CS-Cart: What are Predictive text and Suggestive search?

Sep 11, 2015 ThomH General ecommerce

Harnessing the power of site search data can guide conversion optimisation and enhance the user experience. Most consumers will abandon a website if a relevant result is not returned after an initial query. This research proves the importance of offering a comprehensive on-site search experience to ensure that visitors are offered relevant results for just about any query. Search boxes are getting more advanced all the time, especially in e-commerce. Two of the latest developments are described below.

Predictive search

This allows web visitors to see search queries that are popular based on what they have already typed into the search box.

Usually a drop-down list pops up immediately while typing and you don’t need to hit on "search" button in order to see common search queries.

This is a great way of guiding a visitor to results, rather than having them type searches that are slightly off and don't return a large number of results. It also saves on typing, much appreciated by your visitors particularly if they are using a device without a physical keyboard like a tablet. Devices like these are used more and more commonly for shopping.

Suggestive search

This is a way of steering user searches. Ever since Google started with autocompletion or autosuggest a few years ago – without even knowing it, users have become addicted. When you start typing anything within a Google search box, you would immediately see a drop down box with at least 4 suggestive search queries. It’s extremely fast, and amazingly accurate in predicting what it is that you would like to search.

When the user selects a recommended product, she lands on the product page, and can click the Buy button without going through a results page. This accelerates the purchase cycle and increases conversion.

We all refer to it differently - "Suggestive Search", "Intelligent Search", "Autocomplete" and "Autosuggest". Whatever your preference, the fact of the matter is that this is a very important feature of any e-commerce site - primarily, in helping users to quickly and easily find what they are looking for.

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