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The Best Features of Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Hypernyms

The Best Features of Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Hypernyms.

One of the things we love most about Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the very subtle ways it makes the sales experience and the user experience overall much more optimized for actually resulting in a sale than, well, any other platform we know.

Let’s explore that today by diving into one of the hidden features that helps users find just the product that they want: hypernyms.

Now, as a language maven, I will confess: I had never heard the word hypernym before. Yes, believe it or not, sometimes that just happens! 

A “hypernym” is a broader category that a noun may be in. Examples:

  • “Animal” is a hypernym of “cat”
  • “Vehicle” is a hypernym of “car”
  • “Ebook Reader” is a hypernym of “Kindle”

Do you see the pattern? Software developers sometimes call this a “is-a” relationship: a car “is a” vehicle.

(Now, just to be unambiguous at the sake of being a bit more confusing, the converse is a “hyponym” — note the “o” instead of the “er” — so a “cat” is a hyponym of “animal”. In short, the “hypernym” is the broader category and the “hyponym” is the more specific subset.)

With that as background, here is something that Salesforce Commerce Cloud does that is awesome: in your product search, it lets you define hypernyms. So, when someone searches for a product — first, it returns any matches. But then after that, it returns more results in the broader category!

So, let’s say your site sells food. If someone searches for “almonds” it will return only the almond products. But you could define “nuts” as a hypernym of “almonds” so that, after all 22 of your almond products are returned, it will then display your 86 other nut products.

Or let’s say your site sells electrical items. If someone searches for “double A batteries” it will return all the “double A batteries”. But you only have one brand of those, so it will be a mostly empty result. But you can define a “battery” as a hypernym of “double A batteries” so that, after the only double A battery result is returned, it then returns other battery results!

This improves the user experience because, instead of returning exactly the item they searched for, it can return related items. That’s because sometimes people search for something and they don’t actually want that specific item, but something very similar. Just the other day, I searched for “bathroom light fixture e27” but the truth is, I don’t necessarily need an e27 type light fixture in my bathroom; I could be happy with the right e14, not e27, light fixture as well… particularly since they now have color-corrected ‘amber’ lights available as e14 lights as well. We often tend to be a bit flexible in our ecommerce searches, particularly when we’re earlier in the buy cycle. (I may not be flexible in my insistence on human, fire-like lighting everywhere I go, even the bathroom; but I can compromise on other variables in my search queries, and my life, like the screw size.)

Powerful? Yup. A feature that hasn’t yet been discovered by the other leading ecommerce engines? Yup. Another reason why we love Salesforce Commerce Cloud? Yup.

PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud development & strategy teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.

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