What are the benefits of Fuzzy Search Suggestions in E-commerce?

| Shane

The adoption of Online Commerce has increased dramatically after COVID19 and mobile phones are the most popular channel for online visitors to engage with stores. But typing on a mobile phone leads to many errors, potentially negatively impacting visitor experience. Spell check is a must-have feature for any site search engine in an e-commerce store. A spell check feature is enabled to ensure that when a visitor types for an erroneous search term (Vacuum Clener, Chagers) or a correct search term ( Vaccum Cleaners, Chargers), the search results shows them the same results. While “Spell Check” corrects the query and displays the relevant search results, this will not correct the search suggestions as that is typically managed by anther algorithm optimized for faster speed than the search results.

How are search suggestions generated today? 

Online visitors expect to quickly find the products they need, else there are likely to bounce and visit another store a click away. When your visitor starts typing their search query, the search suggestions autocomplete and displays a list of products or category suggestions. The process of providing the right product suggestions directly drives a considerable amount of your traffic directly to those product pages and helps in converting. Simply looking up words starting with the same letters soon is not good enough anymore. Users wanted to have smarter suggestions, even if they didn’t know the exact spelling or when they use phonetically similar words. Most Search Engines have a spell check features enabled for Search Results, but not for Search Suggestions. This could lead to an increased bounce rate in the search funnel, in some eCommerce verticals. 

Shortcomings of search suggestions  

In many verticals of eCommerce like Grocery, Pharmacy, Electronics, etc., many online visitors are more likely to type a specific search query (Paracetamol, iPhone, Ketchum, Sanitizer, etc.,) rather than generics queries ( Dresses, Tops, men’s shoes). These visitors are used to completing the search experience from suggestions, rather than the search results. When these visitors are make spelling mistakes on search queries when typing, they still expect to see relevant suggestions, as the Amazons, Walmarts & Targets of the world, have typo corrections of fuzzy search enabled. The absence of fuzzy suggestions in these use cases can lead to an abandonment of the search funnel, potentially impacting the total revenue & conversion rate.

What is a fuzzy search suggestion? 

Fuzzy search suggestions allow online visitors to engage with product or category suggestions based on close matches using the fuzzy algorithms, even if they misspell a search query. They display search suggestions in a more lenient way than hard search algorithms that only match specific and rigid results. It can be much more effective for some kinds of search queries, because although it may turn out less relevant search suggestions, it may also turn out highly relevant search suggestions in some cases that would have been screened out by an excessively rigid algorithm.

Image Source: amazon.com

Benefits of Fuzzy Search Suggestion

  •  Fuzzy search suggestions are most useful at online stores where visitors are more likely to select products from search suggestions vs. search results. This is best applied when the online store is certain that a majority of visitors are driving CTR from the suggestions interface vs. the search results. 
  • This is useful in cases where online visitors are more likely to make spelling mistakes on search queries when typing, which may lead to no search suggestions as a result of rigid search algorithms that are designed to prevent erroneous results in suggestions. 

Reduce the drop-offs of Search Visitors from the Suggestions funnel stage by applying the fuzzy search suggestions from Tagalys. Get Tagalys and make your eCommerce store smarter with our Site search product. To know more about our solutions and their features, get in touch with us now.