E-commerce Link: Enhance Your On-site Search
Basic search will only accept a perfect match. An undesirable result also will occur when the customer searches for a term not in the database, such as searching for “crimson” when your product descriptions only use the word “red.”
How Enhanced Search Solves the Problem
You could attempt to augment your list of keywords with every possible synonym for every word in your database, including likely misspellings, but this would be an exercise in futility. Keyword technology, though it has its place, is extremely high-maintenance and is a weak point on any but the simplest of sites.
A new class of enhanced search technology was designed to overcome the shortcomings of keyword and basic search. Enhanced search technology is far more efficient and cost-effective, because it vastly reduces keyword maintenance. It can “think” on the fly to accurately interpret your customers’ search terms within the context of your Web site, your product line and your content.
The major providers of enhanced search technology all use different techniques, but their common goal is to circumvent inevitable customer errors, interpret the customer’s real meaning, and present accurate, meaningful responses in relevant ways. For example, one such provider, Netrics (www.netrics.com), uses advanced pattern matching algorithms to determine similarities between what the customer typed and what actually is in your database. Most applications also give you the flexibility of adding a list of keywords so you can create custom registries of synonyms.
Enhanced Search in Action
The advanced search application quickly would realize that there was no entry for “soda” in your database; it then would search for the closest logical equivalent. Because it is a furniture store, there are dozens of entries using the word “sofa.” The customer is treated to an array of options for sofas, couches, loveseats, slipcovers and anything else that has the word “sofa” associated with it in your database.