business. 
  • Transactional intent – The transactional searcher wants to make a purchase and wants to make it fast. They are quick to convert, but also have the tendency to be impulsive, so it’s important to offer them as much easily absorbable information as possible.  


It’s time for search technology to adapt to consumers, 
not the other way around.

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5 reasons why you need a conversational search platform

Digital assistants are the ultimate way to build an engaging relationship with consumers. They enable B2C and B2B businesses across all industries to create conversations that boost conversions through authentic and personalized experiences.

But there are additional benefits that make integrating conversational search experiences into the customer journey a no brainer:

1) You create more engaging experiences

With conversational search, you no longer leave consumers alone with lists and catalogs of different products. Instead, conversational search creates much more engaging and informative product discovery experiences by initiating a conversation, asking questions, and helping consumers find what they’re truly interested in.

The results are boosted engagement (+80%), heightened convenience, and reduced bounce rates. By narrowing down choice in a personalized and interactive way, conversational search is changing how consumers engage online.


2) You inspire and excite customers about your products

Consumers are not always product experts and most aren’t typically aware of the product that’s best for them when they start their research. It’s easy for them to get lost in the technical language and sea of products that all seem to look the same.

Conversations make the search experience less technical, more relatable, and more human. You can educate consumers, help them understand product benefits, increase their purchase confidence, and shorten the path to purchase, providing more conversions (+211%) and fewer product returns (-10%)!


3) You learn more about your customers

Today, data-driven customer engagement makes a huge difference.

The conversational search provided by Zoovu's digital assistants collect 15 million pieces of data per minute to help you understand not only what customers buy, but also why and why not. You gain unique, real-time insights into audience segments, buyer personas, purchase drivers, and pricing preferences of active shoppers who are currently in the purchase process.

These insights give you a data significance level that couldn’t even be achieved through extensive, qualitative market research.


4) You can scale faster and drive more sales

Conversational search experiences can be deployed wherever your customers shop: online, mobile, in-store, at retail partners, and even through voice. You can quickly build, localize, and deploy conversational search applications across channels, helping you quickly reach and engage more consumers in different markets and platforms to generate more sales.

Conversational search is built for scale yet personalized for each individual.


5) You don't have to do the heavy lifting

The good news: The good news: Zoovu's conversational search platform does all the heavy lifting. Using machine learning and AI, it tracks consumer insights and product performance data to extrapolate insights that can be used to optimize the search experience.

With every interaction, Zoovu learns and tells you what works and what doesn’t so you don’t have to fiddle with the data and can deliver the most satisfying search experience, every time.

Like a top seller in any business, Zoovu is eager to make every search interaction a successful one for happy customers that return and generate an ROI for your business.


How to get started with conversational search

Digital assistants are the ultimate way to build an engaging relationship with consumers. It enables brands and retailers to create conversations that boost conversions while delivering authentic and personalized experiences. Digital assistants have taken over conversational search and brands and retailers are responding. 

Ready to offer conversational search experiences?

Find out how Zoovu can help you.