What is parametric search

Parametric search is a tool that allows users to narrow their search results to a specific set by selecting for various attributes or parametrics.

Parametric search is fast, intuitive, and easy to use, allowing customers to see multiple products with similar characteristics, and then refine those down to the product that best meets their needs.

Parametric search, born of the product catalogs of old, is becoming a central part of a high-tech electronics search strategy. Companies are constantly looking for new ways to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of their parametric search capabilities.

A typical parametric search interface offers many ways to narrow
your search.

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Search Pain Points | Big Zeta Solution

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Many search queries on my site return zero results or bad results.

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More than half of respondents are using parametric search to look for datasheets and application notes, though reference designs and block diagrams are also popular search items.

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We do the legwork for search so you don’t have to, solving for search queries that offer bad or no results and leading customers to the re- sults they need.

Parametric search is hard

Parametric search is the main interface customers use to find high tech electronics components via parameters. Customers expect to interact with parametric interfaces that help them find, compare and dive more deeply into a company’s products. Parametric search engines require inordinate amounts of time and effort to integrate product information management systems, support data- stores, content management systems, and creating highly usable customer-facing parametric interfaces.

Creating a highly functional parametric search capability is not easy. It requires skilled teams of interface designers, product managers, database administrators and others to pull off a top-level parametric search engine. Even the biggest companies struggle with building and maintaining these parametric engines, and small to medium size companies usually give up trying to provide them given the complexity, opting for sub- optimized flat file tables that are not user- friendly. Until Big Zeta, there has not been an out-of-the box parametric search capability tailored to complex B2B product parametric scenarios that allows for each launch and maintenance of a parametric capability.

Are there parametric search engines available?

Examples of parametric search engines exist, but they are not created equally. Across the web, you may see parametric search that is difficult to find, missing key data, difficult to navigate, is not customizable, doesn’t gather product intelligence, is unnecessarily complicated, and doesn’t consider the buyer’s journey. Of course, all of this leads to frustrated customers who search elsewhere for their products.

Why is parametric search valuable to my bottom line?

Companies want their prospects and customers to find their products quickly and easily, providing a great user experience. Engineers do more than 90% of their product research online before ever reaching out to a salesperson, which means that having no parametric search or a poor parametric search puts
a company at a severe disadvantage, resulting in preventable lost business. Savvy companies want their customers to go down the digital buyer’s journey (awareness, engagement, research, conceptualizing design and prototyping), contacting a salesperson once a positive exchange has taken place (ex: They want large quantity pricing), rather than after a negative experience (ex: they can’t find what they are looking for and they are frustrated). Parametric search provides such an experience.

The Value of Search:


of respondents in a Big Zeta/EETech search survey indicated that parametric search should be accurate, malleable, and fast.

Parametric search — which is all of these things — turns prospects into lifelong customers by giving them exactly what they want.

Parametric search is essential in narrowing down thousands of potential products and variations within and across endless product categories, resulting in higher sales.


of engineers surveyed said that high- functioning search gives them confidence in a vendor.

How parametric search increases customer loyalty:


» Research indicates that customers are more likely to purchase when they can see their results quickly. Of course, the results also need to be correct.

» This is a multifaceted process, which includes providing the most appropriate parameters
for a given product search, the use of artificial intelligence to understand user search queries even in the presence of things like spelling errors, and presentation that allows users to compare a limited number of possible options.

»  53% of survey respondents said that reputation matters to their customers. Parametric search ensures a consistent, positive user experience.

»  When you have a good experience with a service provider, you are likely to return and even tell others about your success.

How parametric search maximizes your digital investments


» In 2018, electronic sales in the United States surpassed sales made through traditional methods for the first time. The increase in digital spending and subsequent decrease in more traditional sales called for an immediate reevaluation of search tools that would provide users with the information they needed digitally even then—now, COVID has again reformed 
the way we shop. Even in industries that still utilized offline sales with greater frequency, the coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to push their customers toward a digital experience. In fact, you may be hard pressed to meet with a salesperson outside a digital space. Enter parametric search, which allows customers to navigate these digital spaces with ease.

» When you improve the way customers make decisions, you increase confidence in decision making, which often leads to a purchase. If the process is perceived as useful, they will return. Customers want to find your products quickly and easily in a way that builds confidence. Each digital interaction has the potential for the prospect or customer to abandon your site. Leveraging parametric search as a lynchpin of your product finding strategy has the potential to allow customers to dramatically increase their “finding the right product” without getting frustrated or lost and leaving your site.

