So how do you make sure that, when a client or potential client uses your on-site search to look for a product, that the right result is returned to him-or-her?
On other platforms, well, there aren’t many options: you just search, and the site uses its algorithms to guess what is best. Sometimes that works and sometimes that fails (I’m looking at you, Magento).
But one of Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s core strengths is that it is powerful, customizable, and wrapped in a friendly admin user experience — so the non-technical software developers can do lots of tweaking to create exactly the right experience for their target market.
Let’s see how this applies to on-site search. There are a few ways you can really customize search. In short, you can choose any attribute in the system about each product — the title, the paragraph description, the categories, really anything associated with the product, and for each one, you can:
- Include it or exclude it from the search.
- Give it a weight (“a Boost Factor”) so that it is prioritized/emphasized in the results.
- Let the autocorrect functionality apply or not to the searches as they examine that particular field.
On top of these, you can even create your own “attributes” (as they’re called) and also include non-obvious and non-visible attributes, like the product ID number.
Let’s dissect these.
Instead of just searching products by the usual pedestrian criteria — most commonly, product name and description — there are many situations in which you may want to use some less-common (but important to your product) search criteria, to help your users find the product of yours they actually want. Such as:
- Let’s say part of your branding is the awesome warranties, so you want the warranty type to be included in the search.
- Let’s say it’s a food product and you want the nutritional content to be searched.
- Let’s say you want people to be able to find a product with a particular type of battery (ahem, ahem, Apple, why don’t you make your batteries removable anymore, ahem, ahem).
- Let’s say you want users to be able to search the sizes directly, since for your products, certain versions are only available in certain sizes.
- Let’s say you want users to search by the brand being sold in your marketplace.
- Let’s say you want users to search by product color.
- Let’s say someone searches directly for the product number because they know precisely what they want and copy-pasted it from another (possibly more expensively priced!) site.
But then there are more complex versions of this:
- Let’s say you want users to search by product color — but it turns out you sell food that happens to be in the color red, but you also sell “red velvet” cake. So you want both to be searchable, but you want the “red” in the product name to be emphasized more, that is, “boosted”.
- Let’s say your product descriptions are long, windy, and VERY SEO friendly, meaning they contain lots and lots of keywords that are very repetitive. Maybe even most products have a strongly overlapping set of keywords. The problem is, if these are included in the search, then it would throw off all the searches, due to the redundancy, as well as the overload of only half-related keywords. So let’s say you want the words in the description to still be part of the search results, but in a weakened way. Yup, Salesforce Commerce Cloud can do that, too!
In conclusion, Salesforce Commerce Cloud lets you make the on-site search results granular by not just including or excluding all the different possible variables. Now, if you have a simple run-of-the-mill site, you may not need all this firepower. But when you want very granular controls to create just the right user experience, then these are great examples of why Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a great choice.