RS has announced the launch of its new online search function, powered by Google artificial intelligence (AI).

This latest advancement means RS is leading the way with this type of technology in the industrial manufacturing space. The technology is set to make the lives of buyers in the manufacturing industry easier, particularly when trying to source products from such a broad offering that can often be technically specific based on application.

Group chief digital and innovation officer at RS Group and president of OKdo, Nicki Young, said: “We are really excited to introduce our new search platform which uses AI to help our customers have more accuracy and speed when shopping online with us, as capability and usability are critically important for them.

“RS transacts 64 per cent of its revenues through digital channels, and more than 70 per cent of our customer enquiries for products and components come through our on-site search capability. That is many millions of enquiries a month – most of which are unique. With customers making highly bespoke enquiries, this kind of big data processing allows us to improve the user experience significantly,” he added.

This AI-based search experience provides benefits to online shoppers including improved relevancy, the addition of search filters for faster results and predictive suggestions through autocomplete. 

RS has launched this function following a successful trial of the new search engine with a small customer base. The impressive results have led to a full rollout to UK customers with other markets to follow in the coming months.