» Parametric search allows you to provide potential customers with the right kind of results, which means they’re finding what they need when they need it. They can also view related items, leading to higher purchase totals.

Obstacles to great search

Parametric search is a complex undertaking which calls for great UI/UX, gauging intent, performance, aggregation of data, data access and analytics. While companies aspire to provide great parametric search, there are common obstacles that interfere. These include:


Most companies lack developers with the specific expertise to build a great parametric search. They often don’t understand the business case, how to best utilize the technology for this specific use case, and how to best meet the needs of customers. They often approach the problem in ways that may be maintainable by the dev team, but sub-optimized for the customer. Parametric search can be seen by IT/Dev teams as a hassle or a side job to what they consider to be more important priorities.


Search is ever-evolving, and companies like Amazon and Google are constantly raising the bar. Most companies lack the ability in-house to implement new parametric search capabilities like intent detection (ex: artificial intelligence/ machine learning).


Good Data:

Many companies never get parametric search off the ground because their data is either: 1) Poorly structured; 2) Inaccessible; 3) Missing key attributes; 4) Unable to be contextualized.


Poor Analytics:

Parametric search builds rarely have a robust analytics capability. The amount of sophistication and variability in a parametric interaction can be difficult to make sense of from an analytics perspective, but this is exactly what is required to run a highly functioning parametric search capability.


Mapping the Buyer’s Journey:

Companies that do have parametric search capabilities often do not fully optimize them for the buyer’s journey. The parametric search engines are hidden or only on select pages. They’re not presented in the right time and place, nor leveraged with the right level of sophistication for the given use case (ex: putting a constrained quick finder version of parametric search on a product page in which many parameters are already populated and only a select amount of the most valuable or applicable parametrics are being shown).


Poor UI/UX:

When customers come to a site that is difficult to navigate, provides mediocre search results, or doesn’t intuit any part of their search, they get frustrated and leave. Parametric search provides a user experience that is clean, easy, and effective, which leads to sales conversions and repeat business.

Pain points for engineers

In a Big Zeta/EE Tech survey, users pinpointed the specific challenges they face. Overwhelmingly, they pointed to the same things:

»  Difficult user interfaces with inaccurate results

»  Inability to manipulate the interface to improve results

Are there different kinds of parametric search?

The short answer is yes. Parametric search can look many different ways, from simple to sophisticated. It can be used to display a wealth of information or keep it simple. The best parametric search engines offer toggling and mini-search capabilities, key information presented easily in a clear way, intuitive results, and speed. A combination of browsing and searching, parametric search works for suppliers and distributors because of how customizable it is, with the ability to cater to any audience.

Parametric search is highly customizable, which is one of the things that makes it such an effective way to cater to your customers. Whether you’re a supplier or distributor, there’s a version of parametric search that meets your needs.

Big Zeta parametric search is the best in the business, offering users an interface that is customizable and SaaS-specific. Our search:

1. Is easy to operate
2. Is simple to maintain
3. Features cutting edge interfaces
4. Advances innovation

Big Zeta parametric search is built on decades of experience and industry knowledge. We understand the complex needs of B2B companies and strive to deliver search options that meet your unique needs. From sleek, usable interfaces to blazing speed,
we bring you the latest technology, set to deliver actionable analytics, including:

» Click by parametric field
» Parametric most-used configurations
» Most-bounced configuration
» Least-bounced configuration
» Zero-results configurations
» Ratio of queries to clicks
» Product query/high-value click report

Big Zeta parametric search is simple, fast, and robust enough to sell your product.

What is the future of parametric search?

Evolving parametric capabilities promise continued growth for parametric search. From smart tables to flexible filters, guided refinement to interactive product tables, parametric search promises an enhanced and integrated user experience capable of advanced customization–and the analytics to boot. While the future of parametric search may hold many things, there are some easy wins that will likely shape the industry.

1. Detecting intent: Parametric search may help predict likely buyer behavior to offer more relevant results based on the buyer’s goals—find, try, buy, support, or re-purchase.

2. Personalization: Parametric search will offer greater personalization, building interactions and presentations customized to individual customers.

3. Shared databases: With an increased interest in busting open data silos, companies will utilize shared data bases that allow for results in other areas of a site (community, customer support, guided navigation, etc.) to interact, further personalizing the entire experience on a site.

Parametric Search Tailored Solutions
for the B2B Buyer

Like finding a needle in a haystack. Enable your customers to quickly and easily find the exact right part with Big Zeta parametric search.


Visit bigzeta.com to learn how we can help you meet
the needs of your customers today!