Bestway, the UK’s largest independent wholesaler, is cementing its ambition “to be the leading technology player in the sector” by announcing significant improvements across its Bestway and Batleys transactional web portals.
Extensive research among online users highlighted key issues to improve the websites’ functionality and the group has introduced a more user friendly search engine to help customers simplify the ordering process.
The new function now offers users a new range of benefits:
- Predictive results, including product visuals, will now appear as the user types in their product search allowing them to quickly identify their product choice which can be selected before they have finished typing.
- Historical product search – The results page displays results based on previous purchasing behaviour of the individual user based on that search query. This means that if a customer is searching for ketchup, it will prioritise the particular size and format that the customer has purchased in the past or is most likely to buy given their business profile.
- Typographical corrections – The new search function “remembers” a list of commonly misspelt brand names and corrects while searching. For instance searching for ‘Hineken’ will show results for ‘Heineken’ automatically. It will also link associated brand names and show relevant products; e.g. Best-in results will be shown for searches such as ‘Bestin’, ‘Best in’ and searching “Coke” will also return listings for “Coca Cola”. These automated corrections build over time and are based on real customer activity, so our search becomes more accurate and responsive the more it is used.
- Suggestions – Each SKU listing now includes the five most popular items bought with that item. This is based on actual sales data from customers and will automatically update over time accounting for NPD and promotions. Customers will be able to see what products their peers are purchasing and help identify product adjacencies and aid category planning.
Bestway marketing manager Salih Sheikh says this web development is part of “a continued mission” to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with the group.
“Web and digital continues to be a pillar of the Bestway and Batleys business as we aim to offer customers the best service levels in the sector. It is all about putting the customer first and matching their expectations. Although cash and carry remains the core part of our Features > Business, we are committed to serving those customers who prefer online ordering and delivery or click and collect.
“Around 75% per cent of customers utilise the search facility while using the sites to pinpoint or narrow down their search. Being such a core component of how customers use the site, we have remodelled this function and invested in an ‘intelligent search programme’ that simplifies the whole trading process. From spelling corrections to historical searches and product suggestions, the websites are now much easier to use meaning that customers can now spend less time ordering and more time selling.”