Start Converting More with Predictive Search

Ecommerce website owners operate in a virtual environment where large third-party marketplaces, like Amazon, set the standards – and those standards are very high. Ecommerce sbo’s find that generating online sales is more difficult than they initially anticipate – not only are they confronted with steep online competition but also with the reality that as the Internet evolves, they must evolve with it to remain competitive. I asked our ecommerce experts to provide insight into how “Predictive Search” can keep your website relevant and drive conversion rates up.


What’s Predictive Search and How does it Work?

In the dawn of Web 2.0, users had to perform a search using the exact keywords to match what they were searching for. While this may be a simple process when searching for a “red cocktail dress,” it posed a challenge if the user searched for “red cocktail dresses” because the system would not produce results for the singular version of that item. The same was true for searches with out-of-order phrase such as “dress cocktail red.” As such, Amazon incorporated a “Predictive Search” function so that as soon as the user began to type, a drop-down list would appear beneath the search box with a list of suggested items. These results were driven by data based on how often users would “confirm” or “validate” a suggestion. In other words, popular suggestions would be higher up and easier to see. The system creates this dynamic list to try and ‘predict’ what the user was searching for.



More than just Auto-completion

Let’s be clear: “Predictive Search” is not simply an auto-complete function, it can be much more than that. More advanced Predictive Search systems are typo-tolerant and will find what you are looking forven if you misspelled keywords, wrote them in a different language, or used a synonym.

Users have now come to expect “predictive search” across ecommerce websites because it simplifies their shopping experience. Once they have started to type, they can rely on the system’s algorithm to fill out the rest of the search; a particularly important feature when shopping on a mobile phone on a compact keyboard. This simplification saves users time in searching and allows them to focus on the shopping experience. The results give rise to enhanced customer experience, larger shopping carts, and overall increased conversion rates.




Ready to incorporate Predictive Search?

For the last several years, our developers have been delighted by the ease-of-implementation and functionality of Algolia, an out-of-the-box Predictive Search solution. This service performs all of the functions of a great Predictive Search feature and truly gives your website users a positive search experience that is superior than what they’ve come to expect.