Autocomplete is a feature inside any product which can predict what the user is going to type next. On a user interface, users can use tabs, key up-down arrows to select one of the suggested autocompletion.

Autocomplete is also called “type-ahead suggestion” or “AutoSuggest” or “real-time suggestions“.

Autocomplete feature is widely used and seen in browsers, e-mail programs, source code editors, search engines, database query tools, word processors, command line interpreters, mobile apps etc.

Autocomplete suggestions change with respect to time, location, language, user interaction etc. They are populated automatically and are auto-sorted based on popularity and the conversion rate of different suggestions.

Google autocomplete:

google autocomplete

amazon autocomplete:

e-commerce autocomplete

showing suggestions and suggested products:

suggestions and suggested product

Benefits of autocomplete feature:

  • Less keystrokes
    • Users should not spend time in typing and keystrokes. They should be helped by showing what they mean by what they have typed earlier.
  • Correcting user query and spelling errors
    • While tying typos and spelling errors are possible. Instead of letting a user to type ahead as is, correction should happen and should be shown.
  • Context Completion
    • Suggestions can be shown based on the context of the current word or similar words. Context is more important than simple word completion. The contextual completion shows an ability to predict the next words will make more sense than simple word completion.
  • user engagement tool
    • An application should be user-friendly and thus the popularity or incremental usage of it. When users are assisted or helped, they will engage more. This is very important for any online website.
  • Special importance in an E-commerce site
    • promotion of products
      • An e-commerce business can push certain products to the top of text suggestions to focus customers on high-margin products, or products that to sell quickly to remove excess stock.
    • text suggestions and suggested products
      • Based on a search query, suggested products(search results) can be shown directly and allow your customers to go right from typing in their search term, to a purchasable product, all with one click. It gives more confidence to the user as they see products directly.
Summary:

Autocomplete is a must-have feature for any online business. Helping the user spend less time on typing is a good thing.

Autocomplete suggestions are populated automatically based on the user’s search query.

Autocomplete suggestions help visitors use correct terminology, avoid typos and refine their search.

Suggestions shown are auto-sorted based on popularity and the conversion rate of different suggestions.

Poorly implemented or non-existant autocomplete can lead visitors on a detour, or worse yet, to completely abandon their search.

Useful links:

jquery autocomplete

javascript autocomplete

Categories: autocomplete

govind dhonddev

Govind Dhonddev is a Software Engineer at ExpertRec, who loves coding, food and writing blogs.