The adoption of online commerce has increased dramatically after the COVID-19 pandemic, with mobile phones becoming the most popular way for online visitors to shop. However, typing on a mobile device can often lead to errors in search queries. While spell check ensures search results still appear for erroneous terms, standard search suggestions may not show results for misspelt queries. This can negatively impact the shopping journey. Fuzzy search suggestions aim to solve this problem by displaying close match suggestions, even for misspelt terms. This helps keep visitors engaged throughout their search.
What are Fuzzy Search Suggestions?
Fuzzy search suggestions differ from standard search suggestions in handling spelling mistakes and close matches. A standard search algorithm only returns exact matches to the entered search term. But with fuzzy suggestions, the algorithm takes a more lenient approach by considering suggestions that are almost, but not completely, matched.
For example, if someone searches for “vacuum cleaners” but types “vacuum cleaners” by mistake, standard suggestions may show no results since it does not exactly match any products or categories. However, with fuzzy search enabled, suggestions for “vacuum cleaners” would still appear based on the close similarity between the terms. This keeps relevant options visible to the visitor.
Fuzzy matching algorithms analyze not just exact character matches but also phonetic similarities and minimal edits needed to transform one term into another. By taking a broader view of what qualifies as a related match, fuzzy search helps overcome typos and alternative spellings that strict matching would miss. This improves the likelihood of engaging search suggestions, even for erroneous queries.
Improving Browsing with Related Search Suggestions
Fuzzy search algorithms cannot only handle minor spelling mistakes but can also surface related and complementary terms that a user may find interesting. For example, if a shopper searches for “running shoes”, fuzzy suggestions may display options for running socks in addition to different shoe models. This broader exploration of related categories helps keep visitors engaged in the shopping experience for longer. It encourages browsing through a wider assortment of products, increasing the chances of an impulse purchase. For visitors still deciding what to buy, these supplementary suggestions provide added inspiration that standard search may miss.
Benefits for Online Shoppers
There are several benefits fuzzy search provides for online shoppers:
- Keeps visitors engaged – By continuing to return relevant suggestions, fuzzy search minimizes disruption to the search experience from typographical errors. Visitors remain engaged throughout their search journey.
- Increases likelihood of sales – By keeping more visitors engaged throughout the search process, fuzzy matching supports driving greater basket sizes and orders on the site.
- Reduces cart abandonment – Errors in standard search suggestions can cause some visitors to abandon their search prematurely. Fuzzy matching helps minimize this loss of potential sales.
- Supports impulse purchases – In addition to returning intended results, fuzzy suggestions may expose shoppers to related items they hadn’t considered, potentially increasing unplanned purchases.
- Saves time for re-typing queries – Without fuzzy matching, visitors whose first attempt contained a typo would need to re-enter the search from scratch. Fuzzy search eliminates this extra step.
- Improves finding intended products – Fuzzy results increase the chances that visitors see and select the items they meant to search for originally, despite any spelling issues. This enhances conversions.
- Caters to mobile search – Mobile typing is prone to mistakes versus desktop. Fuzzy matching compensates for this by accounting for probable errors in autocomplete suggestions.
- Enhances customer experience – A search feature that intelligently handles minor mistakes fosters positive perceptions of the site’s usability and support for shoppers. This strengthens customer relationships.
Fuzzy Search Suggestions Implementation with Expertrec
Expertrec provides a customizable fuzzy search engine that can integrate seamlessly into any commerce platform. Its dynamic fuzzy algorithms quickly analyze queries to surface the most relevant auto-complete suggestions. Expertrec fuzzy search is easy to configure based on a site’s specific needs. Merchants can apply different matching thresholds and tune the algorithms over time based on customer usage patterns.
Indexing is fast and scalable to huge catalogues. The solution also provides analytics to monitor matching accuracy and search performance. Expertrec fuzzy search ensures shoppers stay engaged throughout their path to purchase, even when queries aren’t typed perfectly. By helping visitors easily find intended products, it directly supports the core goals of revenue growth, conversion optimization and customer satisfaction for online stores.
Analyzing Query Data to Optimize Fuzzy Matching
Expertrec fuzzy search can continuously refine its matching capabilities by analysing aggregated anonymous search query data. The algorithm learns over time which searches and suggesting pairings are most common and which supplemental suggestions often lead to a purchase. It then gives greater weight to these higher-value matches. Retailers can access reports in Expertrec, which identify frequently mistyped search terms. With this insight, common errors can be preemptively addressed to further streamline the visitor experience. As the platform learns specific shoppers and catalogues, its fuzzy capabilities become highly tuned for peak effectiveness.
Fuzzy search suggestions powered by Expertrec’s advanced matching capabilities deliver significant benefits for both online shoppers and retailers. By intelligently handling minor spelling variations and typographical errors, they minimize disruption to the search experience. This keeps more visitors engaged throughout their path to purchase, ultimately supporting growth objectives for e-commerce businesses. Fuzzy search represents a powerful way to enhance online search and strengthen the overall shopping journey on commerce sites.