PPWang’s Exploration of the Search Business in B2B E-Commerce

Introduction to PPWang:

PPWang is an e-commerce platform on mobile devices for clothing wholesale based on traditional wholesale markets. It is the first e-commerce platform that combines livestreaming and B2B clothing. From 2015 to today, PPWang has become a livestreaming spokesperson in the wholesale clothing industry.

The Tortuous Process of Search R&D

By introducing engineers on search algorithms and setting up a special team for search projects, PPWang utilized an open-source search framework and performed redevelopment. However, PPWang failed to meet the requirements of search optimization. The problems that PPWang encountered are listed below:

  1. The Lack of Personnel: It is very difficult to find professional and appropriate algorithm personnel.
  2. The Lack of Data Timeliness: It is difficult to balance the relation between high-quality commodities and newly released commodities.
  3. Malicious Ranking Competition Among Merchants: Some merchants find ranking loopholes and get top positions on the search results through piling up search keywords, which makes the user experience bad.

The Turn of Search R&D Process — Alibaba Cloud’s OpenSearch Solution

1. Sorting Optimization:

  • The second-phase is fine-grained sorting, which further filters the results of rough sorting and supports any complex expressions and syntax.
  • Correlation Scoring Strategy: Score the recalled rank_size documents (1 million at present) according to the definition of the rough sorting expression. Score and sort N results (at the hundred level) with the highest rough sorting scores, based on the fine-grained sorting expression. Then, return the corresponding results to the user according to Start and Hit settings. If the number of obtained results exceeds the number of documents after fine-grained sorting, the obtained results will be those documents after rough sorting.

The Bright Future of the Search R&D Process

There are more advanced features of OpenSearch that will be available to PPWang in the future.

  • Category Prediction Model: It is used for predicting the category of results that users tend to search for based on search words. Combined with sorting expressions, this model can present more suitable results for users.
  • A/B Testing: A/B testing can help test businesses before carrying out and allocating certain proportions of traffic. By doing so, users can avoid the negative impact of online businesses.

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